Going South (Beach)

Yesterday, I ate healthy.

Not just sort of healthy. Totally healthy. Like, “diet” healthy; the South Beach Diet, to be specific.

Why am I doing this?

Good question. I hate diets. I think that people who obsess over every morsel are doing themselves a disservice. I believe that food is one of life’s great joys – that eating is more than just a necessary act; it’s a privilege.

Yet, here’s the thing: somewhere along the line, I went out of control. Portions became bigger. Work treats turned into second helpings. Ice cream every night. Yes, please.

While Kerrie was pregnant, I willingly and excitedly gained sympathy weight. Since Sierra’s been born, I’ve kept the same pace, and with the addition of another personality in the house I’ve managed to lose any workout time I had ever tricked myself into scheduling.

So here I am. Dieting. Controlled by a book, tethered to my three meals, two snacks and sorta-dessert. No bread in the first two weeks. No fruits. Protein and vegetables only, thanks, and don’t forget to drink water until your bladder goes into shock. No beer, even – no beer!

It seems that no matter how content they are, humans always seek to improve themselves. Everyone. No matter what. There’s something in each of our lives that begs improvement, and it becomes a grating, nagging fight to succeed. Sometimes it’s something that we can easily control, and we are ultimately successful. Other times, it’s a fruitless battle against personal nature and internal wiring.

If we see these improvements as a challenge, the outlook can be much more positive. And that’s what I’ve struggled with. I instantly view dieting – and numerous other self-improvement activities – as an obstacle to my well being instead of the path toward it. Sure, this was my choice. But I grumble about it all the same.

When we seek self improvement, we don’t get caught up in the act itself. We get hung up by the attitude that goes into it – the realization that we’re not doing exactly what we’d want to be doing, especially if that involves something that brings us joy and sustenance and a cavalcade of taste experiences.

Yesterday, I felt hung over. My body was reeling from the sudden purge. My usually caffeinated, snack-and-cheese-filled life had been switched up with something more healthy. I was tired and miserable, and all I wanted to do was go back to bed.

Today, things have changed. I’m feeling pretty good, and I’m (surprisingly) not starving. I know it will take more than a day to get used to it, but at least my attitude is changing.

Though as far as you’ll hear, I’ll be miserable. Self-inflicted agony makes for better reading material. And where would I be if I couldn’t complain about life’s minutia? So while I sit content, for the time being, with this diet I’ve pushed on myself, you can revel in the fact that you can still eat crackers.

Crackers. I miss them already.

This was lovingly handwritten on February 12th, 2008