I’d like to start this post off with a secret that I’ve been harboring for about 10 years. I think Rachel is the only one that knows, and honestly it’s too funny (and relevant) with this post to not share. When I was in middle and early high school there was a show on MTV that I applied for NUMEROUS times. I desperately wanted to be on the show made-specifically to become a soccer player. I wrote them a handful of times pleading to put me on the show. I had my mom videotape me and sent them a cassette audition tape. I wrote on the chat room boards, begged through Myspace messages and entered every contest that they had. Thinking back, I’m not overly shocked. That behavior is something that I’m constantly fighting/indulging/analyzing/encouraging. It’s the obsessive, discipline craving, push me to my limits type of behavior that I can’t explain.
These type of things never start off small for me. Instead of trying to bake a cake that I like, I enlist myself in professional cake decorating classes. Instead of entering school plays, I took improve classes and enlisted in a performing arts school. Instead of drinking coffee and creamer like a normal person, I cold brew my own coffee-infuse it with hazelnut and a hint of vanilla-before blending with ice. So clearly, when it comes to diet and exercise, I can’t just vow to eat better and hit the gym more often. I end up signing up for weight loss challenges, taking extremely strict diet measures, and meal plan the shit out of my groceries. What can I say, I’m a bit of a lunatic.
All of these thoughts came to fruition last night when Jake and I were having a discussion over cake. A few weeks ago, I realized that I was drifting farther and farther away from my ending weight from the Orange Theory challenge. I was on the hunt to try something new, something that would test my limits. I was craving a new challenge (with a large cash prize). One of my favorite Fitness Instagram “stars”, Paige Hathaway, advertised her ‘Fit in 5 weeks’ challenge and I knew that I had to sign up. After all, first place wins $5,000 … GOODBYE CAR PAYMENTS.
I signed myself up and then suggested (forced) Jake to do it alongside me. He’s not officially in the competition, but he will be doing all the workouts and all the dietary changes. Jake has been looking for something to motivate him to drop some pounds, spend more time together as a unit with our puppy Murphy, and to see if we can help ease his lethargic ways. The control freak inside me was screaming, YES! There is nothing I love more than mass production of meal prepping, bossing people around at things I think I know, and working towards a goal. YES! YES! YES!
The start date was a little unclear and ended up being a week later than originally planned. For me, I was so excited to get the email and begin this 5 weeks. Jake however, was not. He was hoping for more notice, more time to prepare, just… more time. When we sitting down at brunch on Sunday I told him that the challenge was starting the next day. His reaction was not overly eager, but he seemed willing to give it a shot. I explained that the first week was a depletion week. We would only be eating eggs, green vegetables, and lean chicken. I warned that it would be hard and that cravings would haunt him. He agreed and we spent the rest of our Sunday in peace with cheat meal galore.
Monday rolled around and Jake complimented the egg white omelet I packed for breakfast.
He text me at lunch to tell me someone asked about his cool new salad Tupperware. Jake ate the sautéed spinach on his dinner plate and said, “This isn’t bad.”
We took Murphy on a walk and even did some light jogging. FOLKS- I WAS ON CLOUD NINE. It all came to a halt when I was getting ready to get in the shower and he says, “So, let’s talk about this cake…” My inner control freak was pulling all the “NO!!!” levers in my internal command center. I felt my eyes widen, my fists clench, and my smile droop just ever so slightly. I glanced hastily to the half-eaten birthday cake leftover from the weekend.
“Jake, you cannot eat that cake. We are on a Fit in 5 Week challenge.” He replied that he really wanted it and that he had been so good all day. He said phrases like, “can’t go cold turkey” and “we should ease into things” and “it’s a process, babe.” I swear I could feel steam coming out my ears. “Do whatever you want.” I mumbled as I left the room. I spent the next 10 minutes in the shower going through all sorts of emotions. Anger, frustration, annoyance. HE ATE THE FREAKING CAKE.
As I started to get caught up in my military school mentality, I thought about sweet Jake. He had been supportive, agreeable, and WILLING to be forced into my culinary camp from hell for 5 weeks. I told him he was doing it. I told him what to eat. I told him that we were going on a walk. Now I was telling my grown boyfriend to not eat cake? Clearly, I let my control freak flag fly. I should have been supportive, understanding, and encouraging. This IS a process. I SHOULD help him ease into this lifestyle. People DO struggle going cold-turkey.
So as day 1 came to an end, I reflected on my communication and decided that tomorrow would be better. I won’t stop pushing. I won’t stop holding myself and him accountable. I won’t let either of us quit. But maybe, everyone now and then, I can let Jake have his cake AND eat it too.