Who moved my toothbrush?  Why are there dirty socks on the bedroom floor?  It’s so hot in here, can’t we open a window?  Sound familiar?  It’s not always so easy living with somebody else, especially when their needs don’t always match our own.  My husband Peter is a really great guy.  I’m lucky in many ways, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t step on each other’s toes sometimes, and annoy one another.  We do.  The good news is that it doesn’t happen too often, and even when we do get on each other’s nerves — we don’t take it seriously — we don’t sweat the small stuff — well, not for long anyway 🙂

With both my running and my new healthy eating habits, I think my success comes partially from having the support of Peter and our girls.  When I don’t want to go for a run, our daughter Erin reminds me she is my weight loss buddy, and encourages me to go.  Then I am so glad I did, because I feel awesome when I’m done.  My husband Peter completely embraced the Weight Watchers cooks books and recipes and dedicates some time each week searching out new recipes for dinner, so no one in our family gets bored with our eating routine.  So when I get annoyed because there is no replacement garbage bag in the garbage can, because Peter forgot OR when somebody washes my white socks with their colored laundry — I tamp down the aggravation because I KNOW that the love and support I get from my cohabitation partners is so much greater than the trivial small stuff could ever be.

Learning to live with other people, Cohabitation — takes time to settle in and let your habits mesh with their.  And anytime you bring a new member into your home, whether it be a new baby, grandparent, dog, cat or bird — the readjustment period starts all over again.  All the sand in the bottle has to readjust, and settle down into the new normal.  Well, for the past two weeks there have been some new things in our home, and the Cohabitation adjustments have been moving along.  Did we get a new dog?  Er, no — we decided to let Delicious Treats come live in our Pantry again. [GULP!]  I know right?  What was I thinking?   I should have adopted 6 cats instead.  I’m crazy.  I had a nice sanitized fridge and pantry.  Only fruits, veg, greek yogurt, carefully chosen low point cheese items, WW smoothies, and some almonds and walnuts allowed here!  Nothing Chocolate Need Apply!  Well, I opened up the door and allowed Food to come back and Cohabitate with us.  It was scary at first.  I thought I would go wild and eat everything as soon as they were back, but to my own surprise, I had changed while the Food had been away.  Yea.  I’ve learned a few things during our separation — and I was looking at the returning buddies in a new and different light.   I wasn’t as starry-eyed as I was before when I banished them for being, well….Too Good.  I wasn’t like a giddy-school girl in love with them anymore.  Nah.  This time, I looked at them like — hmm — “you look smaller than I remember. ” and  “You don’t smell as good as you did before.”   Funny how that happens, right?

As one week became two, I allowed my new-found strength to expand, and welcomed other old friends back into the house.  So picture this.  In little snack baggies, on a shelf in my pantry live small handfuls of chocolate covered pretzels, flavored almonds and peppermint bark.  Nestled next to them, as close friends often do, sits an unopened box of WW coffee cakes.  Unopened.  Did you catch that?  It’s been there for over two weeks and it’s STILL Unopened!  Somebody call the Doctor because something is wrong, so very wrong.

No actually, something is so very right.  I learned that I was severely under-estimating myself in terms of how much control I had developed, and dramatically over-estimating the power that food had over me now.   My emotions are not as tied to eating coffee cake anymore.  Notice how I didn’t say they are not tied at all.  No, I won’t be cocky enough to deem myself cured.  I’m not.  But what I learned is that my emotions are much more tied to how I feel after a run than they are to food.  This, THIS, T-H-I-S  IS HUGE, and makes me so happy.  I love knowing that I can open my home back up to food, and not feel like it’s whispering to me anymore.  I love that I can have these types of snacks in m house for TWO WEEKS, and not feel driven or obsessed with eating it all until it’s all gone.  This IS how I used to feel.  It wasn’t that long ago that I’ve forgotten.  But, enough time has gone by that my new habits of eating greek yogurt with berries, and almonds for snacks have really taken roots, and I can let the other Banished Foods come back to CoHabitate with me, and not feel moody and sullen about it — like a weepy hormonal teenager aching for a word or two from the boy who broke her heart.

Nah — all you sugary treats and salty snacks, you haven’t broken my heart.  You squeezed it, you bruised it, you made it pump like it was going to beat out of my chest when I was 277.2 pounds —- but you didn’t break it.   While you were gone, it grew stronger, and leaner, and slowed down to the rhythm of a nice weekend run.  So, come on back into the house — because I like a nice Date Night with the Treat of My Choice Every Now and Then.    But the days of loving you all the way to the edge of reason — well that was Then.   If you want to come Cohabitate with me NOW, well…’re going to have to compete with my Sneakers for my attention!

Ciao for now……Diane

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