DietBet Diary #5: Peach Cobbler for Dinner...and Breakfast

In the latest chronicle of her DietBet progress, Heather faces down one of her dieting's biggest challenges: The Weekend.

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m heading into the weekend as I write the beginning of this post.

When I’m dieting, weekends annoy me. Weekends are for brunch with family, fun cocktails, and parties. Diets are for none of that.

Sometimes I feel like being on a diet means I can’t be social. Like I have to withdraw from the conversation because I’m not eating or drinking like everyone else. I’ve always viewed this as a side effect of dieting: lack of social life. But I’m starting to realize that my isolation is self-imposed. It’s a jail made up of celery sticks and the belief that I can’t control myself in a fun-filled environment.

This weekend, we’re having company on Saturday night. Since it’s one of the last summer hoorahs, requests have been made for my delectable peach cobbler and homemade vanilla ice cream. As far as the vanilla part is concerned, you might as well be eating a pint of butter for all the fat in that cool summer treat. And the peach cobbler is in no way a Saint.

My point is, during the week it’s easy to buckle down. But on the weekends? Not so much. So much of our shared activity, as a society, is wrapped around food and drink. Trying to maintain a level of resolve can be tough.

My feelings have been echoed in the posts of many in my current DietBet. And I’m wondering, how are we supposed to manage to…well, manage it all?

I’ll check back in after the weekend and let you know how it went.

Three Days Later...

So it’s Monday morning.

I handled the weekend’s social occasions without falling into a tub of ice cream and humiliating myself. I still gained a half pound, but to be honest, I’m surprised I made it through the weekend with only gaining that much.

I noticed I wasn’t the only one to fall off the wagon the past few days. Numerous people in my DietBet posted about the same general topic: failure. With every dejected post I read, I felt my heart wrench a little because I know what it’s like to fail.

I thought I had my life skills down, like I had some things figured out by 41. Maybe that’s true in some realms, but I haven’t been applying these skills to my personal battle with weight. I pride myself on the notion that I have the ability to continue forward when life sticks a 2x4 in my front tire wheel…but when I’ve had a rough day and eaten a greasy cheeseburger, I usually dig an even deeper hole by consoling myself with a stack of pancakes in the morning. How is it I’m able to raise my chin when a boyfriend dumps me but I can’t do it when I dump on myself?

So when I saw the comments of a few DietBetters, wanting to give up or talking about trying again next time, I realized that gumption or sass or the ability to be courageous shouldn’t be reserved for life’s “big” challenges, like a death or a breakup or the loss of a job. It’s meant for our daily battles. Sometimes that battle is a weekend of fun.

Each person who posted something about giving up was looking for the encouragement to face those battles. A kind of encouragement they haven’t been able to find within themselves. As I read their posts, I felt tears come to my eyes thinking of the years I’ve spent locked up in the weight-game, thinking those same self-defeating thoughts. To my great relief, I saw other players chime in to offer reassurance and play the role of cheerleader when someone wasn’t able to pick themselves up on their own.

Today’s one of those days when I could use my own cheerleader. My Fitbit won’t sync, my new running shoes gave me horrible blisters, and all I want is to roll around in a gorgeous bowl of my peach cobbler (that I had for my cheat meal on Saturday evening… and, truth be told, for breakfast Sunday morning). My back is still causing me agony, my mother is driving me crazy and the only person I can get to go for a walk with me is my dear friend’s little girl—even my dog would rather lay on the couch than exercise. But I can’t let those things prevent me from moving forward. A bowl of 600-calorie cobbler isn’t reason enough to quit.

The power to function when things go wrong isn’t limited to a bad day at work or relationship problems. And the ability to succeed isn’t dependent on a perfect life scenario.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but joining this DietBet has created a series of light bulb moments for me.

As a heavy-set woman, I feel pretty beat up. And I’ve realized that the words Heavy-Set are perfect. They make me think of this hefty mass of fatigue, stress, and disappointment that settles down on a body. That bulk makes it difficult to move, to fit in, to be free, and it creates a personal reality where it’s tough to move forward when you’re discouraged.

There will always be circumstances to derail me. Sometimes, like now, I’ll have a crowd around me to lift me up, but more often, I’m alone and have to find a way to not allow one bad decision ruin a months’ worth of dedication. I think I may be learning how to do just that.

This is the fifth post in a DietBet Diary series that follows Heather through her whole game. If you missed Heather's earlier posts, catch up now!

DietBet Diary #4

DietBet Diary #3

DietBet Diary #2

DietBet Diary #1

Make it WayBetter

Think of times that you've put your chin up and soldiered forward when life threw lemons at you. Tap into that strength to help you keep going when your motivation starts to flag!