Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not Quite Carrie Bradshaw

Sometimes I dream of becoming a successful freelance writer--the kind of writer who gets to sleep in, write articles in pajamas, and stay out in bars until the wee hours of the morning. Kind of like a non-smoker Carrie Bradshaw.

But then reality hits. On Monday, I went home from work early with a headache and slight fever. I went home, took probably a dangerous combination of Advil and cold medicine, and hunkered down on the couch to watch countless episodes of West Wing (see, I sometimes switch things up). I woke up the next morning, with a Benedryl hangover and a sore throat, and decided to take the day off to recuperate.

Instead of doing anything remotely productive, I once again pulled on my sweat pants, and decided to spend the morning mindlessly watching television and ignoring the sunlight streaming through my closed blinds. The longer I sat in my dirty living room, watching actors pretend to deal with political crisis, the worse I felt about myself. I ate my typical breakfast, oatmeal and melted banana, and then ate a large lunch--a wrap with refried beans, ground turkey, and sour cream--when I wasn't quite hungry, because, let's be honest, watching television and lying on the couch doesn't exactly work up one's appetite.

That's when things started to go horribly wrong. I had bought these 4 point WW ice cream cups the day before, and all of a sudden I decided that an ice cream would be the perfect compliment to my meal. I justified it by telling myself I'd just have a lighter dinner. So, I grabbed an ice cream cup and ate it in about 30 seconds. By this point, I was starting to feel pretty full. And a little guilty. I wish that I could have stopped then, pulled myself out of my funk, taken a shower, put on some real clothes (aka, something non-elastic) and left the situation. But instead, I grabbed another ice cream cup and gobbled the whole thing down before I had a chance to think about what I was doing.

The whole thing went downhill from there. At one point, I found myself in my messy kitchen, carelessly throwing flour, butter, brown sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl, making a disgusting, fattening combination that I could guiltily eat in front of the television. In order to balance sweet with salty, I made broiled english muffins with cheddar. I ate until my stomach felt like a block of wood. I ate until I figured one more bite would make me throw up. I ate until I wanted to cry. As I sat in the living room, I tried to avoid my reflection in the glass doors of the entertainment center. I tried to ignore my chubby arms, the emerging double chin. I ignored every phone call and text I received. What was I going to tell people? I'm alone, eating in my apartment, drowning in self pity, hiding from the world? Nah, I figured avoiding all contact with the outside world was my best bet.

Of course, eventually the day ended, and I went to sleep in a stuffed stupor. The next morning, I woke up, got dressed (I miraculously still fit in my work clothes), drove to work and instantly everything returned to normal. I resumed my normal day of checking e-mails, working, and eating my normal meals. The crisis lifted and I couldn't quite remember what compelled me to eat all of my limited groceries. No one at work noticed that I had gained 60 pounds overnight.

So, to sum up, I'm not sure if the life of a freelance writer is for me. As much as I resent waking up early and going to work, I have to admit, my job is probably the reason I'm not 300+ pounds right now. Having a routine and schedule may well be my saving grace. I envy people with the discipline and self control not to spend their entire days at home prostrate on the sofa with a bag of oreos. But I'm willing to admit (for the moment, at least) that I'm not one of them.


  1. Good job getting back to your routine today! I have had days exactly like the one that you just described. Well, except for West Wing, I'm more of a Buffy/Charmed reruns kind of gal on days like that. ;-)

    I have to agree that days when my routine is interupted always have the potential to be bad for my WLJ. It's time to start turning that around! It doesn't HAVE to be that way. Both you and I could some day have days off from work where we truly take good care of ourselves: eat right and get plenty of rest and fluids.

    Thanks for sharing this, it makes me feel more human about my "off" days.

  2. I would agree that working a normal schedule makes staying OP a lot easier.

  3. Being home is realllllly dangerous for me, too! I worked from home last year for a few days during the snow storm and I gained 3 lbs in the 3 days. ha. Since I pack my breakfast/lunch to bring to work, it makes it so much easier to stay on track!

    And it's just one day - it's not that big of a deal in the scheme of things.

  4. i work from home, and it was a really tough adjustment!!! it's hard to not be on a schedule.

    and we all have bad days like you described - here's hoping that today went better for you!

  5. Ugh, i am the same way when I'm home! But as Katie said above... we ALL have days like that, and at least your are having days like that less and less!

  6. Okay I am just reading this now so I am a little behind, but I can't begin to tell you how much I can relate to this! I know we all have off days, but that sounds literally just like many days I have had...with the makeshift sorta cookie batter and whatever-cheese-is-in-the-fridge english muffin pizzas. Becoming part of the blogging community has made me realize I am normal and having a bad day is normal. Glad to see your great weigh in this week, too! Congrats!