Can.I.Rock.it?

Why Dieting Totally and Absolutely Sucks…

In I am... on July 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

Confessions of a Girl on a Teeny Weeny Bikini Mission

I have to get something off my chest.

But I’m afraid your opinion of me may be slightly altered by what I am about to tell you.

After much careful consideration, agonizing thought and deliberation, I have decided to go on a little d … di … die … DIET.

[Shiver]. It’s so much more real when it’s in black and white.

Okay here’s the thing. I’ve got a date with a bikini on a beach in less than 30 days. I don’t think I’m fat. In fact I’m doing pretty good for my height and all that.

But then I don’t quite look like this either…

So sue me if I want to look a little more like Ursula Andress when I emerge from that water; reaching for a dagger in my waist belt (obviously).

As I sat down at the kitchen table last week, fresh from my morning jog, tucking into a melted cheese and ham croissant, a bag of crisps to follow and a soft chocolate chip cookie for dessert, all strategically laid out in front of me, it suddenly occurred to me that something was wrong with this picture. With less than a month until full bikini body exposure time, I knew this kind of cushy lifestyle just wasn’t going to cut it.

I had gone too far, taken too many liberties. An Ursula Andress-style entrance was out of my reach at this rate.

And that’s how it happened. That was the moment reality hit and I realized it was either me or the croissant (or the cookie).

I browsed a few diet plans online, finding it amusing that many of them claimed their regimes would make you feel more in control, one site even going as far to say how sexy it is to be in control.

But I knew exactly what I was in for…

As any like-minded person might agree, diets are not sexy. ‘In control’ are the last words I would use to describe my state of mind since I started a diet five days ago.

Here’s a little insight on what an average dieter might experience during their weight loss efforts… (along with some mouth-watering food imagery to ogle at so you can really get a feel for just how painful dieting is).

Look in the fridge on day one of your diet. Everything in there will now rot because it’s not permitted on your new diet. Oh yes and you just went to the supermarket the previous day. How perfect is it that you came up with the will-power to start a diet on this particular day!

Peanut butter & pretzel bites (in case you were wondering)

Prepare to be confused pretty much whenever presented with the prospect of eating something. Am I allowed this Low fat Low carb double chocolate cookie dough ice cream fudge cake? It does say low fat, low carb on the box… would they lie to me? Why would they lie to me? Especially at this price. Stand there in the food aisle like a totally obsessive idiot for up to ten minutes, squinting to read the encrypted nutrition label. What has become of you? Who are you? …. a mere shadow…

Brie, ham and apple panini

Food envy– everywhere you go and everywhere you look. Dining out? Hey, you get to watch every succulent morsel of carbo-liciousness being devoured by your fellow diner. The complimentary bread basket? Cruel torture, plain and simple.

The 'Eton Mess' - crushed oreos, fresh cream and fruit

Not to mention deciding what to order in the first place. Presented with a menu, just wait for the little droplets of sweat to start rolling down your forehead as you browse the options. At least sweating means you’re burning cals right? Yeah! Awesome. Your heart jumps for pure joy as you think you’ve found a suitable option for your incredibly specific diet rules and regulations, but no. Read just a little further and you discover that it’s pre-marinated in lard. Damn it. Cry. Because you realize the only thing you’ll be ordering while on this diet is that stupid rocket salad. Stupid, stupid salad.

Salt and Pepper French Toast

Most diets advise you to dramatically increase your daily intake of water to 1.5 litres (just hope that this doesn’t later put you off water for the rest of your life). Now see if you can go half an hour without needing to disappear for a tinkle. If you work in an office environment, your boss/ co-workers will automatically begin to suspect you have developed some sort of drug habit. 

