Okay, seriously people, this isnít fun anymore. Itís been two weeks since I started this diet, and I am officially starving.
Donít give me a bunch of baloney (although processed pork products sound mouthwateringly delicious in my weakened state) about how a low-cal protein snack will stave off hunger pangs. A rolled up slice of turkey just isnít gonna cut it.
No matter how many times some rich celebrity ó who, incidentally, eats diet meals prepared by her personal chef and has a trainer who comes to her home gym ó tells you that ďthe pounds just melt away,Ē dieting is hard.
Sure, the first few days can be fun. The same way raking leaves seems fun for the first 15 minutes until you realize that itís going to take three hours and youíll have to do it every weekend. Or the way cooking dinner seems like fun when youíre first married, but then 20 years later, youíd rather chew your own arm off than prepare another meal. Or the way running seems like fun until you come to the end of the second block and suddenly feel as if your heart might explode.
Yea, dieting is kinda like that. By the end of the second week, I want someone to hit me in the head with a frying pan, preferably one that has just fried me up a few crisp slices of bacon, to put me out of my misery.
I hit that dieterís wall this week while shopping at the commissary. The satiating effect of the protein shake I guzzled that morning had worn off, and I was beginning to feel that familiar grumbling in the pit of my stomach.
We all know it. That burning in your innards ó unnoticeable at first, it slowly builds as you weave through the grocery aisles, until youíre ready to grab a cheese ball out of the dairy case and eat it like an apple, cellophane and all.
I rushed from my minivan, across the blustery commissary parking lot, and into the store. Everything was fine in produce, where I followed my grocery list to a tee, except for the bagged Lite Caesar Salad Kit I decided would make a satisfying diet lunch.
I made it through the canned goods, baking supplies and cereal without incident, but as my hunger amassed, things began to unravel in the snack food aisle. With each step, the burning in my gut seared deeper, until I felt as if I might implode like the collapsing core of a supernova, transforming the entire commissary into a giant black hole and destroying civilization as we know it.
Thatís when it happened. Lying there, on the shelf beside the display of Pringles, I saw it. Some coupon clipper had generously left me a lifeline. ďOne dollar off five cans,Ē it read, which seemed such a fantastic deal, it was compulsory. Saliva dripped from my lower lip as I loaded the Pringles into my cart.
By the time I approached the check out area, I had grabbed Oreos, frozen pizza, apple turnovers, and a one-pound block of cheddar cheese. Blinded by desperation, I caught the tantalizing aroma of roasted chicken.
Two rotisserie chickens soon joined the mountain of forbidden foods heaped onto the cashierís conveyor belt. While the bagger loaded my groceries into the back of the minivan, I wondered how I could sneak food to the front seat for the drive home.
I had done this before. ďOh, Iíd better put the chicken up front to keep it warm,Ē I had fibbed to other baggers during past diets. By the time I pulled into my driveway, my face and steering wheel were slick with grease, and with a drumstick clenched between my teeth, I was a dead ringer for Henry the VIII.
But sadly, the opportunity never came. Instead, I barely made it home to my driveway, where I frantically dug through the trunk to find that Caesar salad kit. I stumbled into the house without unloading my groceries and devoured my lunch out of a Tupperware bowl while standing at the kitchen counter.
Disaster may have been averted that day, but I wonít sugarcoat the truth -- as much as Iíd love something, anything sugarcoated right about now. I will hit another wall, but I refuse to give up. As long as I can make it over each obstacle, even with a drumstick hanging out of my mouth, Iíll eventually win the battle.
(Editorís note: Currently stationed in Newport, Rhode Island,†Molinari is a 20-year Navy spouse and mother of three teenagers, whose award-winning columns appear in military and civilian newspapers nationwide, and on her blog, themeatandpotatoesoflife.com)