The other day, I was reading In Touch, and there was an item about Jessica Simpson being a porker. According to a source, she is “just pushing 140.”
I compared my own weight to hers, and determined that if she was a porker, I was a cow.
It was enough to make me go on my bi-yearly diet. It’s fashion week in New York, after all, and if I realized that if I wanted to be a tabloid-healthy 120 pounds to sit in my apartment and read about it, I had 2 days to shed 15 big ones.
So I went to the grocery store, and picked up what I consider to be healthy foods. Here’s what I bought:
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes
- 1 container of bluberries
- 3 non-fat black cherry yogurts
- 1 package of seasame wasa no-taste crackers
- 1 container of sliced almonds
- 2 chocolate Odwalla bars
- 1 bar of dark chocolate with sea salt and peanuts
- 24 Diet Cokes
In essence, if I were on Top Chef, and someone asked me to make a meal out of the things I’d bought, I would stick my head in an oven, and end my own life.
That night, I went home, and pondered what to make for dinner using my new groceries. Thirty seconds later I was on the phone with gentle folk at Taro Sushi. They brought me three spicy tuna rolls and a miso soup. I ate those, and to reward myself for being so healthy, I ate half of the chocolate bar mentioned above.
That was Day 1 of my diet, and considering that I normally eat something that comes with french fries for dinner, I considered it to be a success.
Yesterday morning (Day 2), I woke up, and sat down at my computer. I considered what to eat for breakfast. “I don’t have time to open a yogurt and stir in the fruit on the bottom,” I reasoned. “So I’ll eat one of the chocolate Odwalla bars.”
I downed it with a champion-sized mug of espresso that had been sitting in the espresso maker on my stove for two days. With whole milk.
About two hours later, I was hungry again. The night before, I had only slept for four hours. Food was my only recourse from exhaustion and despair. “Treat yourself for lunch today,” I told my subconscious. “You deserve it.”
So I put on my super stretch leggings (my body is not “jean ready”), and went to the cafe down the street.
A few weeks ago, there was an article in The New York Times about “decision fatigue.” I only skimmed over it, but from what I could glean, people who spend too much time making up their minds are usually completely exhausted. Given that I spend at least four hours a day deciding whether or not to go for a run, I decided it was an affliction from which I suffer immensely, which is why I can justify watching mindless shit like Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s not because I like trash. It’s because I am just so fucking tired.
Ever since, in an effort to conserve energy, I’ve been making all decisions based on gut instinct.
So at the cafe, when the waiter took my order, I chose the first item that appealed to me: “I will have the BLT, with a lemonade, please,” I said. And then, through gritted teeth, “But can I have a salad instead of french fries?”
I could feel my diet determination falling by the wayside, so the salad move was a last ditch effort to stay on course.
I finished the meal quickly, driven to rage as I was by the couple fighting nastily at the table next to me over a haircut, and walked out into the street. “Ugh, I’m still starving,” I thought, silently cursing the mixed greens. I considered the snacks I had at home—the tomatoes, the almonds, the Wasa crackers. I walked by a bodega. I stepped inside. I walked to the cookie aisle, and looked at the selection. “Whole wheat with dark chocolate chunks,” I saw written on a package of Tate’s baked cookies. I reached for the Double Stuff Oreos. “Don’t do it!” my internal censor screamed. So I grabbed the Tate’s (the healthier option), paid for them, took them home, and ate five of them before I even had a chance to sit down.
My gut instinct told me, eat more. So on the way to the subway, I got a package of Twizzlers. Then I arrived at the event where I was headed. Inspired by a little old lady double fisting strawberry macaroons, I ate a few myself. Then I got so busy, I forgot about time.
About three hours later, my appetite came back with avengeance. “I need chips!” my mind started to scream. “Potato chips, not any of that baked soy shit!”
At this point, I was out on the street, without a bodega or a grocery store, or a fucking cab in sight. I sunk down to my knees, and started to cry. Caleb, who was with me, panicked to see me in such a state. “Are you normally like this?” he asked me. We’re still very new to each other. Every day, he discovers something about me he never knew before.
“Yes,” I said matter-of-factly.
Eventually, he got me into a cab, and back to his apartment. By the time I settled in, it was 11pm. I had an article due at 12am. “I’ll go get you something to eat while you work,” he said.
A few minutes later, he was back with a hotdog covered in sauerkraut, sitting on a bed of french fries.
I looked at him, I looked at what he had brought me, and for the first time all day, I was truly happy.
“Thank you for always giving me what I want,” I said to him, gratefully. And then I kissed him, and smiled.
As for the food in my fridge, I’ll let all of it sit there until it rots except for the Diet Cokes, of course, four of which I’ve already drank this morning.
And that, my dear reader, is how you conserve energy, but ruin a diet.