Blueberry lemon cheesecake pastries

Fallen off the wagon? Snuck a little innocent Kit-Kat in there did ya? [Thunder and lightening]. Well condemn yourself to a sudden, overwhelming sense of guilt worse than that time you stole candy from your own baby (I don’t have a baby, but I imagine I would feel pretty guilty). Oh god, oh god, oh god. Pure fear. Visualization begins of how those four sticks of Kit Kat are rapidly transforming into blubbering deposits of terrifying fat, building their evil little alien pods around your waist. Shshsh. If you’re quiet enough, you can hear them.

Beef, sweet potato and raisin Empanadas

Plan to lose weight without cutting out the booze? Haha! Fat chance. Sorry about the pun. And sorry about the really sober nights out you’ll be having while everyone else appears to be riding imaginary unicorns.

Rosemary infused Frozen Peach Bellinis

The dilemma of whether or not to tell people you’re on a diet. Other than your best bestie, who needs to know right? Except if you’re not typically known to refuse something that so obviously looks like chocolate heaven, or your usual Friday night glass bottle of wine, or a slice(s) of pizza on ‘movie & pizza night’ (the list goes on)– sure enough, the moment you refuse, up goes the eyebrow in confusion– “Are you okay?” 

Fresh soft cheese with toasted hazelnuts and chesnut honey

Oh, the humiliation. Either you try to invent some ridiculous excuse other than ‘I’m on a diet’– and this fabricated story will then lead the other person to again, suspect you’ve developed a drug habit.  OR– after years of slandering the latest diet fads, gloating about the simplicities and pleasures of life without diets while friends hopelessly struggled with theirs– just admit the fact that yes, it’s true, that was me lurking around the weight watchers aisle of the supermarket last night. I guess my sunglasses, bowler hat and trench coat in mid-summer attracted more attention than I had anticipated.

So quite clearly, I don’t want to be on a diet. Quite clearly, I think it’s kinda stupid. And quite clearly, dieting sucks.

But here I am, counting my calories… or is it carbs…? Oh please God, just make me look like Jessica Alba in a bikini.

Jessica Alba in a bikini

My boyfriend feels sorry for me and probably can’t wait until it’s over so we can once again play our favorite meal time challenge ‘who can finish their double decker burger the quickest?‘.

Friends who I previously made fun of for dieting are probably enjoying every second of this.

But let’s get a few things straight…

This diet doesn’t have the power to make me crazy or obsessive (repeat five times while breathing in and out). This diet probably doesn’t have the power to make me look like Jessica Alba in a bikini either (….okay then how about Angelina Jolie in the Lara Croft movies? I could settle for that…)

But this diet does have the power to remind me that no one is perfect. And hey, I guess that’s okay.

Too cheesy an ending?

Hmmm… cheese … melted on garlic croutons with … [fade out].

 

Err dude, Your Girlfriend is most Probably Cheating on You

 

 

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  1. Hello! I am 17 years old and my diet consists of the following- one serving of oatmeal for breakfast, one peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat (add bananas if available) and a small plate of the main course of dinner and two glasses of water. I have put myself on this diet because I am a) tired of the size nines I have to squeeze into until my belt imprints itself onto my fat rolls, b) all cottage-cheesy in my butt, c) missing the time when i was small and I felt less like Hagrid and more like a fairy princess in my tiny jeans and d) cursed with a binge eating disorder, where I eat mindlessly like a possessed zombie until all the Strawberry Swirl ice cream is lost in oblivion. And oblivion would be my lower intestines. So I thank you for blogging about this, because I am feeling the urge to eat coming on. Question: After a while, do you think my body will adjust itself? I don’t like this feeling of emptiness and fatigue. . .

    • Hey Kaitlyn.

