Like Quicksand

July 24, 2009

I’ve been married for 11 days.  Been with my husband for 4 years and 11 days.  We’ve always been on opposite schedules so I’m used to being alone at night often.  But tonight, I’m dying because,  there’s NOTHING on tv.  I mean, let’s face it, sitting in front of the tv makes everyone feel less alone when home by themselves.  I’m watching “Royal Pains” which is quite possibly the most far-fetched nonsense to come out of New York since CSI:NY.  Sorry Gary Sinise.

If I wasn’t completely stuffed from eating out at my favorite restaurant Bar Stuzzichini tonight, I’d probably be feeding my boredom with some snacks.  Why do we eat when bored?  What about raising our hand to our mouth makes us feel occupied?  Or complete? Or not alone?

Before my most recent Weight Watchers stint (there have been 3, more on that later), my preferred boredom snack was cheese and crackers.  I’d hunker down on my couch with a chunk of Cracker Barrel Vermont White Cheddar and go to town.  My Cracker Barrel addiction was so well known, that my Secret Santa in college gave me Cracker Barrel in place of candy!  Certainly, my love affair with cheese started in the womb – I’m Italian! and genetically predisposed for a love of cheese!  

The real cheese abuse started in 2001 when I lived in London.  The supermarket Sainsbury’s was so scary there (I couldn’t identify one familiar brand) that I started living on a diet of Red Leicester and Wasa crisps.  Oh, and grapes.  Grapes are healthy.  It was a different world in 2001.  I was out of the country for the first time without the safety net of college cafeterias and pre-paid meals. Not to mention the life changing events on September 11, 2001 that occurred while I was in Italy en route to London for the next 5 months.  I was also really young and in a relationship with a guy who was a fellow food abuser.  We were seperated by the Atlantic Ocean, so for sure, there were many nights in London where I felt bored and alone.  Also, don’t forget, this was before Facebook and You Tube.  Plus, I didn’t even have a computer!  Wasting time online reading status updates of someone who went to your high school (that you don’t actually remember), was not an option.  

To pass the time, my flat mates and I spent alot of time sitting around our kitchen table.  I don’t remember alot of food being involved, it was mostly talk and playing Celebrity.  We passed alot of hours that way.  I think my cheese abuse was still somewhat secret at that point, meaning, I was eating large amounts of cheese when no one was around.  Not like, on purpose or anything. But come on, I’m not gonna eat like a pig IN FRONT of people!  Secret eating is the quicksand that leads to you being bet into your pants.

Eventually, I ended my Red Leicester addiction when the only pants that fit me were my sweatpants.  I got on a computer in the library and joined Weight Watchers’ online program (stint #1).  I started tracking points and reading labels.  I lost weight, felt better, and got back into my jeans!  

I still ate out of boredom, but I tried to make wiser choices – this time I had JUST the grapes.

I need to do laundry.  I have 1 pair of pants that are clean (and work appropriate) and I’ve already worn them twice this week.

After my pig out last night (which ended with an Israeli pudding and a tiny piece of ice cream cake), I was not optimistic about my wardrobe this morning.  I dug into my closet and tried on a pair of size 10 Michael Kors pants that I have worn before but are admittedly, a little snug.

My friend Deirdre calls “a little snug”  being “bet into your clothes”.  “Bet” is the incorrect past tense of “beaten”.  She’s Irish and claims this is a common expression across the pond.  So, I looked in the mirror at my butt in the MK pants and decided I was a little too “bet” to wear them today without the appropriate blouse to cover the “bet-edness”.  The ladies all know what I’m talking about, the muffin top!

Charging into another one of my closets (there are 4 in my apartment!), I found an OLD pair of Gap khakis that I haven’t worn since Bush’s first administration.  I thought to myself, “there’s no way these are going to fit, but try ’em on to see how close you are.”  I put them on.  I got them on without zipping or closing them.  I thought, “well, there you have it, gotta loose another 10 lbs.”  But for some reason, I forged ahead and zipped those suckers.  They closed, the buttons fastened and I was in these size 10 khakis I bought in 2004.  Wow, what a feeling!  That feeling is better than any pudding or chunk of blue cheese I could eat.

