If you were to hang around with me for a couple days, you would wonder how it’s possible I could ever be a fat cyclist (and to be clear: I am rapidly becoming fat again, what with the daily high temperature being just above the point at which oxygen liquefies). In the morning, I have a bowl of high-fiber cereal, usually with either fat-free milk or fat-free yogurt.
Often, I have fruit with breakfast.
For lunch, I eat pasta, more often than not. And by “pasta,” I mean pasta I have cooked at home and brought to work. I have a little sauce on the pasta, and a couple large spoonsful of cottage cheese. But I rarely have meat with the pasta, and never any cheese.
Often, during the day I will have a snack: fruit, more often than not.
For dinner, I eat a reasonable dinner.
The Danger Hours
And yet, I gain weight. This is due to the nightly transformation — usually around 10pm — I make after the kids have gone to bed. This is the couple of hours during which my wife and I aren’t taking care of kids or work. This is the time when I read the news, read comments on my blog, read a book, and maybe watch something on TV.
This is, in short, the time when I am sitting down in very near proximity to both the pantry and fridge. This is the time when I can eat absentmindedly, eating an entire bowl of cereal without being aware that I ate anything at all. Then eating another bowl of cereal because I’m a little disappointed in myself for not paying proper attention to the first bowl and feel like I should make amends.
After that, I’m tired of sweet stuff; what I really need now is something salty. Something wrapped in a tortilla. With cheese.
By the time I’m done with my improvisational burrito antics, I’m completely sure that I’ve blown my diet for the day. It’s at this point that this theory I’ve developed comes into play. The theory is that you can only gain a certain amount of weight per day, because your body can only absorb so much. Once you’ve crossed that threshold, nothing else you eat counts; your body’s just going to discard it. So you may as well enjoy yourself tonight. Get a fresh start tomorrow.
Feel free to try that theory out yourself. You may discover — as I have — that it doesn’t seem to hold much water during the day, but makes perfect sense when you’re feeling guilty and need an excuse — any excuse — to convince yourself that you haven’t, in fact, gained four pounds in one day.
I am pretty sure, in short, I gain all my weight during the final two hours before bed every night.
What I Need
Having identified the problem, I have come up with a great solution.
I need to hire a Diet Enforcer. I need someone to follow me around and grab food away from me for the final two hours before bedtime every night — the time when my willpower is low and I feel like I’ve earned a treat. Ideally, this person will block my entry to the kitchen altogether, but must not be afraid to tackle me and reach into my mouth and extract whatever s/he finds.
This job, I think is evident, is not for the squeamish, nor for the faint of heart. Nor for the timid.
Also, it’s not for the kind of person who actually expects to be paid.
Job qualifications include:
- Must be stronger than I am: I don’t mean physically stronger — I’m not much for violence. I mean mentally stronger. Because I guarantee I will try to wear you down.
- Must be wily. I will do my darnedest to outwit you.
- Must not be hungry. I will try to co-op you by offering you food. If you’re eating, you can’t very well deny me, can you?
- Must not be looking for a friend. I will certainly tell you how lame you are, probably on a daily basis. Make that hourly. This must not bother you.
Apply now! I’m sure this position will fill fast.