My post-knee surgery life soon became a very frustrating cat and mouse game of “what will happen if I eat this?” While my knee felt better than ever, it took me about three months (and 30 lbs.) to realize that I could no longer eat the way I did when I was an avid runner. And after several “face palm” moments and another 25 lbs. that appeared almost overnight, I woke up to the realization that I could no longer eat a sausage biscuit with cheese every morning. I’m not sure what truth was worse; no more tasty sausage biscuits or no longer being able to fit into my jeans (despite several heroic and somewhat painful attempts).
Regardless, something had to give, and clearly it wasn’t going to be my jeans (oh, the dark times before stretchy jeans). So I began dieting. Now, I had dieted after the birth of my kids to lose pregnancy weight, but this was very short-term and it’s pretty easy to lose 20 lbs. in your twenties. In my mid-thirties, every single pound I chased, bullied, pleaded with and forced off my body was hard-earned. Each pound represented distinct periods of hunger and begrudgingly-denied foods that I dearly missed. For weeks, I would dream nightly of eating my favorite foods to my heart’s content—but I persisted. In six months, I lost 50 lbs., and to celebrate I started eating everything I had missed during that time. For obvious reasons it didn’t take long (like six months) to end up back where I started. And like an awful song on repeat, this is a cycle I would repeat for the next 10 years.