I am a grade-A certified control freak. So far as I know, there is not a diet that addresses this. Though that would be very cool.
“Obsessive? Neurotic? Feeling the need to be in control of everything in your environment? Shed those pesky worries and watch the anxiety melt away as you feel more energetic than ever before! Just one shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a sensible dinner. You’ll be feeling more easygoing in no time!”
I suppose that plan already exists… if valium comes in shake form, that is. But I’m telling you I have combed all the stores around here with no luck in finding any such thing. It’s not like I live in California, people.
So I was just commenting to someone tonight that I decided to hop on this whole “20 Days of Virtue” thing when I have a fair amount going on in my life. To a sane person, choosing NOW to give up all the foods I love is stupid at best and stability-threatening at worst.
But I never claimed to be a sane person.
Now is precisely the right time for a control freak to radically modify her diet. (While referring to herself in the third person!) Because that’s something I can actually, you know, control.
I cannot control the fact that my son has a crummy, snotty cold that’s aggravating both his asthma and his attitude.
I cannot control the fact that my daughter finished her assessment today and in less than a week I will have the report that either leaves us still struggling or gives us a diagnosis no parent wants.
I cannot control the challenges my loved ones are facing, and I can only check in with “How ya holding up?” so many times before they will start to fantasize about my untimely demise.
I apparently cannot control the fact that my cell phone works fabulously everywhere I go EXCEPT here in my house, where I morph into the annoying “Can you hear me NOW?” guy against my will.
I cannot control so many things, that if I think about it too much, wisps of smoke curl out of my ears and someone will move their cart out of my way at the grocery store and say “oh, excuse me” when I wasn’t even feeling impeded and then I will burst into tears because they are just so nice.
But hey, it turns out that I–I of zero willpower, and a deep and meaningful love of chocolate–can control what I eat. Who knew? Certainly not me. I’m sure the Oreos had no idea. And I opened the freezer for ice tonight and the ice cream just gaped at me. It’s been a shock for all of us. (Should we tire of referring to ourselves in the third person, we shall revert to referring to ourselves in the royal plural as a casualty of the personification of food. Carry on.)
Today I was a Virtue postergirl! I had NO refined sugar! I had NO simple carbohydrates! I had a lot of lean protein! And lots of veggies! And a gallon (YES REALLY) of water! And instead of parking my butt on the couch to watch TV after the kids went to bed, I parked myself on my elliptical trainer and EXERCISED! And did you know that exclamation points are not restricted on my diet? Hurray!!
The truth is that when I hopped on the elliptical machine, I wavered. I’ve been SO GOOD all day today, I told myself. Do I REALLY need to exercise, too? I knew I should. I knew I didn’t feel like it. And I also knew that every little scrap of control I can grasp renders me better able to face those things outside the scope of my influence. So, you know, desperate times call for desperate measures and all that?
I took my pants off. And stood there and looked at my thighs from the front and then peeked around at the back. And then I rode on the elliptical trainer until I worked up a sweat. And then I glanced down at my thighs (now swaying and jiggling with my strides) and kept on pedaling. Lather, rinse, repeat. Basically I just kept at it until my toes were numb, at which point I congratulated myself on a job well done and also wondered if perhaps I need different sneakers because numb toes are never mentioned in those “Just Do It” commercials. Then I took a shower and didn’t even bother putting pants on afterwards, because I was hoping that maybe a few more glimpses of my cellulite would impel me to solve the issue of world hunger or something.
I’m still overwhelmed and tired and my thighs are squishy AND the universe is not acknowledging the dominion which SHOULD RIGHTFULLY BE MINE.
But other than that, I feel great.