So So here is the situation. It’s 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday. At 7 p.m. this Friday, I will be at a fancy-dancy event at which I will be wearing a gown. A gown that will look considerably better if I am considerably less weighty than I am now.
I realized this, of course, at approximately 7:42 a.m. two weeks ago. And, at that hour, I got to work being pretty well behaved in the eating and fitness departments. I hopped on the elliptical nearly every afternoon. I ate weird snacks like yogurt-covered raisins and pumpkin seeds and mini-oranges. And I lost a little bit of weight. Not enough, mind you, but enough to be on track to reach my goal weight in time for the fancy-dancy event this Friday.
I knew, of course, that Thanksgiving was coming. And I knew that Thanksgiving involves both food and eating. However, I told myself that being goal-weight ready in time for this event was akin to being well prepared for an exam. You don’t want to procrastinate until the last minute and realize you have so much studying to do, you can’t possibly ace the test. That’s a terrible feeling. And so would this be if I didn’t stick to my guns and continue to eat beef jerky instead of Triscuits and cheese melted for 11 seconds in the microwave so it gets all gooey and perfect.
So I was armed going into Thanksgiving last Thursday. I was strong and pumped.
Then my sister-in-law Teresa arrived at our house with a chocolate cheesecake.
And then the gravy turned out particularly well this year. And the creamed spinach had Swiss cheese in it and the green bean casserole had heavy whipping cream. And then bread. And then butter.
Facing my plate, I thought of those videos out on Facebook of the old women talking about what they would do differently if they had their lives to live over. “Life is short. Eat more cake” is almost always their conclusion.
So I thought, “OK, it might be morally wrong to skimp on Thanksgiving dinner. I mean, what kind of gratitude am I expressing if I’m sniffing at the bounty of this meal? Not setting a good precedent for the coming year.”
So I ate. And then I had leftovers. And then I ate some more. And I picked off meat from the turkey when I wasn’t hungry and Teresa left me a whole keystone of cheesecake. And Julie had us over for soup and sandwiches and I ate, I’m pretty sure, more than her husband and my husband combined. And then Gabrielle made chocolate chip cookies for her friends and I asked if I could have three of them. Because she makes exceptionally good chocolate chip cookies and wasn’t it important that she know how good I think they are?
That’s just good parenting.
So then I landed on 7:12 a.m. Monday. No way in hell was I going near the scale, no sirree. Instead, I formed a plan. My friend Amanda is getting married in a few weeks and, hence, is on the Wedding Dress Diet, which is likely the most effective, highly motivated diet you’ll ever be on in your life.
My new plan was to essentially ride on Amanda’s diet coattails. She told me she’d already lost four pounds in four days. Four pounds was nearly as much as I needed to lose. So I asked her what she was doing to lose weight.
“Anorexia, mostly,” was her initial answer.
We had a good little laugh (Dear teen readers: Please be advised that anorexia is not a healthy weight-loss strategy), and she told me about the shakes she was drinking and metabolism boosters she was using and all the lean meat she was consuming.
I went to the grocery and I tried to get jazzed about having oranges and bananas for my snacks. I bought frozen fruit to make smoothies. I dragged myself on the elliptical.
And then dinner hit and an hour later, I was huddled over a bag of chocolate chips and a pot of peanut butter. I had a spoon and I was using it.
So now here we are on Tuesday. Unless I only drink broth and tea for the next four days, I will not reach my goal for the fancy-dancy event. And what’s more, it’s possible that deep down, I don’t want to reach it. It might even be possible that life really is short and cake really is necessary and that at 40 years old, I should just forgive myself and move on. There is no exam, after all.