A few weeks ago I decided to go on a diet. I approached this latest plan like any good writer would and started with research. I went to the library and borrowed every book on dieting that I could find - low fat, low carb, eat for your blood type, only eat soup, fast for two days, the LBD diet... Then I bought a copies of all the latest slimming magazines - so that I was up to date with the latest diet info.
As soon as the kids were in bed, and hubby at work, I sat down to research. As we all know, a well informed person always succeeds - right? Ten minutes into reading I was hungry. Concentrating is hard work. I picked up the phone and ordered a pizza and chocolate cake. I happily munched my way through a meat lovers pizza, while keeping one eye on the latest episode of Castle, and reading through my research.
After my pizza, and research, I came to the conclusion that the worst thing about dieting was deprivation. I didn't want to miss all those foods that I loved. So I made a list. I put everything I love to eat on it - pizza (of course), cake, fudge, chicken Korma, creamy pasta carbonara, bacon and eggs, exotic breads, steaming hot chocolate with cream - you get the idea. The plan was to keep that list pinned to the wall and remind myself that once I'd lost the weight I could indulge again - in moderation of course. I'd read a LOT about moderation during my research. The main thing to tell myself was that foods I loved weren't gone forever, just for a while. I was optimistic.
Then I had another idea. Why not give a proper farewell to all the foods I love and eat them before the diet starts? That way I could get wanting them out of my system and I'd be able to focus on the diet a whole lot better. It was genius. I spent about ten days eating my way through everything on the list - it was a big list. I ticked each item off as I went, feeling very smug that my diet was going so well already. I'd researched everything I needed to know, I was prepared and I was eliminating the temptation of all the foods I craved. Meanwhile, so that I wasn't distracted from my mission, I kept reading the diet books while I ate through my list and I started a spreadsheet for all the low carb/low fat meals I would eat after I got rid of the temptation.
I even dusted off my treadmill and spent hours planning a walking/running programme for me to follow. I worked hard. In my head.
When the ten days were up I had gained 6 pounds. I was so sick of reading diet books that the mere thought of anything to do with a diet made me feel nauseous. And I was so lethargic from all the food I'd eaten that I couldn't step on my treadmill let alone look at it.
I'd like to say I've learned from this experience, but the sad truth is I probably haven't. Part of me STILL believes that my approach was completely logical. Unfortunately, it's the same part of me that's now 6 pounds heavier...