I have a dear friend who suffers the same affliction I do….a healthy appreciation for food and an ever growing waistline, and after a summer of indulgence (and notable expansion) we’ve decided to tackle the battle of the bulge together! Maybe being held accountable to someone will give us the will power we need. Or, maybe the idea that the other could best us in the competition will deter us from cheating. Whatever the motivation, we’re in it together and determined to succeed.
I should point out too, that neither of us is idle so exercise is not the issue. I include a brisk 60 minute walk in my daily routine and a 20 minute yoga regimen (not for weight loss, rather just to keep things moving, kind of like lubricant for my joints) but age, menopause, and gravity have conspired against me (the latter being my biggest offender) And weight loss doesn’t necessarily guarantee our youthful figure will return intact. Things have a way of shifting around, (kind of like melting butter immediately placed in the fridge – it congeals in globs at various locations) and all the lycra spandex on the planet can’t move it back to where it belongs. But we have to try, and it’s only twenty pounds. How hard can it be?
Day one – I decide early in the day that I’ll only have two meals today, a late breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, and cheese. Great for a lumberjack – not so great for the start of a diet, but we’re going to a dinner party later that evening so I need something to sustain me until the evening, where I will exercise portion control. Dinner was lovely, rich and delicious, and I almost made it out on track but then dessert came out. Forgive me father, for I have sinned……there was cake. Really good cake….so when they offered to send us home with several slices I had to accept. (it would be rude to refuse, yes?) I’ll start my diet again tomorrow. It’s only twenty one pounds. How hard can it be?
Harder than I thought.
Day two – I start my day with a healthy breakfast of assorted fresh fruit and coffee. This should hold me until lunch, which I’ve already decided will be a salad of some kind. I’ll supplement with water, lots of water.
My darling husband has decided today is the day he wants to spend with me, i.e. NO golf. We’ll go for a drive in the countryside he says, and have lunch. He’s played golf the last 98 of 109 days and today is the day he decides to treat me for lunch, and not just any lunch; this is lunch at a charming little bistro we favour about an hour from home. (Surely you can see my dilemma? I may never get this offer again) We brought along a dear friend who’s good company and we knew would enjoy the outing (and provide me with some much needed distraction) I’m already mentally scanning their lunch menu recalling they offer a great seafood salad.
Determined not to lose my resolve, I focus on the scenery the whole ride up, chatting distractedly and ignoring my grumbling tummy. (ok, maybe I should’ve had something more substantial than fruit for breakfast) We stop at a couple of roadside farm markets (God, I love those) where I peruse the strawberries with one eye and secretly scan the baked goods with the other. Fresh biscuits – is there anything more heavenly than the scent of fresh baked breads? (I bet they’d taste good even with the plastic wrapper) I glance hopefully at my husband who mercilessly reminds me of my diet, and silently (ok, not so silently) I curse him, stepping away from the baked goods and feigning interest in the various lettuces, yum.
Securing my bag of vegetables, I trudge back to the car taking one last huge sniff of the baked goods as I walk by. I can do this I remind myself. Exercise some self- control, that’s all. After visiting various points of interest we finally arrive at the little bistro and I almost leapt from the car anxious to satisfy my now ravenous appetite. Now, I could lie and say I had the salad, but I didn’t. They were offering a brunch option so I ordered smoked salmon eggs benedict, on thick crusted bread (I knew I’d get it in somewhere on this trip!) served with a hearty pile of fried potatoes. I’ll have salad for dinner, I vow.
But then the friend we were traveling with invited us to dinner, serving up a nice oven baked chicken, potatoes, and salad, and had I stopped there maybe I could’ve salvaged the lunch disaster, but I didn’t. There was leftover cake from our previous days dinner which I brought . (I had to eat it. How would it look to bring a dessert and then not eat it?) God, grant me the will power to do this I plead, and I make a solemn promise to start again tomorrow….. after all it’s only twenty two pounds. How hard can it be?
Day three. I awake with a renewed resolve… today is the day! I have a healthy but light breakfast, get my walk in, and exercise. I have guests coming for dinner, but that’s alright because I can control the menu; grilled lamb with potatoes and a big salad. I made a peach pie for dessert knowing it would be easy for me to resist because pies are not my first choice for sweets. After serving out wedges of pie for my guests, I cut off a sliver for myself, just to taste it. It was good, really good. Good enough to lop off a big chunk and inhale it. God help me! Where is my self control? Shamed by my weakness I go to bed swearing tomorrow will be the day. It’s only twenty three pounds. How hard can it be?
Apparently much harder than I imagined.
Day four. I wake up, pour myself some coffee and polish off the rest of the pie. Then I go shopping for stretchy clothes, and typically a day of shopping makes me very happy (my husband’s not so happy, but I love it) but I came home feeling totally dejected. (who said fat people are jolly?) I sadly toss my new purchases into a drawer and scan my closet admiring all the clothes that no longer fit, and then I got mad. At myself. When did I lose my self control. Where’d my will power go? It’s not like I’m dealing with a major task here. It’s only twenty four pounds. How hard can it be?
Damn near impossible. (wonder how my fellow dieter is faring?)
Day Five. I have three full days before my weigh in. I decide to do a ‘cleanse’ of my system. I read an article in a magazine recently that boasted a liquid only diet for 3 days not only cleansed the body of unwanted toxins but showed immediate weight loss, kick starting a healthy diet. (also a good way to camouflage my previous 4 days of delinquency) I bought a variety of herbs, spices and teas, convinced I could survive on a liquid diet as long as it had flavor. By 11am I’d ingested 4 litres of various warm brews none of which satisfied my now growing hunger. I open my fridge looking for inspiration, all the while wondering how to liquefy a loaf of bread. I spot a container of left over pasta and without hesitation take it out of the fridge, warm it up and settle in for a nutritious and delicious, not so liquid meal. Without any guilty feelings I clear up the dishes and head out for my daily walk determined to remain true to my routine even though I have once again, sabotaged my diet. I’ll find a new strategy. There has to be a diet out there that I can live with….and after all, it’s only 25 pounds. How hard can it be?
On the way out I pass my husband who is applying some sort of grease to the door frame. Puzzled I stop to ask what he’s doing, to which he replies (foolishly) “I’m just greasing up the doorways to make sure you can get back in”.
Day six and seven. I ate three healthy meals, exercised, and weighed in at 2 pounds under my original weight! So it’s good news all around! I finally found my groove… and the doctor says my husband should be able to eat solid foods in just a few weeks!