What?! This from the girl who just finished injecting herself with pregnancy hormones to lose 13 pounds?! Indeed. Let me be clear, I didn’t do the HCG diet because I thought it would be a good time or because I get a kick out of taking a needle to the gut six times a week. No. I did it out of sheer exasperation. But I stand by my original assertion that diets are an absolute pain in the @ss. A tighter, more lifted @ss perhaps, but a pain all the same. And I’ve taken the time to document a few reasons why.
1.) MEAL PLANNING: I haven’t been on an eating plan so regimented since I was on the ‘teet.’ Eat this at 8am, drink that at 10; eat those at noon and more of that at 3. Good grief! But it’s undeniable. You must plan and prepare your meals every single day. Why? Because if you don’t, you will undoubtedly find yourself stuck in traffic with an evil fast food clown staring at you through the passenger window of your car. *shudder* Or that weird Starbucks mermaid laying across your hood waving cake pops and caramel-pumpkin-peppermint-mocha lattes at you with that creepy smile on her face. And trust me, no amount of windshield wiper spray will deter her from her nefarious mission. Bottomline: it’s just harder to resist temptation when you haven’t eaten in four hours and won’t be home for another two. So, you must plan. It requires a lot of grocery shopping, food preparation, and tupperware–all of which I find a bore. But if you want success, you gotta do it.
2. NO SOCIAL EATING: Part of the fun in going out to dinner with friends is having a cocktail or two, trying something you’ve never had before, sharing with your friends and ordering some massive dessert with four spoons so everyone can feel equally guilty after dinner. It’s a good time. So I will be damed if I go to a restaurant and pay $25.00 for baked chicken breast, steamed vegetables, and water. No freaking way! Sadly, what ends up happening is you turn down dinner invitations, skip the happy hours, and maybe even pass on a date, (if you’re not really into him anyway), just so you can stay on track and not put yourself in the position to fail. Having known myself all my life, I know that when presented with an array of tasty options, my will power is going the way of Herman Cain’s presidential hopes. Not a shot in hell.
3. CHOCOLATE IS LIFE …that is all.
4. GOING TO BED HUNGRY: Plan as you may, it doesn’t always work out that two hours after your final shake or meal or whatever, you’re in bed sleeping. Sometimes things come up and you find yourself wide awake at midnight….STARVING. I am neither Oliver Twist nor Little Orphan Annie. I don’t believe in going to bed hungry, which is why, when I was not on a diet, I would find myself popping popcorn at 11pm or baking sweet potato fries at midnight. (Awful, I know). But when you’re committed to a diet and you’ve done well all day, a stupid midnight snack just isn’t worth it. So what do you do? Pour a huge glass of room temperature water and drink it as fast as you can to fill up your stomach. Then grab a Tylenol PM or Benedryl and take your behind to bed! (Just kidding on that last part….maybe. ) Moving on…
5. IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON: And while my Falcons have not lived up to my pre-season expectations, (CATCH THE BALL, JULIO!), I still love to watch the game. But just like there are certain rules on the field, there are certain foods that coincide with the game. Salmon is not one of them. I honestly feel like less of a fan sitting in a sports bar with a piece of grilled fish or a spinach salad, while I’m surrounded by mounds of mozzarella sticks and chili fries. Salmon and salads are for wedding receptions and lunch meetings, not for football games. Bring on the super nachos and crispy buffalo wangs. You heard…WANGS!! (P.S. Thank you, Tony Gonzalez, for being the only consistent player on our team. *insert dirty bird here*)
So there you have it, my top five reasons why diets suck. Does this mean I’ll never go on one again? Of course not. What it does mean is that I’m not one of those people. You know, the Victoria Beckam’s of the world who encourage women to live off edamame and oxygen to sustain their waif-ish figures. Diets are not a way of life. They’re a means to an end– often just a temporary fix unless you have the discipline to maintain it through moderation, healthy eating, and consistent exercise. But whether you’re doing it to fit into a slinky new dress, define that six pack for beach season, or to jumpstart long-term lifestyle changes, just know…it’s gonna suck. Old habits die hard. But don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll get through it…one asparagus spear at a time.