I vividly remember buying these Gap pants in 2004 because, at the time, they were my fat pants.  I had recently started a new job with Lord & Taylor in NYC and needed “nice clothes”.  I was basically broke and not looking to spend more money on clothes, but nothing I had fit.  I went to Gap one day before work and bought two new pairs of pants, the aforementioned khakis and a pair of black pants.  I don’t remember what became of the black pants, except to say, that eventually I “grew out” of them (nice way to say they became too small to wear).  They were tossed.  Probably, when I did my “I’m too fat to wear these clothes and I’m never gonna fit into them again spring cleaning of 2007”.

Somehow, the khakis survived.  I think they did only because I had hardly worn them (when they did fit) and throwing out hardly-worn-perfectly-good pants is just SILLY!

Boy I am glad they survived, because I feel amazing today wearing them.  I even woke up my husband this morning for him to check and make sure they were not “inappropriate for work”.  He deemed them “perfectly fine”.

The funny thing is, moments like this actually motivate me to continue my weight loss journey that started back in February 2008.  Today I’m going to be super diligent! I’m going to track every morsel I eat, because I recognize that food does NOT have power over me.  I have power over me.

And let’s face it, that pig out last night was totally PMS induced and you just can’t fight hormones sometimes.  But, you can pick yourself up, dust off the crumbs and get back on track.  That’s what I plan to do.

Mozzerella or “Muhz-za-delle” as my Italian-American family says.  I had some “muhzzadelle” on top of leftover chicken parm that I found in my fridge for dinner tonight.  It’s ultimately, very tragic.  I come home from work crazed and desperate to have a piece of chocolate.  I dig around the kitchen, first, I find Bamba (a peanut butter snack from Israel that’s similar to a cheese puff only with PB flavor).  I plop in front of the couch, turn on the tv and start chowing down.  I don’t know how many I ate, maybe 20?  Quickly, I’m bored with Bamba and searching for  Easter chocolate in my fridge (yes, I said Easter!).  Yum, Perugina chocolate eggs!  I devour one without even thinking.  Now, I’m thirsty, but I’m too lazy to get up and get a glass of water.  A moment later I’m up off the couch (not lazy anymore) searching for cheese, any cheese, to complete my meal.

Sidenote:  When I have PMS I crave two things, chocolate and cheese.  That’s it.  That’s what I want.  In fact, if there was a way to mix the two, I would!  Is it possible to dip a chocolate covered pretzel in cheddar fondue?  Hmm.

So, I found some takeout containers in my fridge.  I’m assuming they were left by my in-laws who have been staying with us.  It looks like chicken parm.  Smells like chicken parm.  I hesitate for a moment…”This isn’t my leftovers, should I eat it?”  Before I can even answer my own question I’m putting a dish of stolen chicken parm in the microwave.  2:30 and counting.   I leave the kitchen to catch a glimpse of Real Time with Bill Maher…I go back,  1:58 left.  Geez.  I repeat this movement 2 more times until finally I give in and eject the chicken parm 16 seconds early.  “Whatever, it will be hot enough with only 2:14 of heating.”

Finally, my fork and knife slices into the enormous chicken cutlets and I marry the food to my tongue.  It’s pretty good!  Success.

I think about food alot.  I calculate the calories of what I eat ALOT.  I’m on Weight Watchers since February 2008.  I’ve lost 20lbs but now I’m terrified of going back to WW since I just spent a week (my honeymoon) eating my way through Aruba.

Why does the fear of having gained weight make me want to eat more?  Human nature?  It’s so cruel.

I think for today I’m going to give myself a pass because I DO have PMS.  And I’m going to WW on Monday to get weighed, no matter what.  I promise.

There IS another plate of chicken parm in the fridge, but I think I’ll leave it for now.

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