Learning how to eat healthy (after a lifetime of eating--and loving--high fat foods) is like teaching a redneck to speak Mandarin Chinese. No common ground and much gets lost in translation.
Forgive my bitterness, but after spending 42 years in Denial I am now fully centered in the 2nd stage of Grief: Anger. Damn it, I want to eat without thinking! Yes, I want fries with that! Supersize me!
Healthy Translation: I want to be overweight and clog my arteries.
Yeah, I know, I know: "substitute carrot sticks for potato chips," "skip the dessert and opt for a bowl of fresh fruit," "it's all about portion control." Suddenly, I'm in the world of the Have's and Have Not's. As in, you can have *this* food, but of *that* one, have not. (WARNING: this is a bit crude, but I don't think children are reading) suddenly, I can relate to men's complaints about condoms, "It's just doesn't feel as good."
Food certainly doesn't taste as good. Protein bars = sweetened sawdust. A sandwich without mayonnaise is as dry as the Sahara. A chip sans dip is like Thelma without Louise.
I know, I need to embrace the healthy lifestyle (ie: micromanagement of nutrients). The exercise part is easy (well, easier) to do because there's the immediate physical euphoria when you're finished. Kind of like a reverse hangover; you're in unbelievable pain for an hour and then you feel really good for awhile. But, the dieting is excruciating because not only does it involve eating out of your comfort zone, you have to analyze every single item for serving size, calories, fat, carbs, and protein. It's numbers...it's math! And I always sucked at math.
It is far easier to control one's diet in a "routine" environment. I just got back from a business trip and working in the exercise wasn't that difficult, nor was planning for breakfast, lunch and snacks. But, dinner? Ha! Ever notice how the $$$$'s don't offer "light" or "heart healthy" menu options? Even the salads were 4-course meals on a plate. I just gave up and ordered a half portion of what I wanted to eat, and then only ate half of that and trashed the rest. Even though I limited myself to just a sample of Heaven, I'm sure my sacrifice still jumped my cals, fat, and carbs beyond my daily limit. Argh!
Thankfully, I entered this competition as part of a team. Because, without them, I would probably lose my resolve to be committed to a healthier lifestyle. If it weren't for the KO's checking in on one another, texts of encouragement, phone calls of commiseration; and our trainer's stern guidance and daily support, I'd be knee deep in Gouda cheese right now. I hope to zoom through stages 3 & 4 (Bargaining and Depression) right to Acceptance.
But for now, all I can say is Diet is "Die With a T."