I won’t pretend the idea of joining a weight class again didn’t appeal in just the slightest way the other day! The excitement of getting the plan in your hand. Reading it all through, absorbing it all. Learning what’s off limits, what you can have in excess. Planning your menu for your first week, looking forward to the triumphant moment of stepping on the scales after your first week, anticipating the success after 100% determination and devotion. Joining fee was £9:95, weekly class fee £5
And maybe the next week goes well. The euphoria of first week of successes, obediently avoiding the bread, or having some diet slice of air. Making sure at least a third of your plate at each meal has fruit or vegetable. Another £5 on class fees, but it’s worth it, because you’re losing weight and you can’t do it by yourself.
The third week, you only lose a pound. “Only” a pound after two weeks of good losses, 5lb the first week, 3lbs the next. You got a certificate to mark half a stone, you put it on the fridge to remind you to avoid the naughty things, next to your “before” photo. Why did you only lose a pound? £5 spent, and you’re feeling a little low now. You’ve been working so hard. Sod it, tonight you’re going to treat yourself to some chocolate and a bottle of wine. Might get chips on the way home because it’s getting late.
The fourth week. £5 down. You’ve had a hectic week. Last weigh day you overindulged when you get home. Had a bit of a binge, truth be told. The next day you felt a bit miserable, and decided to treat yourself to lunch out with a friend, and you’ve been so good for so long, you just needed a bit of a break. Work got a bit mad, and you didn’t have time to shop and plan and ended up eating in a rush a few times, just grabbing what you could. Stepping onto the scales, you’re not surprised you’ve maintained. You let yourself down, why can’t you be organised and control yourself? Where’s your willpower? Why did you choose fish and chips over a salad? Why did you eat so much chocolate and crap? Right, new start. This week, you are going to start all over. New beginning. You’ll get the books out, plan everything, go home and do a shopping list. Fail to plan and you plan to fail, don’t you? New beginnings, new beginnings.
The fifth week. You must have a good loss this week. You were an absolute angel! Living off lots of soup and salad. You went to bed hungry more than once. Determined to show a loss on the scales! And it’s worked! 1.5lbs. Not the greatest, especially with all your sacrifices, such as the cakes in the office, and the after work drinks where you drove so you couldn’t drink. £5 on class fees. But you decided to buy a new cook book too for inspiration “50 5 minute meals” £5.
The sixth week. Is this really how life has to be from now on? Sacrificing all the nice foods just to fit into that dress that you haven’t worn in 6 years? All you can think about is food, the next meal, what snack you can have. Forcing yourself into liking things you really do not like! Sugar free yogurt, with sugar free jelly. Yuck. Even the caramel flavour is dire, and no, it isn’t a good subsitute for a nice bar of chocolate! On the plus side, people are noticing your weight loss. Your jeans are a bit more baggy. Result. 2lbs off. Well I guess it’s worth it. £5 down.
Week seven. Let’s not even talk about it. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. A big bust up with your partner saw you reaching for the chocolate, and you decided to sod the diet. Skipped diet club.
The eighth week. Back on an even keel. Weighed in, had to pay for last week’s class so £10 down. 2lbs on, but considering the week you had, you’re less upset than you might have been. They’re starting the countdown to Christmas. 12 weeks to fit into a little black dress. New beginnings. Going home to look up all the recipe books and reread the plan. You need to lose this weight! Especially with Christmas looming! At least then you’ll be able to eat at Christmas and not worry about it!
The ninth week. It is all feeling pretty monotonous. All you really want is a big old pizza. There’s a recipe for a substitute in the book. Maybe you’ll give it a go. Though the thought of pizza, proper loaded pizza, is making you salivate. Maybe just tonight, as a treat. Especially as you lost a pound, and it was hard work! £5 class fees. They have some chocolate bars over there, maybe I’ll get a pack for a sweet tooth fix.
Week ten. Only ten weeks to Christmas! But now you come to think about it, there will be parties and nights out in December. Are you going to have to be careful on every single night out just to get into the little black dress, which you’ll wear, well, when will you wear it? You’re missing all the social events for fear of sabotaging the diet. And you’re so fed up of salad. 10 weeks on and you’ve lost 12lbs and it’s cost you £60. You could have bought a lovely dress that fits you now for that price! Something flattering to enjoy your social events.
And through this time you’ve become so obsessed with food. Items that are strictly off limits are so much more appealing now you can’t have them. And salad has become loathsome. Which is a shame, because you used to enjoy salads and fresh fruit. But it’s become a chore. Everything is a chore. Preparing food that you don’t really want, while dreaming of meals you can’t have. You even dream about going into bakeries and buying huge slices of cake. You spend hours in the deli, gazing longingly at the cheeses. And you wonder if there might be another way.
I had to write this down. To remind myself of what I’m giving up when I say I’m not going to diet clubs again. I want to lose weight, I want to get fit, but I don’t want to be a miserable food obsessed diet bore. I want to enjoy my life, because it’s special, and there is more to life. So much more than your number on a scale or in an item of clothing.
So I’ll keep reading my Beyond Temptation book, and stop punishing myself with ideas of self loathing and criticism.