Diet: THE 4-Letter Word...

There are a few topics that are universal- as in, they transcend culture, age, gender, etc. Love. Sorrow. Taxes. Pizza. Who can't relate these things? Well, as far as any normal person most of us are concerned, there is indeed one area that we can all identify with. It has generated millions of dollars in clubs, books, stores, and advertising. It is probably the single most broken New Year's Resolution ever. It has been the source of many tears and much frustration. No one likes it. Most people hate it. (If you like it, don't tell me. Please... I'd like to stay friends.) Anyway, only one thing could possibly fit this unflattering description.

DIET. (Ever notice the first 3 letters spell D-I-E?? Hardly a coincidence.) 

Haven't we all been on a diet at one time or another? Now, for all you little skinny people who can eat like horses and not gain a pound.... I'll try to contain my bitterness. Ha! Just kidding. I don't hate you... just your metabolism. Mine apparently went on vacation when I turned 19 and hasn't returned. Anywho, back to dieting. I remember when this was merely a word for other people. Older people. Couch potatoes, if you will. Or the unfortunate souls who actually had to "watch what they ate". (Don't we all do that anyway? When was the last time you saw someone eating blindfolded, other than on reality television?) If I gained a pound or two, I'd flip out and then in a couple days I'd be back to the same weight.
Truer words were never spoken. 

 Then one day I woke up and realized that someone had made my clothes smaller! Oh wait, those were my hips.

Ouch. Rude awakening.

The first step is always denial, right? So for the first couple of years after I lost my "food freedom", I just acted like everything was okay. Every so often I would get really depressed about and resolved to never touch Mountain Dew again, but (shockingly) that never lasted. It was like the Mountain Dew bottle would mockingly laugh at me, saying "We both know you'll be back!" (It was right... little nasty!) Even though I'd try to "do better" (aka eat the same things but feel a little guilty about it)... it never really worked out. 
You see, it's like this...

Story of my life.

Finally, about 6 months ago, I really got serious about losing weight. (At this point, I was going to have to replace half my skirts/dresses, and while you know I'm all for new clothes, it just didn't seem prudent to head down that road.) So, I decided that after Christmas, I was actually going to do something about it. (Famous last words!) But, first things first... 

Of course I couldn't start a diet before Christmas? Do I look like Ebenezer Scrooge? Talk about not making merry at Christmas... So, January 2nd I started the dreaded "thing".

The DIE-T. 

I definitely had my reservations. One of them being the fact that I have the self-control of... I don't know, something with no self-control. Another of them being that I was actually quite afraid of being hungry. Yes, I want to lose weight; no, I do not want to starve! (There's an actual emotion for this: hangry- aka, hungry + angry. It's not pretty.) And also, I seem to have self-diagnosed problem that involves the constant need to have my hand in a bag of chips. And a soda in the other hand. (And not diet soda. I could write an entire post about how much the taste of Diet Mountain Dew resembles poison.)

Pinterest didn't help, either. All these people posting pictures of people running, people with rock-hard abs, people eating rabbit food, people sweating. I do take comfort in the fact that 90% of those who pin these things don't actually run, have rock-hard abs, eat rabbit food, or sweat. (By the way, it's been said that sweat is fat crying. It's safe to say my fat is not a big cryer.) Oh and those pins: 

Bacon dipped in chocolate.

All these reservations definitely planted seeds of doubt in my dieting garden. But, this time I got smart and actually paid money to make myself miserable. (Weight Watchers, for those who are dying to know how I actually did the impossible and stayed with it for the past few months.) The points system wasn't too bad. I learned a few tricks early on to help me keep from feeling like a homeless waif nibbling on lettuce and crackers. 

Eat lots of zero point foods. Sure, you can go ahead and drink a soda, but you won't be able to eat again until Wednesday. Snacks are devil foods. You will never be able to enjoy a gravy biscuit from Bojangles again because they are like a gazillion points.

Etc., etc.

Oh, and don't be all like, "You're not fat! Blah blah blah..." because, scout's honor, it was really never about the way I looked. It truly was a concerted effort to save my current wardrobe and keep from having to purchase a whole bunch of new, bigger clothes. So really, it all goes back to the fact that I like a bargain, and I figured paying for a few months of Weight Watchers would be cheaper than a new wardobe. =) Oh, and I realized I was pickling my liver 32 ounces at a time.

At first, I didn't see any noticeable results. Unless crabbiness and deprivation are noticeable results. But I went a few weeks, feeling the same and also feeling that I was wasting my time and effort. 

Sorry, Babe.

Then I stepped on the scale and the first 5 pounds were gone. (I must confess, I danced around like a fool.) Before I knew it, the first 10 were gone. (Oh snap!) My Papaw used to say, "The joy is not in the doing, but in the having done." There is so much truth in that statement! I certainly did not enjoy doing Weight Watchers for 3 months, but losing a total of  13 pounds (and keeping it off, mostly =) is a most joyful thing. I really didn't think I could do it. And, apparently neither did my mother. How do I know this? Um, because after I had lost a few pounds she said, "Ash, I didn't think you could do it!"

Thanks, Mom. You are my rock.

Having lost weight is a great feeling. Trying on clothes that were tight and feeling that they're loose again is a great feeling. Is eating salad and applesauce for lunch every day a great feeling? Um, negative. But I'm glad I did it. Actually, I'm still eating salad. I even found a couple of diet drinks I like (Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi and Diet Sunkist, to be exact.) The only thing I've really "reverted" back to is drinking regular soda more often... what can I say? I'm only human. =) 

Oh, yeah... and I didn't even touch on working out. That's an entire post on its own. Let's just say, exercise and I are not friends. Every time I see someone post about "Great workout!", I'm like... eh, I need a nap. Sometime I'll actually accelerate my weight loss process by exercising regularly (more than a leisurely stroll around the playground every couple days.) I'm not counting on it, though. I get my workout by walking quickly around Target. =)

I'd love to know that I'm not alone in my feelings about this lovely topic. So, please do share your hatred similar thoughts about dieting. I'd love to chat about it some more! But not now... all this writing has made me hungry. =)


1 comment

  1. Great post, Ash! Although, I have to say I'm a little offended that you made so many references to those of us who are just naturally skinny and don't have to worry about dieting . . . I mean, be a little sensitive! We can't help our small bone structure . . .


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