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Monday, July 13, 2015

THE TROUBLE WITH DIETS - a cranky re-run

This re-run is from July 2011.  Since then I have quit smoking, and cut down on drinking from getting hammered on scotch and wine every night, to an occasional glass of wine with dinner.  I also gained 20 pounds.  I have recently love 16 of those pounds and have attempted to work out more often.  I also have very few friends who want me to fail.

The trouble with diets or any attempt at self improvement is people want to see you fail.  They won’t say they want you to fail, but they want you to fail.  If you lose weight your overweight friends fail.  If you quit smoking your smoking friends fail.  If you get your ass to the gym five days a week, your couch potato friends fail.
Nobody wants to be a failure, so they root for you to fail.

I recently went on a diet.  You can’t go on a diet without letting everyone know because someone is always trying to feed you bad stuff that you have to turn down.

For instance yesterday for breakfast I had one cup of oatmeal; no sugar.  For lunch I had a radish.  For dinner I had a piece of fish, 2 ounces of rice, some beets and an unsweetened ice tea.  I then went over to a neighbor’s house to celebrate his birthday.  “No thanks, I’m on a diet.”  I reply when offered that piece of birthday cake.  

“Come on, a little piece can’t hurt.”

“OK, but just a sliver.”

He cuts a piece that would choke a horse.  To be polite I eat the piece.

“Some diet” he taunts, “how about some more!”

He wants me to fail.

Once people know you are dieting they become part of the food patrol.  If I so much as eat a potato chip, mind you normally I eat them by the handful, someone will notice.  

“Hey, I thought you were on a diet?  Do you know how many calories are in that chip?”

“YES!  About 1000 FUCKING times less than what I used to shovel down my throat before I went on a diet!” (I might be extra cranky when dieting).

“Sure sure, I know, maybe you can start your diet again next week.”

That’s right, one freaking chip and they have you off your diet.  

They want you to fail.

Smokers want you to fail even more.  Just try to quit cigarettes.  To other smokers you are a traitor.  They constantly offer you a cigarette and let you know when they are going out for a smoke.

“Oh, that’s right, you’re quitting.  Good luck with that!” 

If you backslide a little, so much as steal a puff; it is all over.

“I knew you couldn’t quit.”  

They want you to fail.

If I make plans to go to the gym my “friends” will do anything to keep me away.  

"You goin to the gym?  Come on, the game is on, we ordered pizza, the gym is going to be crowded, you look good fat, sweat is bad, you’ll pull a muscle again.  Just have a seat, you can work out tomorrow.”  

They want you to fail.

Well I don’t care; screw all these people that want me to fail. I am going to start working out at the gym.  I plan to start just as soon as I lose some weight.  The problem is it is hard to diet if you are quitting smoking, so I need to work out to lose the weight, but I can’t work out because my wind is so bad from smoking.  So my plan is to diet, lose the weight, quit smoking and then start to work out, unless I put the weight back on from quitting smoking….

Screw it! I’ll take that second slice of cake….after I go out for a smoke.


  1. I could have--& probably SHOULD have--written this post!!

  2. Lemme see...
    Stopped drinking _ check (2002)
    Stopped smoking _ check (2008)
    Gained 20 lbs _ check

  3. I could have written this post too. This is spot on.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

  4. People do the same thing when you're skinny.....constant harassment to eat more, have a piece of cake, etc.

  5. Excellent and true. This stuff is hard. And you make a good point that people are very quick to see one small transgression (or what they think is a transgression) as failure.

  6. I commend you for giving up smoking and cutting back on alcohol and now losing those unwanted pounds. I think people feel guilty because they aren't dieting or giving up smoking or exercising at the gym so they have to take it out on those that are trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. When I diet, I tend to do it quietly so no one might get offended.


  7. Gosh, I have some pretty weird friends, they only encourage me.

    1. Outwardly they encourage you. Secretly they hope you fail. This is especially true they they need to quit whatever you are trying to quit (smoking, overeating, etc) but not necessary true if they've already succeeded in doing whatever it is you are trying to do.

  8. Reminds me of a Jacques Pepin video I saw the other day of him making an omelet in a non-stick skillet. He said "I have a nice omelet pan with the sloping sides at home. It hangs on the wall in my kitchen. Why don't I use it? I don't use it because it sticks. Why does it stick? Because I don't use it." Followed by what I believe is called "a Gallic shrug."

  9. The same thing holds true if you start up a business and you are looking for friends to join in with you. You tell them about the product, about the investment, about the possible return...and then they say, "No, it's not for me...but good luck! I wish you much success!" They are LYING. Because IF you had "much success" and made millions, they would HATE that they didn't invest with you. They would HATE that they missed the boat. So, they sit on the sidelines and cheer you on, asking you "how is it going" acting as if they are are interested in how you are growing your business... but really they are watching to see if you fail. If you fail, then they made the right decision. If you become rich, then they made a huge mistake!

  10. I used to follow several bloggers who got really excited posting about their diets. I read about every pound they lost, and now these people are no longer blogging, probably embarrassed because they regained all the weight. If I ever go on a weight loss program, I won't tell anyone.

  11. If you have friends who want you to fail, get new friends! Go make a few at the gym, or at Weight Watchers.

    As for diets, i've found that identifying myself from the outset as the weirdo who eats an almost totally raw, vegan diet makes people not even comment when i pull out my carrot sticks and grapes and such. They just know it won't do any good.

  12. Dieting is hard, and it gets harder as you get older. I wanted to lose ten pounds this year. Only have 13 pounds to go.

  13. Haha, it is fun to look back a few years like this. In the fall and spring, I have a much stricter work schedule, I usually guzzle lots of water, and work through lunch. That seems to be the best diet plan for me.

    Glad you are healthier now--even with the few extra pounds.

  14. Dieting people are SO inquisitive at the lunch table. "What's that? Did you make it? What's in it? Is it good?" And they're talking to me about my leftovers, not their dieting buddy next to them.

  15. Diet Schmiet. Huh.
    I've been eating smaller portions and much less sugar since Christmas/New Year was over. my scales read exactly the same and my jeans still don't fit.
    I can buckle my watch strap to the second hole now, so I guess that's progress.

  16. It makes THEM feel better if they can make you fail. Prove them wrong, think of how heroic you'll feel.

  17. Never ever admit it. Not unless YOU wanna fail. Easier said: "I've been off lately, if I eat any more I'll either be barfing or stuck on the toilet.". Shuts 'em up every single time I tell ya ..... except the self-healers, they'll start spewing about this or that home remedy "just find some skunk cabbage and pig weed, boil it up into a poultice, wrap it up in cheese cloth and hang it from your left ear. Or was that you right testicle? Well, try both just to be safe. You'll be better in no time!".

  18. Interesting how many people have the similar experience: that people are jerks, wonder what that means.