Today is Day One of my diet. I know from having been here before, it's the hardest day. Yes, I am cranky and I'd just as soon sharpen these little baby carrots into darts and throw them at the back of someone's head today as I would eat them. I'm in the "don't mess with me" phase of my diet, which lasts about five days or until my scale nudges a little to the left -- whichever comes first.
Dieting violates my basic philosophy of life, which is that life is too short to deny yourself things you love, and I happen to love food. I love well-prepared, tasty food, washed down with the occasional bag of crappy chips. It's those crappy chips, which my office stocks in the kitchen, that got me where I am today: 20 pounds heavier than I was a year ago. I'm blaming Arianna. Her chips, her fault. I'm not owning up to anything right now; I'm inspired by Congress' approach to the unemployed -- this is their fault somehow.
My diet plan of choice is Weight Watchers. It always works to get my weight off quickly but as soon as I drop the weight, I drop the program and regain everything. Yeah, yeah, I know this means I'm not making a lifestyle change. My hands are covering my ears and I can't hear you. I see your lips moving, but I'm not listening.
The current Weight Watchers points system is somewhat controversial, I learned after I charged up my $58 membership for three months. The new plan sends out an emergency alert signal if you come in contact with a carbohydrate and I suspect puts you under house arrest if you consider wine with dinner during the week. I sniffed a cork last night and I think it cost me two points.
I'm a yo-yo dieter, just like Kirstie Alley. She probably doesn't realize it, but the cosmic universe long ago linked us as diet soul mates in a yin yang way. When I'm tipping the scales, she's shedding weight like a polar bear in hibernation. And when I lose weight, she finds it. Heads up Kirstie, I've got 20 pounds coming your way.
For the record, I don't actually go to Weight Watcher meetings. The idea of public humiliation at a weekly weigh-in doesn't work for me. I also don't like to listen to other people whine about their weight struggles. You eat too much and don't exercise, you gain weight. You stop eating so much, you lose it. Rocket science, this isn't. And I'd throw in: It helps to find someone else to blame for your weight gain, at least on the first day of the diet.
I also don't have the time to go to Weight Watchers' meetings, unless WW wants to start counting my driving time to get to meetings as exercise points. I follow the program online, from the same stationary sitting position in front of the computer that I spend the other 18 of my waking hours.
It doesn't help that the newsroom TV right now has a Mario Batali cooking show on. Shrimp with fettuccine tossed in garlic and oil. Mario Batali is like the evil Lex Luthor who just tossed some Kryptonite at my less-than-woman-of-steel willpower. I bet even Kryptonite would taste good tossed in garlic and oil right now. He's rubbing it in: This dish only costs $2.67 a serving, making it a cholesterol-laden bargain to boot. The man should be arrested for putting this stuff on TV, or at very least required to join Weight Watchers.
Dieting sucks. But not as much as the knowledge that we gain about a pound a year from age 25 on -- an additional 35 big ones by the age of 60. Our metabolisms slow down, we lose muscle mass and the weight just creeps on and stays there. In my case, it's been five pounds a year until Arianna's chips entered my world and now I am headed toward numbers on the scale that scare me. Sometime later in life, after the age of 70 or 80, our weight typically begins a slow decline but frankly, a lot of damage can be done from carrying around the extra baggage way before those birthdays.
I've never held a pair of skinny jeans in greater admiration than I have for an onion bagel with cream cheese and fresh lox on a Sunday morning. But I also have never wanted anything as much as to hold my first grandbaby in my arms. Now if someone could just lock up the chips until I move from the crankiness phase.