I declared my major at Michigan State University in Elementary Education, with a concentrated subject matter in Language Arts. My certification requirements encompassed various teaching courses and English studies. I am not sure when I became an expert on nutrition, food and diet, but I took it upon myself to create a new regimen and menu in order to reach my goal. By the end of the summer going into my sophomore year of college I was going to be the most fit I had ever been at the time of presesaon.
So, without delay, I began my two-a-day workouts, while eating “healthy” and restricting myself from what I declared as fattening foods. I had no longer indulged in blizzards from Dairy Queen, I graciously declined all baked goods, and I cut back on my snacking throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables became a main pillar to my new diet, while anything “fat free” was a very suitable choice. My ultimate goal was not to lose weight per se, but to be as healthy and fit as possible by early August.
And that was how it all began… The game of rules and cutting out just one more thing.
I methodically started eliminating certain foods from my diet and cut back significantly on others. For instance, when I had recently learned how many grams of fat salad dressing actually contained, I figured that would be a smart place to start. Ordering a salad was a very frequent choice for me, but I had always ordered one with the request of being tossed with extra dressing. Altering my request slightly in words precipitated a deeper issue toward compulsivity. My language changed to “dressing on the side, please.” This new revolution allowed me to control just how much I had actually consumed. After all, this was all a test of control, wasn’t it?
Another drastic change I implemented immediately was the concept of frozen yogurt rather than ice cream. Though I thoroughly enjoyed a generous scoop of moose tracks or a Reese’s peanut butter cup blizzard, I figured the consumption of a fat free indulgence would be much more beneficial in my quest to reach my goal. I believed that any fat intake would only be a detriment to my ultimate goal. So my new rules began to apply, and I was not allowed to splurge, not even once.
Finally, I started limiting my portion sizes. Prior to this endeavor, I was known for overstuffing myself with whatever I so desired. Some of my favorites included, but were definitely not limited to, steaks, hamburgers, french fries, pizza, cheesecake, peanut butter, chocolate, bread.. lots of bread. Let’s just say, I was a champion when it came to earning “a clean plate award” at every meal. But, if I were to report for preseason in 90-minute playing condition, I would have to be very focused and particular. So I forced myself to stop finishing what was on my plate, because that in itself had to cut calories.
I knew these were the initial changes that needed to be enforced for quick results. My rigidity began, along with my very strict rules, and with that determination, my control soon became a lack of control.