Time for a show of hands. How many of you began this year
with a resolution that sounded something like this?
"This year, seriously, for real, I'm GOING to get in
shape and eat better. I mean it. For real this time."
Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. Each
year this resolution gets just a little bit longer with the addition of more
emphatics, as if throwing in another "for real" and
"seriously" makes it a more concrete vow.
So far this year I'm not doing too badly (it may be
because I upped the ante with this resolution and even threw in a "no
backsies" this year). I've been a pillar of strength, a maven of
whole foods, and calorie counter extraordinaire... Provided that I am exposed
to no temptation whatsoever, that is. Temptation - delicious
chocolates on someone's desk, the smell of pizza baking, suddenly remembering
that box of cookie mix in the cabinet... Well, that's where it all falls apart.
You see, my ability to resist junk food can be represented
as an inverse function of my proximity to junk food. I'd even place a pretty
big bet involving limbs and other appendages on the notion that this is true
for the majority of the dieting population. No amount of Healthy Choice, Lean
Cuisine, or protein smoothies in our shopping cart can protect us from the fact
that the checkout line is secretly a candy bar ambush waiting to happen.
And you know exactly what I mean on this one - how many
times have we finally grabbed that Butterfinger and thrown it on the belt in a
hasty rush of embarrassment JUST before the last item was scanned? And that
look on the cashier's face as they hand it to you after scanning, asking
"Would you like to keep this in your purse?" Which is, of course, a
question that is very difficult to answer with a mouth full of Butterfinger.
Another terrible danger for me is the BOGO sale. BOGOS just
provide me with the opportunity to justify buying multiples of something that
I try to make a once weekly treat in this way: "Well, I'm going to buy at
least 4 per month, anyway, right? So it only makes sense for me to go ahead and
buy 4 and reduce 50% of the cost, right?"
Right. This logic recently led to the following scenario:
Freschetta Brick Oven pizzas are our weekly Date Night treat and tradition.
Following the above logic, in week 1 I buy 4 Brick Ovens on a rare BOGO sale at
Publix and by week 2 I was down 4 Brick Ovens and SOL on the pizza front by the
next Date night.
Now, armed with the full knowledge of my weaknesses, it's
beginning to look like drastic measures are in order. Conventional methods of
dieting (ie, simply not eating crap) don't appear to be enough by a long shot.
So to augment my dieting regime I'm going to institute a series of new tactics
in the fight against temptation.
Freezer. This one is aimed primarily at my pizza fixation. From now on, all
Freschetta Brick Ovens and other frozen temptations will go directly into a
freezer that can only be accessed once per week. In the event of a violent
craving and break-down of self control, any attempts to bypass the locking
mechanism will result in a moderate to severe electrical shock.
Store Blinders. This applies to grocery store checkouts as well. The
blinders must be put on immediately prior to entering any establishment that
likes to keep enticing junk food displays in the periphery of the checkout
counter or, in extreme cases, on the counter itself. It works for racehorses,
and I’m at least smarter than your average mare. Right?
Dieter’s Select Menu. Petition local restaurants to maintain a menu for
dieters. This menu will steer them directly to only the healthiest selections
by describing non-healthy foods in terms of nutritional and chemical content
rather than the mouth-watering adjectives that tend to talk us out of the
Garden Salad and into the ¾ lb Cowboy Burger with two slices of melted cheese,
crispy golden fried onions, and delectable special sauce. On the Dieter’s
Select Menu, that burger just became a Cowboy Slab of Fatty Low-grade Cow Meat with
Arteriosclerosis and Possible Heart Failure.
And in the event that all of these
Enforcers. Hire a team of ex-paramilitary soldiers of fortune to act as
full-time body guards. And since no one wants to appear pretentious enough to
carry around an entourage of body guards, this mission will have to be undercover
and black ops. You’ll never see them until you go to take that bite of
cheesecake, or start putting that money in the vending machine... and when you
wake up, just consider the headache leftover from the chloroform a good tradeoff for the
fatty calories from which they just saved you.