thewilltoholdon

As I breathe and think and dream

The Day I Almost Gave Up

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Dieting isn’t easy. According to statistics, 95% of diets fail. And I almost ended up contributing to that number yesterday. I am in Week 4 of my 5:2 diet and I thought I had a handle on things by now. I was getting comfortable with the idea of feeling hungry, falling into the whole rhythm of ‘feasting’ and ‘fasting’ and telling myself that it wasn’t all that hard. Then along came a day like yesterday.
I knew when I got up in the morning yesterday that it was a fast day. However I found my usual optimism missing and something felt off. It was the middle of a hard week. I had been battling with some difficult work in office. On the personal front, things were pretty crappy as well. My husband was away on a 10 day overseas trip. This is the first time we have been separated since our marriage two and half years ago. My toddler was down with a cold and had been miserable and restless throughout the previous night. Add to that the fact that my husband is also my chauffer who ferries me part way to work and his absence made my commute pretty rough the whole week.
I thought of postponing the fast to the next day. But fasting on a Friday is not much fun. So I soldiered on. By midday, I was feeling really out of sorts. I felt uncomfortable and could feel a headache start to form. Even my usual tactics of shopping during the lunch hour failed to give much joy. My eyes were continually drawn to all the shops selling pies, cheesecakes and ice cream. I was incredibly tempted to step inside a particularly heavenly smelling bakery and had to drag myself away from there. Back in the office, I heated up some soup for myself. That was another mistake. Based on what I had found out about myself in the past few weeks, the fasting rhythm that best suits me is when I eat nothing at all till dinner, except maybe some iced teas or lemon water. Eating mini portions of food in the day somehow makes me all the more hungry. And sure enough, post soup I started craving food even more.
By the time I reached home, I was exhausted and had convinced myself that I would not be able to continue with the fast that day. Maybe I would give it a try again the next day or else just make do with single fast day in this week. Not the end of the world, right? “No, tomorrow is another day and today you can eat!” said my food deprived body. However I did feel guilt raising its head as well. I had been so good all this while and it felt wrong to throw it all away. Also my conscience reminded me that this is how my previous attempt at 5:2 had ended last year. First there was one missed day , then two and then before I knew it, I had given up on the whole thing.
It was a struggle to prepare my daughter’s dinner and while helping her eat, I came up with the idea that would in a way let me have my cake and eat it too! If I could just hold on my fast till 9pm, then from 9pm the previous day when I had last eaten to 9pm that day it would be 24 hours and that should count for a full day of fast. So technically I should be able to eat after 9pm and still salvage my fast day. That thought cheered me up a bit. No more guilt about having abandoned my fast midway. While having my dinner of grilled fish and lentil and vegetable soup, I told myself that this was Dinner Part I and Part II would follow after 9pm. With that thought, I went to put my daughter to sleep. It turned into a battle of wills for she was in no mood for sleep and would rather ask a million times about her dad and when he would be back home. Reassurances and maybe a hundred lullabies later, she finally dropped off. By then I was so tired, I just crawled into bed myself, the thought of preparing Dinner Part II too exhausting to contemplate.
And surprisingly I slept well. When I got up in the morning beating my alarm clock by ten minutes, my first thought was that I had gotten through the fast day. Hurrah! And further good news, when I went to weight myself this morning, I had lost almost a kilo since the last weigh-in a week ago. Boy, am I glad now that I did not give up last night! You see, it pays to hang on. I am now looking forward to my next fast day. After all I still have a long way to go. But as for now, where was that cheesecake shop again? Today is a feast day, guys!

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