For about a month now, I’ve been on a diet. That means no soft bread, rice or even cupcakes that my friends brought over for my birthday. No honey-glazed anything, no stress candy bar from Walgreens and of course, no beer. My old friend, full of smooth, sweet barley and hops.
And yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve lost 20 pounds in about a month.
“Do you feel better?,” people ask? Not really.
“Do your clothes fit better?,” they continue to probe. No, not really.
I don’t feel better; I feel bitter.
When you’ve got a lot to lose, twenty pounds is a drop in the bucket. A drop sans-beer.
I’d love to be positive about my “weight loss journey,” which is a phrase I would never actually utter except in jest and mockery at the online community of “Namaste” crunchy granola fatties on their quest to fit into some jeans that don’t account for gravity, time or space. But the truth is that I’m annoyed. I’m angry I can’t enjoy chips and queso with my friends when we go out. I’m pissed off that I had to stare at an entire package of cupcakes without molesting them and I’m fucking irate that I can’t even drink diet soda or Crystal Light because it seems to slow my loss so I’m guzzling plain, old peasant water.
There is a clear dark side of dieting. In case you’ve never had to live with eating less than 20 carbs a day – allow me to paint a picture.
First, there’s the social stigma association with saying “no,” to things that bring you joy. Marie Kondo would be pissed. Society looks so kindly on people improving their health (aka not being fat anymore) that they turn you into a self-righteous asshole for doing it. You can’t call it a diet, you have to call it a “lifestyle change” so we can be sure to imply that it’s not temporary, lest the fat reappear overnight. Dieters suddenly resort to posting motivational shit, taking a million pictures of their body to see the progress and talking to everyone they know about what they’re eating at all times. I don’t want to do any of that. I just want to steal that Snickers out of your hand, chew it up and spit it out for funsies.
Also – there is that whole “no beer” thing. Did I mention that yet? None. I had a little bit of vodka one night mixed into some Sprite Zero but I could take it or leave it – so I left it. It’s not even worth the pour. I don’t drink to get drunk; I drink because I like the taste … OF BEER. Now that I’ve broken up with Shiner Bock, I’m sure the company’s taken a hit I’m unsure they’ll be able to recover from. And let’s not even get into mixed drinks. Summer in Texas is the time for margaritas. Nope. Kiss all of that shit goodbye.
Then there’s the constipation. If you’re appalled by the thought of me on the crapper – you might want to skip this part. I’ve been regular my whole life. In fact, I kind of pride myself on the fact that I’m regular. I wake up, and poop; it’s my thing. Only now, I wake up and hope I can poop then make myself some coffee to increase my chances of pooping. People have suggested adding electrolytes, drinking some crazy salt-infused water and crunching on Magnesium all day, but that’s extra. And I don’t really do extra. I’ve heard coffee enemas are great but the thought of my morning cup of joe up my ass is a little unsettling.
So every morning, I sit on the bowl and pray to the gods of my asshole that something comes out. And it’s strange because something does come out – just something underwhelming and disappointing. It’s like my morning shit is a metaphor for my future writing career or something. Then you sit there for another twenty minutes while your feet fall asleep because it sure feels like there’s something in there but the train just can’t leave the station.
The other morning I started to panic and asked my audience (the kid) what I should do. She can identify with the fact that the train is at the station but can’t seem to depart, as she’s fought constipation the whole eight years of her life.
“Sometimes I have to push down really, really hard and then let up and breathe and then push down again as hard as I can for as long as I can,” she advised.
Dude, this isn’t active labor; it shouldn’t be that hard.
So there’s my one-month check-in. On the upside, I haven’t cheated or murdered anyone yet so there’s your silver fucking lining. Until month-two, I’ll be eating my grilled to a friggin’ crisp chicken breast with lettuce – but fuck tomatoes.