      Even though it was just a comment, I really like the way you write. Witty, funny but also very honest. I hope you keep it up and develop it 🙂
      I think 17 was the exact age I constantly binged on junk food too and generally had a very bad approach to gaining/ losing weight. But as you get older, it’s funny because eating better develops like good taste, better logic and your overall sense of style develops! You become less interested in the cheap and crappy stuff and more interested in quality. When you start to buy your own groceries, you probably just won’t want to keep that stuff in your fridge. It’s a phase and you won’t have time for it pretty soon 😉 (For now I suggest trying fruit. Eating an entire watermelon doesn’t make you feel as guilty as Ben & Jerry’s).
      Having said that, everyone can be tempted by the smell of freshly baked cookies when you walk past a bakery. No crime there. Indulge occasionally.
      As for your body adjusting– it will, along with your brain! Just be logical and try to be as confident about your body at any stage. Don’t wear clothes that are too small. It’s okay to go up a size, especially in winter! Natural insulation! And don’t aspire to be a twig. Don’t shop for clothes for twigs either! I look at people like Brigitte Bardot for style inspiration. She worked those curves! I never thought I’d be able to accept my own curves, but I finally, finally did. I used to think boys would never like any other shape than Paris Hilton type figures. I was right. BOYS don’t. MEN do! It’s what they are naturally programmed to be attracted to. Boys will catch up and turn into men (most of the time), and they realize soon enough what is really attractive and what they really want to cuddle up with. It’s a very satisfying moment for us when they do realize!
      As for eating…
      It might be worth finding out what kind of foods your body works well with. But in most cases, if you can’t eat everything on the planet without any effect, like those really annoying people in life (although it will eventually catch up with them), your body is probably just slow (like most and like mine) at processing carbohydrates. Humans are basically programmed to digest meat/ fish/ veg and some dairy and whole grain. Having moved to Paris, I admit I’ve been over indulging in carbs (bread, pastries) and wine. So right now, I’m trying a protein-based diet to give me a little extra confidence before I hit the beach. Our bodies have to burn the carbs (and the alcohol) before it can burn the fat and so if I let my body concentrate on just burning the fat, I get to shift a little of the unwanted extras. You could say I’m following Atkins, except I refuse to go around with a scale and a calculator all day, counting my net carbohydrates! But I’m doing my best to cut out bread, pasta and sugar. I’m not hungry because these basic foods really fill me up. I can have rich meals such as steak with mushroom cream sauce, or eggs and bacon for breakfast and you know what, it really has been working quite quickly. But, I don’t recommend cutting out carbs as a long term solution. It’s not realistic and frankly, it’s just kind of weird. Often pretty unsociable too! I’ll slowly add them back into my diet and in the future, maybe not walk past the bakery everyday. Sure, when summer comes up, we can all start going a little lighter on the naughtiest of foods and maybe cut them out for a while. But don’t go hungry. Don’t go on weird, unnatural low cal diets. Yo yo dieting especially is a very bad idea and will pretty much mess up your body and making it harder every time to lose the weight. Dieting also makes you a little too obsessive for my liking! Don’t waste years of your life. Trust me!
      There real answer is no secret– it’s exercise. I know, I hate sweating. But it doesn’t have to be that bad. A year ago, I committed to putting on my running shoes and taking a high speed walk for 30-40 minutes as often as i could. Call it power-walking. Going swimming is my other option. Plunging into an extreme exercise plan never lasts. If you do some kind of regular light exercise in life, you feel less inclined to eat crappy foods, you feel less guilty when you grab a pizza once in a while and you generally feel more confident and in control of your body. It’s a good way to clear your head too! Some “me time”.
      Sorry I’ve rambled on. You might have regretted posting your comment by now! But you’re really the first person to comment on my blog so honestly and openly. This is something I really struggled with from your age for several years. So many misconceptions and bad self-perception. I tried so many diets, so many wasted gym memberships, binged like a madwoman– I just wish I had known what I knew now. I wish I had been more logical about things, not to dramatic and drastic with my body. Everyone has their bad days, but if you’re the strong and independent thinking girl that you sound like, your self-perception will dramatically mature, i promise. The less you think about dieting, the less you think about what you’re not allowed to eat and things just flow from there. Plus a little logic, confidence and good taste 🙂
      Hope this helped Kaitlyn.
      Thank you for your comment!
      Messy Nessy ❤

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