From Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul

Dieter’s Block

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

I want to achieve a healthy weight, really I do. But in recent years, I have been losing the battle of the bulge. Like millions of other Americans, I have watched the numbers creep up. It’s not just my weight, but the size of my clothes. And don’t even get me started on things like cholesterol and blood pressure. Aren’t things that go up supposed to come down? Fortunately, I have discovered the cause of my weight gain: I have dieter’s block.

Dieter’s block can be triggered by a variety of things, circumstances that the ordinary mortal, such as me, simply cannot control. Perhaps the day is too cold or too warm. Or maybe the weather is perfect and practically begs the eating of a double-fudge sundae. It could be the need for caffeine that drives me to order a large café mocha, extra-sweet, extra-hot. Every day. Twice.

Sometimes it is that special occasion that seems to pop up right after I have made yet another vow to cut back, cut down, cut it out! It could be a favorite sister’s birthday, a friend’s promotion or a child who needs consoling after a big game. Nothing says comfort like a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, peach pie with ice cream, or homemade chicken and dumplings. Yum.

Of course, there is always exercise. My dieter’s block interferes with my exercising all the time. Experts always say you should not work out within an hour before eating or two hours after eating. Do these experts have no life? The way my schedule has been lately, I have exactly seven and a half minutes a day that is safe for me to exercise. With a two-hour commute and an hour for lunch added to an eight-hour day, it always seems that other things lay claim to those precious minutes, and I tell myself, “I’ll start tomorrow.”

Dieting has become a way of life for many people. Who can blame them? There is a diet designed to fit almost any need: low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, the list goes on. If you are not fond of veggies, go with the high-protein, low-carb diet. If you can’t stand the thought of eating meat, do the vegan thing. Skip meals, add meals. There is truly something for everyone. The only drawback is . . . you actually have to do the diet. There’s where my dieter’s block gets in the way again.

I am a great one for talking about a diet, or planning a diet, but actually dieting? That will take some doing. Today’s not a good day, you know, we had a company-wide meeting with refreshments. I had to participate, it’s part of my job. I can’t start on Friday; everyone knows the weekend is a terrible time to start a diet. Maybe Monday. But Mondays are so harsh. What an awful day to start a diet. Tuesday? Doesn’t someone have a birthday on Tuesday? Didn’t I promise to bring cookies?

Terry A. Lilley

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