Welcome to the second part of our look at dieting. If you read yesterday’s episode (CLICK THE LINK, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!), you’d know that it’s all about starting a diet, how hard it is, why people look stupid when they model for those diet photos, and the added idiocy of having a last final hurrah takeaway.
So how about you? Are you on a diet? How has it worked out for you? Is this your first time on diet, or are you like me, and a serial dietee?
Please write and let me know ‘cos I’m bored and lonely.
Anyway, enough of the jibber, and on with the jabber…
Week Two is the week when you actually start a diet. Before then, you’re just a diet-tourist, dipping your toes in the water, seeing how horrid it is. You can pull out at this point without really losing face. After Week Two, this is less of an option. Week Two is when it starts to feel a little more of a long-term commitment. But so far, things are OK. You’ve not put on any weight, you might even have lost a few pounds, you’re just feeling a little empty and wan (I love the word ‘wan’. I could say it all the time: wan wan wan wan wan wan wan. I’m gonna slip it discreetly into this post a few more times now). So far, it’s all going reasonably to plan.
The challenge is now to have a diet mindset. If you are on a diet, you have to BE the diet. You are not eating fat, or carbs, or sugar. You are changing the way you see food. You might start actively hating those things, a bit like ex-smokers always become incredibly annoying and preachy about other people smoking in public.
Your offspring will notice what is going on. Being a parent on a diet is a wobbly balancing act between being evangelical about healthy eating, and also allowing your children their regular indulgences. Unless your kid is a wobblesome lard-bucket, it’s not fair to put them through your grown-up bullshit food anxiety problems, and certainly not fair to expect them to join you on your diet. It’s tricky. It is, of course, a Good Thing to encourage your children to eat healthily and not to overdo it… but is it a Bad Thing to instil your shame at your body into them at such a young and impressionable age? Probably not, but you don’t want your daughter (or your son) to obsess over their weight while they’re still in primary school.
Inevitably though, the whole household will adapt to the changes you are enforcing. Buying habits will change. More fruit, more vegetables (expensive!) but less selfish indulgences, and less crappy-snacks available around the house. Smaller portions at dinner time. Some foods are now completely off the menu. There are more experiments with cooking.
Week Two of the diet usually coincides with the grip of post-Christmas January. The weather sucks. There’s no light. Everyone’s depressed, maybe feeling a little bit wan. The kids are back to school for the worst term of the year. You’re back to work, and the TV schedules have stopped being so fun, and are now pumping out diet-industry adverts and healthy eating cookery shows. You start to feel empty. Hey, this is dieting!
Here is a typical day:
1. You get up in the crisp winter morning ready for work, and get offspring assembled for school. You make yourself a black coffee, and pour out the “recommended” (according to the back of the cereal box) 30g of bran and raisin-based cereal. No more Coco Pops for you, pops.
2. 30g of cereal is a tiny amount. Literally four bran flakes and a raisin. That’s a normal breakfast?! Who for? Bobby Sands??
3. Black coffee without any form of sweetener is fucking disgusting. It’s like drinking a cigar in liquid form. Why would anyone do this?
4. You’re walking to work. Walking to work is one of your New Year Resolutions, and for once, you’re going to stick with it and you are not going to dump it the moment it gets hard or inconvenient. It’s a three-mile walk, but it’s mostly downhill.
5. *puff!* *pant!* *wheeze!* *gasp!*
6. Walking downhill at 8am, in the freezing January morning, for three miles, is fucking tiring. You arrive at work sweating, disgusting, red-faced, and foul. It’s a good look!
7. “I’m not walking home. That’s one resolution into the bin, and I don’t care, because actually living without knackeredness and breathlessness is more important. Fuck walking. I’m taking the bus with all the methadone addicts.”
OK, so how are you doing? Fun, huh? Dropped a belt loop? Feeling wan right now? Are your clothes feeling baggy? Feel like jumping up and down like the annoying chumps in those stock photos that appear on the covers of diet magazines yet? Or do you feel like shoving your trolley around a supermarket with kids whining for sweets, and you looking at bags of crisps in a longing fashion? Diet crisps are the worst. As is diet cheese. Diet food in general sucks. But the diet is doing good things. You get a good night’s sleep, but you’re not sure why. Those late night snack cravings are sometimes hard to overcome… but you overcome them, and you don’t die. You’re not going to die. You’re not starving. You’re OK. The end result will be worth it.
(Actually, I don’t know this for a fact, because I’ve never had an ‘end result’ from dieting, because I always fail at dieting like a big fat ugly failure).
END OF THE WEEK STATUS:
I can do this. It’s easy. I can do this. It’s easy. I can do this. It’s easy.
WEIGHT LOSS AT THE END OF THE WEEK:
2lbs. OK. Not bad. I can work with that.