New Year’s Eve. A nationally recognized night set aside to make fun, crazy, and extra special plans. To make dinner reservations weeks in advance to celebrate this highly anticipated evening. To spend three times as much money on a meal or activity than it may otherwise cost. To eat, drink, and party until the wee hours of the morning. To host friends, prepare spreads, bake themed cupcakes, decorate with glitz and glamour, and dress in the most trendy, sexy outfit of the year. And, finally, to watch and countdown the New York City Times Square ball dropping at the clock striking 12:00a.m. At that moment in time, we scream, “Happy New Year!” as loudly as our voices allow, and kiss our significant other, spouse, or even just the random person who happens to be standing next to us at that ever so notable time.
My New Year’s Eve was much to the contrary. I could easily go the route of blaming it on having two little kids, who are typically in bed at 7:00pm and 8:00pm. But, unfortunately, that excuse can only take me so far. When it comes to meal time, I salivate over the thought of sitting down, without my kids, in peace, and having the ability to chew and swallow my food consciously. So, on New Year’s Eve, my husband and I had a great idea–to carryout a special, elaborate dinner, but not until after we put the kids to bed. It’s like telling me to fast on Yom Kippur. When I know I can’t eat, and have to wait until a certain time, I am starving! So my night of noshing began when making dinner for the kids. I was so hungry. Much hungrier than usual. At 5:30pm. Any other night, I would have been able to make it past 5:30. I swear.
For two straight hours, while waiting eagerly for our time to eat, I deliberated what it was that I desired for dinner, and where I wanted to get it. Let’s be honest. I eat the same shit everyday. So anything outside of my daily regime consisting of four or five foods could technically be considered “special.” So I started pondering and having deep thoughts. Sushi? Burger and fries? Coal fire pizza? And my mind traveled; to a place I loved and hated at the same time. It all sounded so delicious, but why was making a decision on food and what I wanted for dinner such an operation?
We put our first kid to bed, leaving one to go. Read him books, kissed him goodnight, and wished him a very happy new year. To him, it was like any other night. Same dinner. Same toys. Same Popsicle before bed. And same bedtime. My husband and I did the same hallelujah dance after shutting his door, but this time more excited than usual. We knew it was time to call in dinner. “What should I get? Come on, Erin. Decide quickly! It is late,” I thought to myself. To delay the inevitable, I called in my husband’s order. This bought me three more minutes to make my final decision. I hung up, and I sat there. “Are you going to call in your order?” he asked. Now, I had no choice. “Sushi! I will go with sushi. Because it is New Year’s Eve, my husband hates sushi, so we never go out for it together,” were my continued thoughts. I placed the order, waited five minutes to leave, and went and picked up our New Year’s Eve feast.
First stop: The Nickel Taphouse. My husband ordered a turkey burger and an order of French fries. It was ready and waiting for me at the bar. I paid, grabbed it, and ran back to my car. After shutting the door, I was suffocated with the fumes of fresh, hot, greasy French fries. “Shit. I have to ride all the home, and not reach in the bag to grab one. I can’t. Don’t. At least wait until you get home,” I reasoned with myself in my head. I did it. I resisted the temptation of opening up that cardboard box filled with pure, salted delight. And, went and picked up my sushi from a nearby restaurant.
I made it home in record time. I was either that hungry or that fast of a driver. Whichever it was, my husband was impressed with how quickly I returned home. We set the table, looked each other in agreement to start, and Bon Appetit! Let’s eat! It was one of those meals where I didn’t know where to start because I was so famished. I typically start with my green salad, and then move on to sushi rolls, but I was ravenous. My rules quickly disappeared, and I threw a hot piece of my dynamite roll down my throat. Was it really that amazing? It was perfection. And within seconds, I devoured my entire takeout order. But, there were no kids screaming, throwing food, or demanding more to drink. So what the hell was my excuse for not chewing my food and enjoying it in a normal, appropriate speed? Gone. Vanished. Done. Every last piece.
Those French fries looked amazing. I resisted them the entire four minute drive home, so I felt like I earned the right to reward myself. And without any control, I grabbed his box and gorged myself on those fresh cut fried potatoes. And, then… I felt sick, regretful, and angry at myself. And, that is my food battle that I so often fight.
Which led me to my next issue. I had been counting down the days and minutes until the NCAA College Football Playoffs. Unbelievable that my alma mater, Michigan State University, won the Big Ten Championship, had a record-breaking season, and made it to the national semifinals to play Alabama. The excitement and anticipation for 8:00pm on New Year’s Eve was unlike any other leading up to a sporting event. But, that food coma.
I immediately parked myself on the couch ready to relish in the glory of the Cotton Bowl, covered up with a blanket, laid on a pillow, and admitted that I just needed a ten-minute power nap. And, as you can imagine, ten minutes turned into the first half of the game. I struggled and tried every technique to keep my eyes open. I really did. I was never truly fully asleep because I didn’t want to be asleep. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.
…and I woke up on January 1, 2016 ready to rock the new year! Here is to Michigan State Athletics, making new memories, enjoying my family and children, growing Kick the Scale, helping people identify and overcome eating disorders, to great health and happiness, and enjoying things in moderation! Cheers, and Happy New Year to you all!