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.