Dear Pizza, I Miss You

This is definitely going to be a TMI post.  But I’m okay with it if you are.

All I’ve ever wanted was to be one of those people who could just eat like a normal person and not worry about gaining ten pounds immediately.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask.  I don’t even want to be skinny, I just want to be able to eat the food I love.  And I love food.  How could I not?  I grew up sneaking rolls in my family’s Italian restaurant.  And it just so happens my grandma makes the best berry custard pies on the planet.  Seriously, they’re magic.  This culinary-rich childhood has led to an extreme appreciation for really, really good food.  Unfortunately, the metabolism gods hate my guts.

Side ponytail for the WIN

Side ponytail for the WIN

My Body Back session is wrapping up and I’ve already enrolled in the class again.  I’ve lost about 10 pounds in 8 weeks.  Which I’m fine with because I’m stronger today than I was 8 weeks ago.  What I’m not fine with is the fact that I’ve lost and gained over 100 pounds during my twenties and thirties.  I’ve tried every fad diet known to mankind and I’ve been pretty successful with some of them but I always revert back to my old eating comforts.  I’ve come to the reluctant realization that those comforts have to be replaced if I’m ever going to maintain a body I’m healthy in.  Forgoing my favorite foods has been incredibly hard for me.  My family IS food.  Whether it’s crepes that taste just like my great grandma’s or homemade pizza from a secret recipe, every family memory I have is wrapped in a meal.  How can I just give that up?

Well, my future satisfaction with my life depends on it.  Because right now, I’m not satisfied with the quality of that comfortable life.  My energy levels suck.  Dairy has declared war on my intestines.  I’m medicated for depression and medicated for the side effects of depression medication.  I’m pre-diabetic and anemic.  And all I want to do is comfort myself with a giant, cheesy, slightly burnt piece of pizza.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get over my cravings for comfort food.  I don’t know if I SHOULD get over them.  Part of me wants to scream fuck it and eat a damn piece of pizza.  And then some cake and coffee.  Because I’ve worked really hard these last two months.  I deserve it.

Another part of me knows these foods will actually provide very little comfort, especially all that dairy.  How do I find new comforts?  How does this become a life change?  How do I come to terms with the stuff on the inside so I can be comfortable with the outside?  When will I stop being tired?

The key word here is change.

17 thoughts on “Dear Pizza, I Miss You

  1. I grew up in an unhealthy food environment. I come from solid German stock. I was fed meat and potatoes regularly. In addition, I wasn’t “monitored” on what was ok or not ok to put in my mouth. I ate chips, candy, dessert after every meal, etc. We had the “clean plate club” at our house. For my young life, this was ok. When puberty hit? Holy Shnikes! I instantly was at 130 lbs going into 8th grade. I then gained weight heading into college. Although I wasn’t “huge”, I was certainly chubby. And, I was unhappy. I too realized at some point that I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted AND be happy / happy with my body / feel good. So, I had to make changes. To this day, I battle with food. I can’t eat just one piece of chocolate. I have to eat a whole bunch of chocolate. And as soon as I do….I swear, I gain 5 lbs in a blink. My body has NEVER stopped craving the good stuff. I have, however, gotten better about managing the cravings in a healthier way. I indulge sometimes. I go too far sometimes. And, then I get back on track. I wish metabolism was kinder to me as well and that I just didn’t have to worry about this stuff…but such is life, I guess! Good luck to you with making changes. It generally isn’t easy, but it is pretty much ALWAYS.WORTH.IT.

    • It is always worth it. I have never felt that choosing something healthy and clean was a bad choice, but I’ve always regretted my decisions to indulge! I had a cheat weekend in between my Body Back sessions this weekend and I have been battling my digestive system all day.

  2. I SO get where you are with food!! I was there. Just an FYI if you so choose. Look at the Maria mind body health page. She has great info on our body’s and the way it uses foods and medication. It has been great getting off meds. and loose weight. Just a thought. Sounds like you are struggling a bit right now. Hang in there. Have a great day! 🙂

  3. Oh man, been there. I like to say that if there’s ever a famine, I could get by on less than the people with the fast metabolism and probably outlive them. I mean, that’s gotta count for something, right?

