The Key To Dieting: Those Three Little Words
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Without reservation, I can tell you the quickest and surest way to get me started on a strict diet that I will adhere to no matter what temptations cross my path is for me to hear those magical three little words uttered when I least expect them. Each time it has happened – that is, each time the phrase was uttered to me and subsequently my new diet launched like a racehorse after a shotgun is fired – it came from the mouth of a small child – like a message sent directly to me from an earthly angel. You know what I mean, those big, wondering eyes look up at you with excitement and curiosity, and then without any of the adulterated filters that will come later in life, they blurt:
“Are you pregnant?”
What a nightmare. I can tell you right now, ye who have never been pregnant (don’t need to tell you moms – you grownupgirls already know what I’m saying) – the measure of joy, of being able to tell others that the reason your stomach is enormously fat is because there is a new precious soul growing snugly within, only just barely rivals the amount of anger and fury one experiences, when others suspect your enormous stomach must be the result of a pregnancy because HEAVEN FORBID someone’s stomach looks that bloated and or ginormous without a living, soon-to-be breathing soul taking up space from within.
It’s happened several times to me with adults, too – that is, a clueless adult will ask me how many months I am or some such bullshit, and I have to break it to them that I’m not pregnant, just fat, apparently, thank you very much. As recently as this morning, I attended a bris ceremony, and as I sat down at a packed table to eat my brunch, a man I’ve seen around but don’t know well stood up. “Please,” he offered, as if I needed his chair as well as mine to sit down. “I’m fine,” I smiled back at him. “No worries.”
“It’s okay,” he beamed, continuing up and away from our table. “Anyway, you are eating for two!”
It took me a good second or two to process what he meant. Lucky for him, he had departed by then. If you, dear reader, would like to avoid this & other faux pas, please refer back to my earlier blog where I break down a whole list of Do’s and Don’ts.
But for some reason, it’s when the children start to chime in – maybe it’s their innocence, and my subsequent inability to blame them in my head for being pigheaded, rude and obviously blind – that I suddenly wake up to the fact that if I don’t start and stick to a diet RIGHT NOW, my stomach will go from looking mildly swollen (or “newly pregnant”) to downright round and balloon-like (“5-6 months along”), at which point my hips, butt and face will start to fill in too.
The first time a child graciously helped me start a new diet was about six months ago. Looking straight into my belly (the height her head came to), my neighbor’s eight year old asked sweetly, “Are you pregnant?” Two weeks later my husband and I started the Suzanne Somers Diet, and four months later, I was a lean, mean (just kidding – I’m really nice), dieting machine.
Then I fell off the wagon. Or more accurately, I just felt like, ‘my body looks pretty great now, so why don’t I eat that piece of pizza/cake/cookie/brownie/plate of pasta/you fill in the blank_____ right now since it looks so good/smells so good and I’m really hungry/tired but want to stay up late/I’m bored/I’m with friends who are eating/I’m alone?’
I went from dieting six days a week and cheating once a week (okay, twice), to eating whatever I wanted six days a week and sticking to my diet once a week. I also took a new job three months ago, so with that my gym attendance deflated from the robust 4-5 times a week it had been prior, to the current 1-2 times a week. I had gotten so slim, so in shape that it really didn’t matter, the food, the gym; it didn’t seem to be affecting me at all… until…
“Mommy, you look like you have a baby in your tummy!” were the exact words my four year old exclaimed to me today. Her words tinged, I might add, with the slightest bit of hope and fear, due to the fact that she’s often asked for a little brother but is not quite sure whether it would be exactly the party she hopes it will be if it does happen…
Lucky for you, baby, there is no such life-changing occasion about to present itself in your life (i.e., a new sibling). There is however, a new life-changing event taking place in mine…
Diet starts tomorrow.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)