As I lay in bed, I plan and plot for the next day. What I would eat, what I would avoid. How many pounds would miraculously melt away?
Rice cakes. Those crunchy glued cardboard rounds.
Yogurt and wheat germ.
A cracker or two and a handful of raisins. A tablespoon of tuna. A palm-sized piece of chicken (the palm of a small child).
I lay my head down and smile. “I will do this; I will do this,” I chant as I drift off to sleep.
Dreams of monster cakes filled with decadent creams. Éclairs, with skinny little legs are chasing me down. I trip over a cupcake and fall face down in the river. I swallow mouthfuls of creamy fudge as my middle expands.
I try to get up but the gooey chocolate sucks me in deeper.
All too soon, I awake to the buzz of the alarm.
With a gnawing emptiness inside, I greet the day. I shower. I dress. I venture off to work with my little lunch bag I had packed last night.
I reach in and grab a rice cake.
The flat, lifeless taste leaves me wanting.
I plop myself down at my desk and immediately I am struck by the sweet aroma of donuts. I wave “no” as my colleague offers me the scrumptious sprinkled delight.
“Don’t tempt me,” I exclaim, “I am on a diet.”
A saddened hush comes over the office. My belly breaks the silence with a long, low growl.
A speck of tuna – barely three mouthfuls.
The salty crunch of a celery stick, and another rice cake. I toss a few raisins in my mouth for desert and head back to work.
I feel the pity of my co-workers as they try to shield me from their fat-laden lunches. As the clock strikes 5, I decide to join my peers at happy hour.
One white wine spritzer won’t hurt, I convince myself. I am only going for the camaraderie. Really!
As I park my car, I glance in the rear view window. I promise myself again, “Only one and then home.” I join my crew and with a smile order my spritzer.
Oh, what luck! It is two-fer Tuesday!
As the bartender hands me both glasses, I try to convince myself they are small glasses. I sit back and take a sip. Ummm. A calming effect takes over me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watch the waiters bring out the happy hour delights. Myself and I talked me into walking over to the massive spread “just to see” what was on the menu.
I took a deep breath.
When I came to, I was licking sauce off my fingers.
I glanced down to see a small mountain of empty clam shells, a pile of chicken wing bones and remnants of meatballs.
All amidst an array of sauces.
My mind cried out, “What have I done?”
The smell of real food had sent me into a blackout where I devoured platefuls of food. Delicious, delectable and devilishly fatty foods.
Like a piranha, I had whittled it all down to the bones and shells. I had oinked through it all.
I caught my image in the mirror and quickly turned away in shame. I was part of a feeding frenzy, not unlike a pack of wild dogs.
In anguish, I quickly finished what looked like my fourth spritzer. I sheepishly bid farewell to my comrades.
Unaware of my blackout binge, the sent me off with smiles. Bloated and remorseful, I made it home. I changed and brushed my teeth. I got in bed early.
As I lay in bed, I plotted and planned. What foods I would eat and what I would avoid. The vicious cycle continues.
Barbara Denny lives in Clover.