    Eventually, you’ll find something that works for you, that allows you to eat the food you love in moderation so you don’t have to give it up forever. I’m still in the process of learning that in a way that’s healthy and helps me be healthy and do all the things I want to do so if you figure out the secret first let me know.

    • Ha! I’ve said the same thing about outliving a famine. And I don’t think there’s any secret, it’s a complete shift in the way I tie food to happiness and coping. I just read a book on habits and how we need to replace bad habits with something else or we’ll keep reverting to the bad habit. I just need to be faithful to my new habit.

  4. Ugh, isn’t intresting how we can eat one thing and have immediately thoughts of negativity towards our body? Bet we didn’t have this thinking when we were 10, heck 12. Pizza…. I def had this earlier this week while out- I ordered a salad but couldn’t pass up a piece from a friend. And you know what? It was darn goooood.

    You are so right- the key word is change. And moderation. Balance. Hang in there — sounds like you are making amazing progress and I love the fact that you admit that you enjoy food! So few people can state that 🙂 more power to you!

    • Yes, Balance! I had a pretty free weekend with my food and my digestive system has been reminding me all day. I remember when I was a teenager, I was looking through family photo albums and I picked the exact moment I started to hate my body. I think I was in fifth grade when I tied my self-worth to my body size. I’ve had to rework my brain and I’m so much more positive now. But years and years of habitual hating is a hard thing to undo.

  5. As a nutrition teacher I will tell you that you shouldn’t be giving up things to the point that you are unhappy and miserable. There are a lot of comfort food substitutes out there. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s really about making better choices. Maybe you can still have the pizza but with a whole grain crust, low fat cheese and lots of veggies? I know this is a hard time for you. I have a friend that is going through the exact same thing. Hang in there. Hugs

    • I had a wonderful pizza this weekend with a wheat dough, artichokes and tomatoes and basil and a soy cheese. It was wonderful! I’m not miserable, really. Just sad I can’t partake in those foods I tie to my feelings of family and happiness. I AM miserable when I eat those foods and I have to deal with the discomfort they cause in my gut!

  6. A) I am virtually hugging you.
    B) I’m right there with you on the up and down weight. I am probably close to several hundred pounds gained and lost since college.
    C) Dairy and I have been estranged since 2008. For a long time I tried to just use pills to get through it, but I constantly felt terrible. I also realized I could handle goat and sheep dairy, and overindulgence on cheese fairly often. Once I gave it up (with the exception of Greek yogurt, which I can handle and love and the sprinkling of pecorino, which is sheets milk) I feel so much better. I don’t really miss it either. I’ve found my ways to deal with it, and sometimes it sucks. I’ve come close to tears at work events when I can’t eat anything because it’s made with dairy.

    For me, the key to changing as much of my comfort reliance on food has been finding new options. I made a tortilla pizza with just a little pecorino and lots of asparagus for dinner tonight instead of getting a marinara pie from the amazing pizza place next door. I’ve found ways to fulfill my craving and desire without killing my nutrition plan.

    • Thanks for the virtual hugs! I have felt so much better since monitoring my nutrition. My skin is clear and my stomach isn’t bloated and I’m just more comfortable. Really, I think the cravings just stem from bad habits. I just need new habits!

  7. I am so with you. I reach for chocolate when I’m stressed, when I’m bored, when I’m hungry, when I’m doing something special….it’s bad. And I eat way to much of it on a daily basis. I struggle with telling myself to get it together and asking myself why should I bother. Going cold-turkey just makes me want it more, so I’m trying to wean myself off…but as soon as I start, someone brings donuts or cookies to work…

    • Man, I love donuts. I don’t even know why, I always feel terrible afterward. I just read a book on breaking bad habits and making those positive habits automatic. I know that if I cheat on my diet, I tend to go crazy, like I’m never going to get to eat again. It’s ridiculous!

You’ve heard my thoughts! Would love to hear yours here.