Valentine's Day is a holiday I associate with food. And it's not because of the chocolate, per se, though in my past, I have been known to buy myself a heart-shaped box and consume every little morsel inside.
I associate it with food because food was how I coped with loneliness for so many years.
I very clearly recall Valentine's Day 1990: I was a freshman in high school and my mom and her soon-to-be-fiance were going out to celebrate the holiday. I was to be left home alone. So to appease me, they brought me two Speedy Burgers (it was a heavenly fast-food place in Jacksonville, N.C., back in the day) and fries. Not just one burger. But two. And I ate away my loneliness.
I also recall Valentine's Day 1994: I was a freshman in college and my roommate wanted the room to herself so she and her boyfriend could "celebrate." I was sent to the ninth-floor lounge to watch TV, but to make the experience tolerable, my roommate brought me Ben & Jerry's. I even remember the flavor: Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt. Again, I ate away my loneliness to the bottom of the pint.
When I started my big weight-loss effort in 2003, I remember the hardest part was being tempted by all the Valentine's Day candy in the stores. But I made it through Valentine's Day 2003 and 2004 and 2005 like a pro. No more shoving in food to fill the loneliness.
Until 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
This Valentine's Day, 2010, I will be faced with typical temptations - including the stupid cupcakes offered at the race on Saturday. But I'm determined to make this a V-as-in-Victory Day, perhaps I can even make it my own V-E Day (as in Victory over Eating).
I realize the weight isn't coming off as fast as I'd like - probably b/c my jobs seem to keep me glued to a chair for, like, 12 hours a day or more - but at the very least, I know I'm taking myself in the right direction, finally.
It's a small victory for me.