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Losing It

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Special K diet, day one: Finally! A diet I can live with! A bowl of cereal for breakfast, another for lunch, and a normal dinner. How hard could it be? I don't even have to cook it! Just add milk! I'm going to lose six pounds in two weeks, which means I'll lose 12 pounds in four weeks! By summer I'll be a size . . . um, let's see . . . minus 10!

And apparently I don't even have to exercise, which is great because I really don't like to do that anymore. It's too hard to make the time anymore, and besides, my kids think Tae-Bo is a game that involves dodging my kicks. It's hard to give 100% knowing that one wrong move could send my child flying across the room.

So Special K it is. While I am still smarting from my mother-in-law's "innocent" suggestion that I give it a try, I have to admit I probably wouldn't have tried it otherwise. I had managed to convince myself that I don't care about those leftover baby pounds, but let's face it. I'm lying. I care.

Special K diet, day five: I can't figure it out. I'm not only not losing weight, I'm gaining it. What gives? I'm following the diet exactly as it says on the box -- one bowl for breakfast, and one for lunch. Oh, wait a second -- do they mean instead of my regular meals? I thought they meant in addition to them. Oops.

All right, that was an honest mistake. I'm on track now, although now that my stomach is accustomed to so much food, I'm hungry all the time. Hard to diet that way, I don't mind saying.

Special K diet, day ten: I can't seem to shake the sensation that I'm eating cotton. Oh, they may call it a "healthy" cereal, but you can't fool me. I have four brothers. I know cotton when I taste it. The only difference is this time, my brothers aren't stuffing a t-shirt into my mouth. I'm doing it to myself.

Special K diet, day fourteen: I got the flu and lost five pounds! Woohoo! This really does work!

Special K diet, day fifteen: Flu's gone. Weight's back. This is not going very well at all.

I remember watching my friends (most of whom had kids much earlier than me) do the yo-yo thing with dieting, and regarding them with a mixture of sympathy and pity. "Oh, you poor things," I would think. "I'm so glad I'll never have to go through that! You see, I'm not going to HAVE any excess baby weight when I have kids. I'm only going to gain twenty pounds, and that will come off in a snap!"

Fortunately, the remaining sane bone in my body convinced me not to say this out loud, thereby preserving what dignity I have left. That dignity eventually fled by the way, when my husband pointed out that I'm only supposed to be eating one bowl of cereal at a time.

Maybe these fad diets aren't the way to go after all. Maybe it's a little less complicated than that, a little more common sense-based. Maybe I just need to eat less, and exercise more (or, in my case, some). Could it really be that simple? And could I do it? Could I lose weight the tried-and-true, old-fashioned way? I think I can . . . I think I can . . . no, I can't.

Slim-Fast Diet, day one: Finally! A diet I can live with! A delicious shake for breakfast, another for lunch, and a sensible dinner. How hard could it be? I don't even have to cook it! Just add milk! I'm going to lose six pounds in two weeks, which means I'll lose . . .

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