Of Diets and Decisions
Anyone relate to this? I know you ladies have been through something close to this, you know you have:
It’s Monday morning. This is the day you had promised yourself the dieting would start. You are quite hyped up about it as a matter of fact. After all you are absolutely ready to get back into the gorgeous evening gown that stopped fitting four years ago that you still keep in your closet.
You are starting today because this is the Monday that you are going to make it stick.
This time- no matter what your mother in law says or whose wedding it is- you are going to be firm. This time that stubborn pointer on the bathroom scale is going to move- in the right direction.
You take a look at the list of the DO NOT EAT foods.
Vaizi ya karai. Check.
Ice cream and her sisters cookies and cake? Check.
Pizza? Double check.
Everything that is deliciously yummy to eat but bad for your heart and your waistline? Check.
“Never mind,” you tell yourself. When you are all slimmed down and fitter than all of your friends and colleagues it will all be worth it. “I can do this!” you tell yourself.
It’s a busy day and you cannot wait for your break. A cup of thick, creamy and sugary coffee sounds heavenly. Then you remember. The only thing you will be munching on is carrot sticks and cucumber slices.
And the only beverage you will be having is good old H20. Or unsweetened orange juice at best.
Someone has conspired against you today and unleashed all the glazed ‘vishete’, ‘kashata’ and ‘donasi’ at the office snack table.
“All that is missing is sofa size meat pies,” you huff.
“Who wants meat pies?” asks that girl from accounting who can eat anything and everything and still fit into her wedding dress three children later. Not fair.
You piously stay away from the table of temptation afraid you might gain a few kilos just by being near it.
“I can do this!” you tell yourself. You shake your head to all offers of food from your banned list. You pray your willpower will hold until the end of the day.
You are afraid one more “karibu mahamri” will have you throwing yourself at the sweet munchies.
Phew! You made it. You are home. No temptations here. You have made sure that dear hubby and kids are on board with you. Nothing is in your refrigerator and pantry except good, wholesome veggies, fruit and whole grains.
If you are going to eat salad and soup there is no way they are going to eat spaghetti and meatballs with you looking on enviously. After all, there is no point in being the only one suffering.
Something smells delicious and your saliva glands start working. You open the covered platter of food on the dining table to find cousins of the foods you are not ‘allowed’ to eat.
You make a note to remember to thank your neighbour who fasts every Monday and Thursday and who never forgets to bring you the ‘futari’ she has made. You know Mama Adam will ask how you liked the goodies she so generously shared so someone has to eat them. That someone is not going to be you. You watch hubby and kids tuck in as you drink your soup. You start to feel a little sorry for yourself……
It’s bedtime! You survived day one on a diet. You pray for the willpower to continue until your goals are met. Then- as you tuck in your kids and kiss them goodnight- you realise you have to set a good example for them.
What you need is an attitude change. Self-pity is not going to get you anywhere.
You realise that you have gotten it all wrong. That eating healthy is not deprivation. That physical exercise is not punishment.
You realise that there are worthier goals than wanting to fit into a dress or impress your colleagues. You realise ‘dieting’ as you used to see it is temporary but eating right is for always.
You realise that the biggest thing that needs changing is your mindset. You realise that if you do not do this- if you put it off for yet another Monday you will start losing respect for yourself.
You are tired of breaking promises to yourself.
You want this. And because you want this you know something more than your food has to get a makeover. You deserve good health and vitality and the energy to play with your kids and their future kids when you are blessed to have them.
Cake, pizza and ice cream? You can have those once in a while when the occasion calls for it. From now on you are doing yourself and your body a favour. You are eating real and wholesome food. Because you want to- not because you have to. Because you are worth it.
It is Tuesday.
No, it is not Day 2 of your diet. It’s the first day of your health conscious life.
“I got this!” you tell yourself.
Photos Courtesy of Unsplash