At the start of 2017 I started Slimming World. Well, I actually started attempting Slimming World last April, but it took me nine months to come to terms with counting syns for everything. Everything. Including the milk in your tea, the butter on your bread and the excessive amount of ketchup on your chips. No, I was not ready for that. Not ready at all.
Anyway, after spending a couple of minutes convinced my scales were wrong, because there was no way I could have put on that much weight this year, I decided it was time to get serious. I decided it was time to stop being a lazy excuse-maker and actually do this thing. No more cheeky takeaways, no more sneaky sauces and no more “need something to do while waiting five minutes for a bus” chocolate bars.
So here’s a post about my experience on a diet. This obviously contains some swearing and disgustingly soppy descriptions of lettuce. Obviously.
Hope you enjoy it!
I’m on the sofa watching Dragon Ball. It’s my last evening of freedom before I start this thing and I’m actually kind of excited. As I stuff my face with chocolate for the last time, I imagine what I’ll look like in one month, six months, a year. I see myself slimmer. I see myself happier. I see myself running in slow motion in a bikini on the beach. Yeah, I think, this is going to be great…
This is absolutely 100% horrible, I think, as I get off the bus for work on Tuesday morning. I’ve been awake two hours and all I’ve had to eat is a banana. A lousy banana! What sort of breakfast is that? I’ve had to skip the bacon sandwich, walk past the chocolate aisle and ignore every single pastry on the bakery counter. This is ridiculous. I can feel my stomach rumbling, screaming for me to eat something fat-filled and tasty. But all I can do is tell it to be quiet, as a tear rolls over my starving mouth.
Broccoli is all I think about as I wait for the lift to take me to the third floor. Wonderful, beautiful broccoli.
I have been on my diet for three days and I’m feeling like the king of the world. Well, king of the salad bar. But it’s near enough the same thing, right?!
Well, anyway, I’m enjoying this healthy eating malarkey. I’m enjoying the salads and veggies and bananas, and I’m enjoying spending my evenings gazing lovingly at lettuce leaves as I shovel them into my mouth. It’s super romantic. I can’t believe that anyone would find dieting difficult. I mean, come on, have you seen these beautiful, crisp, amazing little guys? Have you tasted them? Why would anyone need stupid old fries in their lives when they’ve got these perfect little stomach fillers?
Okay, I do. But it’s only because my friend has decided to buy cheesy bacon chips for everyone to share. And I can’t touch any. Any! This is a very sad moment and I make a point of repeatedly telling everyone that I am on a diet, which is why I’m not touching the chips. I make a point of explaining that I have not lost part of who I am because I don’t stuff my face like I used to anymore. I make a point of explaining that I’m not boring just because I can’t come to Red’s Barbecue and order three side orders with them anymore. Because I am still me, I am still me, I am still me…
I poke Andy in the shoulder while he’s playing Pokemon because I am having a serious emotional crisis right now. I explain to him that I am in fact having a serious emotional crisis right now and am not just trying to get attention. Which I think is a ridiculous assumption because I am not the sort of person who would physically poke another person just to get attentiony things like cuddles, compliments and conversations about nothing at all… Anyway…
“Andy,” I say, “Do you ever feel like you don’t know who you are anymore because there’s this massive void inside you where the chocolate used to live?’
I look at him, fear in my eyes, waiting for an answer. He just laughs and goes back to Pokemon, leaving me alone to grieve over the happy girl who used to eat nachos with her loving boyfriend.
It’s the end of week one and I have lost 7 pounds. 7 pounds of weight has disappeared from my body. I feel immensely, amazingly proud of myself. I feel I deserve a medal, a trophy, and a Nobel Prize. I feel like the best dieter that ever lived.
So much so, that I think I should reward myself. I mean, seven pounds, right? So I grab a chocolate bar and tell myself ‘it’s okay, you’ve lost 7 pounds now’ and give myself a pat on the back for being awesome.
Week two begins and I’m still feeling incredibly proud of myself for being amazing. I’m ready to take on another week of this diet. But there’s one problem. Pizza. There are Domino’s pizza leaflets all over the house and they are all offering me 50% off. And there’s a cupboard full of Christmas chocolate that NEEDS to be eaten. It’d be rude not to. So I go stand on my scales again. Yep, still 7 pounds. Yep, I’m still fantastic. Yep, I deserve a little treat. So I order a pizza and assure myself that I will get back on it in the morning.
So, while I did get back on it for most of week two, week three has been a complete and utter disaster. This week I’ve had two pizzas, a pub meal and more chocolates than I can count on my hands, feet and other extremities. While I haven’t gained any weight, I haven’t lost any either, which makes me feel like a total failure. So much for being a top dieter, eh?
Oh good, another shit week, I think as I stand on the scales and list the amount of bad things I’ve consumed over the past week. Cakes, sweets, you name it, I’ve eaten it. To coax myself into behaving better, I make a plan to reward myself with an owl sticker for each day I stick to the diet. Because owls are cute, and rewarding myself with chocolate doesn’t have the effect I’d like it to.
Yay! The stickers worked! I did it! This is easy!
Fuck stickers. Fuck owls. Fuck weight loss. This is not for me, never was and never will be. I feel like Pacman, just wandering through life eating everything that comes into my path. I feel terrible. So terrible, that I write myself an extensively over-the-top list of instructions for how to behave next week. It involves phrases such as ‘no chocolate’, ‘lots of broccoli’, and ‘as few syns as possible’. And I imagine myself sticking to this overly strict and unrealistic set of rules I’ve made. Because I can do this. Can’t I?
I cannot do this. I absolutely cannot and will not do this. I don’t want thin thighs, I want french fries. And pizza and chocolate and cake and nachos. So what if my favourite dress doesn’t fit? 6 sour cream and onion Pringles do fit. In my mouth. In one go. So screw you, stupid diet! Screw you!
So that’s where I am now. Kind of. There’s been another few weeks of cycling between dieting, half-dieting and wishing I could burn every lettuce that has ever existed, but that’s basically where I am. Oh and I’ve now lost 17lbs. So that’s good.
This diet’s been filled with up and downs (and downs and downs and downs), but I am determined to keep going with it and fit into that dress. Even if it means having a tantrum because I can’t have chocolate and a takeaway on a Friday night. Tantrums burn calories, right?!