Then, one morning I woke up motivated, finally having the courage to weigh myself. Those seconds staring down at the scale, waiting for the big red digital number to appear, it feels like being a little too close to the edge of a cliff staring down at jagged rocks, the wind at my back. I gained two pounds and poof, the freak-out switch was flipped on. I was mad at myself for not trying harder and for even bothering to weigh. That scale has caused me to quit so many times over the years. The irrational personal assault tape was on play. Outwardly I could feel my facial expression and my body shift position. I withdrew into the vortex of negative self talk. I surrendered to it, fully.
Because I hadn't shopped for food that weekend I went to work that Monday morning after weighing, having skipped breakfast with no lunch packed. I skipped that too, because I didn't feel like I had enough self control to get a healthy restaurant meal. By the time I got home I was ravenous. I don't recall what I ate for dinner but lets say it was pizza and cake. Or something just as bad. The rest of the week was basically the same. In fact, until I wrote Cris that email in which I had a simple yet profound discovery, every day was one long string of depression, skipped breakfasts/lunches and binging dinners. I floundered through all those hours knowing I was in a bad place but unsure what to do about it. And I had no motivation, whatsoever, to get to the bottom of things. I didn't feel like I'd done anything to cause this but more like a cloud of badness was cast upon me without warning. I couldn't move out from under it. So I wallowed in it...and I ate.
Somewhere in that email to Cris I started to realize that yeah, the weight gain sucked. But the biggest problem wasn't the weight gain, it was that I was totally unprepared for it. In fact, I was unprepared for the week in general, regardless of the scale debacle. I hadn't stuck with my plan, and I never realized until that moment how important the plan actually was. If I'd taken the time to shop for healthy food and map out my meals for the week, maybe after I'd gained that two pounds I would've hung my head for little while, all day maybe. But I probably would have at least stuck with my eating plan. And if I'd stuck with my eating plan I wouldn't have been starving when I got home and if I hadn't been starving when I got home maybe I wouldn't have thrown in the towel and pigged out on pizza and cake...for an entire week.
Not taking the time to shop and plan my meals turned out to be so important that not doing it literally ruined my entire week. What I signed up for seemed like a simple nutrition and exercise plan I could easily slip into my life but I was realizing that it was much more complex than I ever knew. Looking back over my shoulder, my success or failure was was much less a state of mind and much more a bunch of little processes, one connected and dependent on the next. It was like a house of cards. And pulling that one on the bottom out caused the entire thing to fall. School started > no meals planned > no grocery shopping > no lunches prepared > 2 pound weight gain > KABOOM!