Getting back on track, diet-wise, is not easy for me. For two reasons: I get cranky, and I get tired.
It’s entirely possible the two are related.
It’s easy to tell why I’m tired at the beginning of a diet: sleep becomes a real problem for about a week.
First off, there’s the constant peeing.
You see, one of the secrets of succeeding at any diet is to drink a lot of water. A gallon per day, if you can. It reduces the amount of salt in your system, and it makes you more regular, both of which help you lose weight.
But you also have to pee. Pretty much always. It’s a weird sensation to feel like you need to pee just as you finish peeing.
And even if you quit drinking an hour or so before bed, you’re still getting up, all the time, to go pee again.
The more irritating problem, though, is the hunger. During the day, I cope with hunger just fine. I’m working, I’m playing with the kids, I’m writing, I’m reading. I’m occupied. It’s easy to keep my attention off my stomach.
But at night, I’m just laying there. And I’m hungry. And since I’m just laying there and I’m hungry, I start to think about food. And, being who I am, I have a mental inventory of pretty much everything in the fridge and pantry. I’m combining and improvising foods in my mind, and my stomach is weighing in on the merits of each idea.
Hint: it likes all of them.
I’ve mentioned many times that the ability to fall asleep instantly is one of my superpowers. I guess it could be said, then, that hunger is my kryptonite.
Perhaps because I’m not getting as good of sleep, or perhaps because my brain is adjusting to a leaner mix of fuel, I get downright grouchy for the first week of a diet.
High-pitched squeals from the twins, for example, usually just make me simply flinch. Right now, though, I find myself barking in my special angry-authoritative-brooks-no-dissent fatherly voice: “There will be no squealing in this house!”
An identical rule applies to screaming, whistling, and high-pitched singing. Yodeling, too, I expect, though nobody’s tested me on that.
Other symptoms of grouchiness:
- Minor work crises seem like major work crises.
- Bad weather seems like it’s personal.
- I have no tolerance for bad plotlines when riding on my rollers.
- I am sarcastic to everybody, but tolerate sarcasm from nobody.
Still, it’s only Tuesday, and I’ve already beaten my goal for Friday (I’m down three pounds so far this week). Which means all this sleepiness and grouchiness isn’t for nothing.
Meanwhile, watch your step. I’m likely to bite your head off. Or fall asleep and drool on you.
PS: Hey, my friend Carlton Reid of BikeBiz.com is up for three awards for his QuickRelease.TV video blog. Do him a favor and click here to learn how to vote for him.