A food critic's commitment problem nearly derails her un-fatting
Over the last few months, I went from the worst shape of my life to the best while continuing to eat like a food critic. Don't punch me in the face; instead, read how I did it in this series:
It's been almost a year since that full-length mirror-initiated wake-up call sent me to Jamie Atlas, Bonza Bodies owner and personal trainer, with a plea that he help me un-fat my ass without forcing me to quit my job. Things went swimmingly for a long time, and I dropped pounds and toned up while continuing to indulge in booze, bacon and butter, my three favorite food groups.
And then, three months ago, I hit a wall.
More specifically, I did an abrupt and lengthy about-face, undoing plenty of hard work and adding more padding to my love handles in the process.
It was probably inevitable. Moderation is a weak spot in my personal development, so after months of dabbling with the notion of balance, it was just a matter of time before I'd tell the middle ground to go fuck itself and head right back to the extreme end of the spectrum, embracing glorious hedonism and eating and drinking whatever I wanted -- mostly some form of the three aforementioned food groups -- whenever I wanted, which is basically all day every day.
Adding fuel to the fire, I became skeptical of Jamie's plan altogether. In a way, I get paid to think about food all day every day, and I spend hours analyzing experiences and parsing them out, determining what's worth eating in this town and what's not. And even if I don't write about it as much, I also spend a significant amount of time mulling over sources of food, food systems and where food fits into politics. Those topics were, after all, the basis of my undergraduate degree, and they remain an undying passion.
Ironically, though, Jamie's food plan had me doing the opposite of thinking about food -- instead, I was blindly following a diet created by someone else. Even if it was a food plan that encapsulated my employment duties and seemed to work, I began to bristle defensively every time Jamie asked me, "So, how's food going?"
And so I rebelled, reverting right back to my old self, a person who really likes eating dessert for breakfast, choosing mac and cheese as a side, and finishing her Tuesday night with a nightcap.
Jamie was not pleased. In fact, he threatened to break up with me, giving me a wake-up call of his own in which he suggested that he'd possibly done all he could do for me and perhaps we needed to go our separate ways for a while.
I shrugged, flippantly. And then I took a self-imposed break from Bonza.