I stand staring into the abyss. I am about to embark on a journey of horrors, from which I may never recover. My pulse quickens at the very thought of what I am about to attempt.
A diet. Oh, the humanity. What torture I am about to inflict on myself! Woe unto me.
Ok, that’s probably a bit dramatic. And the pulse racing is likely just the high blood pressure from having pancake batter coursing through my veins.
But I fear the diet all the same. It is not in the slightest a happy decision to make. But coming back from a cruise, where indulgence is the order of the day, I find myself needing to do so with alarming necessity. I was already overweight before I went on the cruise, of course. I’ve been heavy for the majority of my adult life. But by the end of our vacation, the cruise ship had to dump off a few lifeboats to offset the water displacement I caused with my gluttony. The waiters actually started to look nervous when I was ordering and eating. I can’t say what they were thinking, but it was likely that none of them was all that keen on giving me mouth to mouth with my impending heart attack. The captain was actually pretty pissed off. He had to continuously make course corrections to account for the tidal effects my personal gravitational forces were causing.
My major problem with dieting is not the principle of losing weight. It’s a good thing to do when you are in danger of having your awkward waddling filmed and made into a documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman. (Go ahead. Try to avoid reading the rest of this in his voice.) My issue stems from knowing exactly how it will go.
Stomach: I’m hungry.
Brain: Sorry my friend, we’re on a diet.
Stomach: I don’t recall agreeing to this.
Taste buds: Me either. These carrot sticks freaking suck.
Brain: Come on guys. We have to do this. Pancreas, Liver, Kidney and Intestines are really, really suffering.
Stomach: No. Fill me. NOW.
Brain: No! We’re on a diet! I’m in charge here, and we’re losing weight!
Stomach: Ha! You in charge? I call the shots here. FEED ME.
Stomach: now dance for me, puppet.
Brain: Yes Sir.
That is the hard part. Dieting pits your willpower against your cravings, and if your willpower had any stones in the first place, you wouldn’t be in this mess. My willpower is about as tough as that little Voldemort thing in Harry’s post death discussion with Dumbledore. No? Ok, let me try another example. About as tough as Neville Longbottom BEFORE the miraculous puberty spurt that turned him in to a snake-killing sword-swinging beast. (No, I’m not a huge Harry Potter Fan. I just like the concept of being able to wave your hand and have a table full of food without effort.) I think Bacon tastes like the tears of angels. The point is, my willpower sucks. On a diet, I’m always a moment of weakness away from freebasing corn syrup.
Dieting would be way easier if things were different. You eat food that you don’t like, and you eat less too. So not only do you get to graze on greenish matter that tastes like death, you don’t even get enough of it to fill your considerable hungry-hole. Add to the fact that all the well meaning advice you get that makes it hard for us fatties to navigate through the mess. Some of the nonsense you have to put up with includes:
The “you should write a food journal” people.
Now, I like writing and all. But I know what a food journal for me would look like:
Day 1: Feeling ok. This isn’t so hard! A little bit hungry, but I think this is going to work! Yay me!
Day 2: Ugh. No energy. Hate broccoli. Hate lettuce. Hate life.
Day 3: I just bit the dog because he’s a chocolate lab. And snuck off and I ate at Denny’s. God help me, DENNY’S!
Day 4: Come to me my minions! My sugary people! My gummy bears and Hershey’s kisses! We shall rule the world! HAHAHAHAHAHA…..
It only gets grimmer from there.
The “Oh, I should lose weight too!” friend.
If your friend is fat, this statement is fine. This shouldn’t bother you much. For all the others though, that can wear T-shirts that don’t look like single colour muumuus, they need to not say it. When they start talking about how they are soooooo fat and need to work out and diet I want to say: Shut up skinny person. I am fat. You are not. I am very hungry and cranky right now, and if you don’t shut up I’ll EAT YOUR SOUL.
The “well, you only have yourself to blame” people.
Yes, those well proportioned douche bags who think it’s their job to turn all Bob Harper on your chubby ass. Yes, we know that Twinkies are bad for us. Yes, we know that there are a ton of calories in a big Mac, and yes we know that tofu is healthy. We are fat because we didn’t care. Our taste buds overrule our knowledge. And when they get on you about working out, you want to start your exercise regime by free-lifting them and throwing them off a bridge. Our lazy fat selves know that exercising “increases your life span” but by my calculation, you gain exactly the time at the end of your life that you spent sweating away your will to live in the gym, and those years are adult diaper years, and you can darn well have them.
The will meaning family members
Now when I say this, know that I love you dearly, my well-meaning family members, and I don’t attribute ill motive to you, but we portly people struggle with you involving yourselves with our weight. Bad enough that when we’re dieting and we come over for dinner and it’s a turkey with stuffing and gravy and mashed potatoes and pie for dessert and oh my…..
Sorry, lost track of where I was going with that for a second.
But when we sit down to dinner with people who can eat what they want, because they don’t have a weight problem, and try and eat the salad and a tiny sliver of the good stuff, it’s torture. With all the wonderful smells coming from the food, it’s like being told at the end of a make out session that she “just wants to cuddle.” Add to that that your family, because they love you and want what’s best for you, are more likely than anyone else to bring up your weight in general discussion with all the family in attendance. You of course are caught off guard when they bring it up, likely with your chubby cheeks stuffed full of food, and can only chew in silence while you are told why you shouldn’t have eaten what you just did.
You’re not fat! You’re just big boned! You carry it well. You’re not overweight. You should love yourself just the way you are. Here, have a piece of cake, it won’t hurt you. We need enabling as much as a white trash NASCAR loving redneck needs another confederate flag on his dirty pickup truck, but we love the enablers all the more for it.
Can you see how it’s difficult? You not only have your own stay-puffed marshmallow man tendencies to overcome, you have other things to deal with as well. To top that off, you have to figure out your motivation for losing weight in the first place. If it’s because you think that you have a promising career in underwear modeling… don’t bother. They’d have to spend so much time airbrushing out your loose skin and stretch marks to make it worth their while. But if you have a good reason to lose weight, it may be more likely for you to stick with it.
My reasons? Well, there a bunch. I don’t like having to replace shoes once a month. I don’t like sweating when I eat, and I don’t like a vague sense that someone is in my blind spot when I’m walking. I don’t like working with the fear that I’m going to kill one of my munchkin-sized co-workers if I run in to them. And I don’t like the impression that being fat gives. Fat people are frequently considered stupid. Slow of mind, definitely not as intelligent as the skinnier people in the world. And unfortunately we have evidence of this. Rob Ford, for those in the Greater Toronto Area, serves as a great example. Other examples include Chris Farley, John Belushi ,and John Candy. (all the more frightening to realize that most of those are dead.) I like to pride myself on the intelligence I have, as small as it is, and I don’t like being considered dumber than I actually am just because I have fried chicken stains on my size 2XL dress shirt. So when it boils down to it, my number one reason for wanting to lose weight is arrogance. Which, being a very arrogant person should serve me well.
When it’s all said and done though, I must lose weight. And for that I must suffer. Sell your McDonalds stock folks…. Here we go.