Saturday, March 26, 2011

A (wo)man with a plan!

If you don't realize it, let me just give you a quick rundown of 'me'. I'm an American woman, living in the Netherlands. I've been in the NL since 2004 and get back "home" about once a year. I look forward to this time for months and months before I go. I have countdowns a hundred days in advance, just ticking off the moments until I am with my family and friends.

What you may or may not realize is that every time I go "home" I start planning, months ahead of time, to lose at least 5-10 pounds so I can gain it while I'm in the US of A. A little messed up to think that way? Sure, I'll give you that, but it makes sense in my head. I mean, surely I couldn't be expected to stick to any sort of plan, routine or regimen while on vacation, while in the US, while surrounded by my home country's newest national pass time.... cooking and eating?!?!?

This year I am planning a June trip back to the US and mentioned it in passing at my last appointment with Dewy and told her my usual mode of operation.

Apparently, that's not how we're going to approach vacation in the US this time around, or ever again. She pointed out the fact that I probably strictly "dieted" for the weeks leading up to my trip basically setting myself up for a bunch of binges while I'm there. (man, was she RIGHT there).

My palms got sweaty as I realized she was getting ready to tell me that I wouldn't be eating Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake (which is my alltime favorite food in the entire world, ever, ever. ever). She was going to tell me that I wouldn't be enjoying my cousin Mark's smoked ribs, that I couldn't *gasp* (sorry, I had to brace myself for this one) visit the Dairy Queen! God I just knew it, I knew it in my head that she was getting ready to boss me around, preach it to me like the sinner I was, and give me the verbal lashing even before I did anything! God I hated it!

And then she shocked the devil out of me when she said "well why wouldn't you enjoy the foods you love when you were home?"

Me, queen of witty retorts, snappy comebacks and sarcasm galore, didn't have an answer. I just sat there... gobsmacked.

And she really meant it! Why shouldn't I eat the foods I enjoy while I'm home?

So, we are actually going to make a plan. I'm going to go on vacation and keep living the life I am living now. That seems very simple and kind of  "duh" but I've actually never done that before. I am still going to try to reach all of my mini goals that I have made (fish three times a week, at least a liter of water every day, fruit twice a day etc) because those things are simple, tiny and not really a big deal. That's the beauty in making small, even subtle, changes... they're easy to keep up with no matter where you are or what the situation is. And again, I won't be striving for perfection but I will try to get as close as I can without getting obsessed.

I AM going to eat my dad's pizza and his potato salad. No, I won't eat them in the mass quantities that I have eaten them in the past but hell yeah I'm going to eat them. Mostly because Dewy said I could.

I'm going to have Cheesecake. I am going to savor, enjoy, feel, love and BE the Cheesecake. I'm not going to eat it willynilly by huge forkfulls, I am going to really become one with the cheesecake. I will take tiny bites of the cool, thick, sweet confection and feel it dance down my tongue to my tummy. Okay so this is a little dramatic, a little overboard but really, I am going to have it and I really am going to think about it and enjoy it in the moment. Dewey said I could.

She also asked me to make a list of all of the wonderful, "home" items that I am looking forward to indulging in while I am in the US and bring it to our next meeting. I'm not 100% sure of what we'll do with the list once I have it but I am going to make the list like a good student and see where we go from there.

I am so excited to know that I am not running to the US blind, with every intention of gaining weight while I'm there. I am glad that I won't have those guilty feelings that I always have while I'm there, eating until I'm sick and afterwards when I return home and see the damage. I am thrilled that I don't have to worry about the period when I get back and have to get "back down" to where I was pre-vacation. I won't have that guilt. I won't have that depression (at least from food, I will still be sad that I'm no longer there) surrounding the very idea of "man, if I can't do it while on vacation then can I really do it". I don't have to worry about feeling stuffed. I don't have to worry about binging. Just knowing I will have a plan and it will be a plan that I can live with has already made my vacation and the weeks following so much more enjoyable, and I haven't even left the Netherlands.

If I haven't said it before, and I'm pretty sure I haven't, I am beyond thrilled that I made the decision to get help for my disorderly eating. I am glad I didn't give up on the clinic even after the rocky start. I am proud that I am following this through, being open to suggestions and taking everything on board. I am very happy to be in the place that I am in right now and that's a pretty big deal. A really big deal.

I hope you all are having healthy, successful weeks!


Beginning Anew said...

This is really cool! I am excited for you and looking forward to hearing what Dewy comes up with for how to manage all the temptation! I especailly like the part about no guilt. I have come to realize that I do not want or need guilt over my eating in my life. It is so self-defeating...good for you! Looking forward to hearing about all this!

Darcy Winters said...

I can't wait to hear what Dewy tells you. I bet it is something that you can use around Christmas time too! (one of my weak spots)