In line at Trader Joe's with a cart full of healthy-ish food, I reach for a bag of butter-honey potato chips. Rarely does the impulse area grab at me, but I had just talked myself down from various other unhealthy items in the snack aisle, and I was too tired to say "No!" to myself one more time. I took the bag, justifying it by the incredible price (less than $2!) and the fact that the children would like it, and I put it in the cart.
That day, I proceeded to help eat the entire bag. Later, when my wife commented on the fact that the bag was almost gone, my eldest child said, "It was mostly mama." I was so angry. First, it wasn't mostly me. I had worked really hard to not gobble down the whole thing, using tricks like sharing with the kids, having the kids hold the bag, and saving some for my wife. Second, she was right. I had eaten more than anyone else. While I hadn't eaten most of the chips, I had eaten almost half the bag, despite there being four of us eating the bag together.
I was so ashamed at all the chips I ate. And yet, I continued.
Late my wife asked me, "Do you want another s'more?" Despite the fact that the ingredients were put away, and she would be going up a flight of stairs to get the food, and I had eaten half a bag of chips, and I had a s'more already, I said yes. After the marshmallow had browned over our outdoor fire pit, I ate it hastily and shared a bite with my kid.
I thought that maybe if it disappears quickly, it won't make me deeply embarrassed. The whole time eating the gooey deliciousness, I was thinking about how I shouldn't eat this. It felt like another failure of my willpower. Already I eaten half a family-sized bag of chips, and now I was powering through another s'more. Why do I sabotage my weight loss efforts in these ways? And yet, I continued to eat.
I went to bed at 9 p.m. that night. I had been tired that whole day, with little sleep the night before and the night before that. It had been weeks of bad sleep, filled with summer fun and children, late night parties, drinking on the porch, and other activities ill-suited to weight loss. It had been fabulously fun, and draining.
I eat more when I'm tried, and as someone always on-the-go, I am almost always tired.
I slept 12 hours that night. I woke up exhausted and shamed by my behavior. I fear it will never change. Already my weight holds me back. I don't fit into rollercoaster seats, or airplane seats. I measure my girth against chairs and avoid smaller places.
The next morning I logged into My Fitness Pal for the 390th day in a row. I fear it's all for nothing. Nothing changes. I keep getting bigger, I keep over eating. I can justify the bad choices - I was tired, I was celebrating, I was stressed - but it doesn't change. I am not losing.