Ralph De La Cruz: Back to old life? Fat chance
And now that it's here, I'm trying to pretend it hasn't arrived.
Or so I thought five months ago when I began this whole thing, oh-so-reluctantly.
Back then I fantasized about what I would be pigging out on today. Would it be the finger-licking pork fat at Tom Jenkins' Bar-B-Q or carbohydrate carpet-bombing at Doughboys? Maybe I could find a place that offered a passable chicken fried steak with cream gravy AND key lime pie.
So many decisions. Hmmm. Maybe I'd wake up a little early and start with a nice breakfast buffet.
And so the fantasies went.
Now I'm thinking, "Country fried steak dinner at Chili's equals 1,335 calories, equals an hour-and-a-half of intense exercise. Where's the low-fat cottage cheese (90 calories, mostly protein)?"
Sometime during the past five months, Dec. 5 stopped being about celebration. These days I'm more scared about stopping than I had been about starting.
I'm on my own now.
Which wouldn't be so bad if I was planning to go back to my Filet-o-Fish and fries lifestyle. But I've invested too much sweat, made enough progress and received too many compliments. Like a poor man who found a winning Lotto ticket, I'm not giving it back.
Against all odds and self-expectations, I've lost 42 pounds. More than 15 inches off the hips, almost 5 inches from the waist and 2 inches off the biceps. Practically enough trimmings to make the Olsen twins.
But although numbers are fun to play with, I've maintained from the beginning they are not what this has been about for me.
This has been about confronting fear and exposing vulnerabilities.
I'm convinced most people who are dieting are scared. And like the craving for strawberry ice cream, that fear doesn't go away just because you've had some success.
In my last session with my dietitian, Roberta Seago, I told her what I now fear most is Diet Creep.
You know. Today a burger. Tomorrow fries to go with the burger. Pretty soon it's a biggie-sized super ultra value meal. With a, uh, Diet Coke.
Hello 42 pounds.