DietBet Diary #4: My Food Life Is Changing, and I'm Scared.

As we enter week 2 of Heather's DietBet game, she comes face-to-face with the reality of her relationship to food.

Trying to navigate the beginning of a diet is not easy. I feel a little cranky, I’m adjusting to exercising on a regular basis, I get bored with food, I get bored with water, I get bored with the slow-moving scale…

Despite these things, I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve lost 7.5 pounds and can’t wait to get on the scale every morning.

I decided to lose weight because my high blood pressure scared the crap out of me. However, I’m not sure my fear would have been enough to keep me going. And I’m not gonna lie: it’s the accountability from DietBet that’s propelling me forward. Normally, I would have given up about three days in. That part surprises me.

I still haven’t told many people who actually know me that I’m attempting to lose 68 pounds. But I’m blabbering all the details to over a thousand strangers every week.

So let me blabber some more.

I struggle with food. Even writing about it gives my forehead wrinkles. I can feel my skin crinkling up with anxiety. Too quickly, I run out of ideas for what to cook, what’s easy to cook, what satisfies my sweet tooth, what has a ton of protein… It’s exhausting!

Fortunately, tons of people in my game (Sarah Gilbert’s You’re Still Worth It DietBet) are posting food pictures and recipes.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the pictures! Because I need to branch out—in a big way. I’ve been eating way too many Banana Protein Bars and Quiche Cups this week.

Have you ever found a great sweater or pair of jeans and loved them so much (the cut, the feel, and the price) that you bought two or three? You’re afraid you’ll never find anything as wonderful ever again so you overdo it.

I’m kinda like that with food. Once I find something that tastes good, I’ll return to it over and over again. It’s like I’m afraid to try something different. If I get on the scale in the morning and I’ve lost some weight, I want to replicate my food diary from the day before, which leads to a lot of repetition.

This week I’ve been eating quiche cups for breakfast and I’ve had lasagna stuffed peppers with venison sausage for lunch for three days in a row. I’ve been drinking so much water that I have to get up three times a night to go to the bathroom and as I stumble blindly back to bed (narrowly avoiding stepping on my dog’s head) I wonder how long I’ll have to drink this much water. Or if my bladder will eventually expand enough to handle eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And then, I think that probably everyone in my DietBet is experiencing the same things.

Until now, I thought dieting was one of the most solitary things I’d ever do in this life. I feel like the bigger half of this process is happening inside my head: the constant battle to stay on track, pushing through when the scale doesn’t move, talking myself down from that bowl of white queso.

But then I realized that so much of the process has to do with my environment—the people, and food, and energy around me. And I think I’ve figured out how to succeed: I enter an environment where success is encouraged. I rely on the people I have chosen to align myself with. For the next few weeks, it’s the crew in Sarah Gilbert’s You’re Still Worth It DietBet.

In my time there so far, I have yet to see one negative post. Instead, people share their meal pictures and what’s working for them, they confess when they’ve had a rough day or indulged over the weekend. The folks at DietBet should probably change the “like” button to a picture of little cheerleaders or pom-poms, because that’s what it feels like: a whole squad of cheerleaders at my disposal.

And now, I know that I’m not in this alone.

It’s like I’m standing at the beginning. My entire food life is changing. I’ve realized that no one restriction or dietary approach is a magic bullet for weight loss. You can eat horribly and be gluten-free. You can be a vegetarian and be fat. What I’m doing now is different and it’s forever. It’s scary. I’m not going to lie to myself and say the entire process isn’t intimidating. Because it’s out and out daunting. Will I always be able to make the right food choice? While I ever slip for more than a meal? More than a day? A week?

I’m certain of it.

But the one thing I’m learning is that weight loss takes gumption. And the others I’m journeying with are showing me exactly what that is.

This is the fourth 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 #3

DietBet Diary #2

DietBet Diary #1

Make it WayBetter

Ban healthy-food-boredom by creating an ever-growing collection of new recipes & food inspiration! Whether it's clippings in a binder, a folder on your computer, a Pinterest board, or anything else, be sure to capture the dishes that catch your eye and save 'em for later use.