Around Christmas time, I hit an important personal landmark: I finished gaining back all of the weight I had worked on losing during the Spring and Summer of 2007 (Warning: photographs of pasty-white middle-aged male in that link).
Since I had been diligently working toward this objective for several months, I regarded this as an important accomplishment.
I recall that it was the day after Christmas that I said to myself, "OK, now I’ve had my fun. It’s time for me to get serious about losing weight and getting ready for next year’s racing season."
And I have said something like that pretty much every day since, for close to a month now, without losing a single pound.
OK, to be honest, I’ve gained another few pounds since Christmas.
"How," I’m certain you’re asking yourself, "is it possible for you to tell yourself, in all earnestness (because I promise you that I am oh-so-earnest), every single day, that you’re going to get back to an athlete’s diet, and then gain weight?
I’m glad you’ve asked.
How to Lie to Yourself
The truth is, I’ve got an elaborate system that lets me tell myself, for any given moment, that now is not quite the right time to get started on a diet — that any efforts I make right now will fail, whereas the efforts I will make at the next point on the horizon are just perfect.
This system, I’m sure, is entirely unique. Which is to say, I’m positive that those of you who, like me, fight the losing battle (Ha, "losing battle," get it?), will not have a similar system already in place, and so are therefore trapped into rigorously observing your diets, because you just can’t find a good excuse.
Well, I’m here to help. I personally guarantee you can have diet-postponement success identical to mine with the following easy 5-Step Program (copyright 2008 Fat Cyclist Enterprises, all rights reserved):
- Realize you don’t have the right kind of food on-hand. Really, you had planned to eat nothing but egg whites, wheat bread and grapefruit for an entire calendar year, but you forgot to go to the store last night, but it turns out that you don’t have any of those things on hand. What to do?
- It’s OK, because it’s early in the day. It’s a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that anything you eat early in the day doesn’t make you gain weight, because you’re going to work that off during the day. It’s the afternoon and evening calories that you have to watch out for. Therefore, the doughnut, omelette, and batter-dipped, deep-fried Twinkie I’m eating are fine, as long as I don’t screw up for the rest of the day.
- I’ll exercise a little extra when I get home. The great thing about having a heavy lunch — apart from the wonderful siesta it brings on — is that it gives you great motivation to really work out when you get home from work / school / whatever. You’re going to need that energy; better fuel up.
- Well, it’s too late to do anything about it today. OK, so you were feeling kind of hungry when you got home from work — strange the way you can still feel hungry just a few hours after a big lunch — and so you grazed around the kitchen for a while — you know, the way you eat whatever’s front and center in the fridge and pantry. After that, you didn’t exactly feel like exercising. And now suddenly you realize: you’ve blown today. You ate heavy for breakfast and lunch, then had a snack instead of exercising. May as well call this day a loss and plan on doing better tomorrow.
- This is my last hurrah. You know what you should do? You should go ahead and live it up a bit tonight — eat pizza for dinner, have some chips and dip for a snack, then maybe a bedtime bowl of cereal. You’re accomplishing three important things by doing this. First, you’re getting it out of your system. Second, you’re getting rid of that bad food so you won’t be tempted by it tomorrow. And finally, you’re drawing a line in the sand. Tomorrow morning you’ll be able to look back and say, "That was it. That was the last time I’ll eat like that for the next year. Maybe eat a little extra, just because you’re angry at yourself. As you know, that will erase the appeal of food for the foreseeable future.