I’m extra cranky tonight. I’m on a two-week diet and all I want is the bag of jellybeans I have hidden for when this damn diet is over. I suppose it doesn’t make much sense that I hid them, since I know exactly where they are. I guess I trust myself to have that knowledge, but not enough to have them out in open sight.
I’ve put on 20 pounds in the last 2 ½ years, for a number of reasons. About half can be attributed to grief weight after my father died. Around the same time, I had quit my job and was unemployed for a year. The combination of the two events forced me to move back in with my mother, a woman I like to refer to as Miss Daisy. At least five pounds is directly attributable to the fact that Miss Daisy drives me to closet drink every night when she retires to watch Wheel of Fortune.
I didn’t even realize how much I had gained until I saw a photo of me with my two older sisters. I am 10 years younger, and have become accustomed to being known as the good-looking, skinny one. (Hey, there’s a reason my parents were storing up those genes for so long.) I was horrified to see in this photo I am not the skinnier one. We are all on the large side now. I tried blaming it on the sweater I was wearing or that I was retaining water so my boobs looked disproportionately huge. But I knew I was creeping up to their size in a hurry. In case I didn’t know, Miss Daisy would like to conveniently remind me at family gatherings, with helpful tips like telling me horizontal stripes make my muffin top stand out.
I’m fortunate that my co-worker is also a fitness trainer. Normally I instantly dislike such über-fit perky people who weigh a number I haven’t seen on a scale since third grade, but since she’s as unhappy as I am most of the time we manage to get along. She initially tried to coerce me with emails containing YouTube home workouts to get me to exercise, since she knows I won’t actually drive to a gym to work out. She eventually realized that I’m about as stubborn as a red wine stain in white carpet and gave up.
I don’t believe in exercise. I tried doing Zumba at home for a while, but being part Polish, I don’t have enough coordination to dance anything but the Chicken Dance. Plus you always hear stories about people having heart attacks while running, or falling off treadmills, or having a giant Crossfit boulder fall on their head. Exercise is dangerous! My risk of a heart attack decreases when I don’t exert myself. Finally, my Trainer (I like saying that just to feel trendy) decided to create a diet that would cause me to lose weight without having to exercise AT ALL.
I lasted two days without Coke or wine. Then I became so intolerable at work that she eventually relented and let me have a glass of wine every night. It was quite successful, and I lost 12 pounds in November before taking a break for the holidays. When I went back to lose the next 10, nothing was working. I begged for an answer to get rid of this weight before buying spring clothes.
So for the last 7 days I’ve been on a high protein/moderate carb diet crafted just for me. Which means I get to drink wine every night, have a tiny can of Coke at dinner, and eat Pringles as long as I can choke down bran flakes, quinoa and a bushel of asparagus that will ensure that my pee will smell funky for at least a month. But it’s working. I’m thinking of writing a book about it and calling it “The Lazy Fat Alcoholic Diet.” Maybe that will land me on the New York Times’ Bestseller List.