It's time to swallow your pride and admit there's something good about not swallowing every edible thing in sight.
We've all been meaning to go on a diet, but maybe tomorrow... or sometime next year... or when work gets less stressful and we can stop covering our anxiety in Chipotle burritos. Mmmm. Chipotle... Agh! Forget I wrote that.
It's difficult to convince yourself that there's any reason to diet, especially when the results don't come fast enough, and food is constantly surrounding you, calling out to you like a text from an ex. You were meant for each other, you and that burrito. Why did you ever give up on that decadent, 1,000-calorie chicken and beans wrapped in— Damn it! OK. I'll stop.
The point is, there are many healthy reasons to go on a diet, but here are some fun changes in your life that dieting can provide.
1. Getting drunk much faster.
Every time I have a beer and a burger at a bar, I ask myself why I'm not feeling even slightly buzzed. Apparently, you can't ask for your money back from the bartender just because you ate your weight in nachos before taking a sip of beer. Trust me. I've asked.
Most of the time I eat in bars, I'm on what I'd describe as a "best friend's wedding" diet, eating and drinking everything as if it were free and today was a very special day. Except it's Tuesday, and I am just blowing off steam from work. One way to remember how much fun dieting can be is to skip the food altogether, have two drinks, then eat something healthy when you get home. It's the easiest way to get the most out of happy hour. If you haven't eaten anything since lunch when you walk into the bar at 5, you'll be trashed by 6. You'll go home sooner, be asleep earlier, and have gotten your money's worth from the drinks you bought.
2. You can blame almost any mood swing on your diet.
Have you ever seen those Snickers commercials (mmmm, Snickers) that end with someone saying "You're not yourself when you're hungry?" Well, that's true. Skipping a meal is basically allowing any one of your many personalities to surface and take control. You can't be held responsible for your actions! Especially if you took advice from #1 on this list. Then you were super-drunk AND hungry.
For this reason, and this reason alone, I never understood the "Twinkie Defense." I definitely understand being under duress from seeing junk food that you're not permitted to eat. But eating too much junk food? I barely leave the house on days I do that. That man should have been put to death for shooting Harvey Milk. And the Twinkies he didn't eat after his execution should have been sent to me. I know he died years ago, but Twinkies have a long shelf life.
3. Save money by not ordering food for two all the time.
Eating smaller portions means you're ordering less! Quitting Seamless can be as lucrative as quitting smoking. For every time you don't order $60 worth of sushi just for yourself, tally it up in your diet journal, and at the end of the month, use the money to hit the club. (If you're me, a book club. Reading hardcover fiction is an expensive hobby!)
Imagine all the fries you could buy for your friends and silently watch them eat using all that money you didn't spend on yourself! It's right to give back to your community. Stop spending all your money filling your own face with food.
4. Always have something to talk about (your diet).
You know that awkward moment at a party when someone mentions an HBO series you haven't started, and suddenly there's a lull in the conversation? Oh no! What do you ask?
Ha! Why ask anything when you're the most interesting person at the party? You don't need any information about anyone else to talk about how good or bad you feel since starting your diet. Maybe you have more energy at work. Maybe you can't poop. TMI? Not a chance! People love hearing about strange bodily malfunctions. That's the only reason (besides talking about The Wire) anyone even socializes.
5. Forging a diet-long friendship with someone who's even more psychotic about dieting than you are.
Whether it's someone you see at the gym all the time or someone who goes to the same juice place as you, don't be afraid to introduce yourself to the single craziest person who seems like he or she also diets. Not only will they encourage you to stick with it, they will encourage you to feel good about yourself, since, no matter how nuts you go with this health fad, you'll never have the extreme emotional issues this person has.
You've just found a friend for life (or until this diet ends).
6. Finding a way to deal with work stress other than constantly stress-eating at your desk.
Now that you have all this spare time at work and no food to cover up all your negative feelings, you'll be forced to come up with new ways to survive the work day. That might mean taking short breaks to walk around your office, finding an addicting iPhone game, or starting a new hobby like whittling. You might even try working more (LOL, JK).
If you stick to your diet, and can't waste time walking to get lunch with your coworkers, you might even find yourself talking to your boss during the day. That could lead to a promotion if it doesn't first lead to a hunger-induced outburst about how much you hate everything. Give it a try!
7. Feeling superior to everyone including your former, non-dieting self.
Even if you don't lose any weight, the ability to control yourself around enticing foods will make you feel like you can do anything. In fact, if you skip enough meals, your lightheadedness will convince you that you have been gifted the power of flight.
Practicing self-control is a great reminder that you're in charge of your own destiny. Not only are you an authority on eating right, you're also an authority on everything! Don't forget to rub it in people's faces. First, you conquer food. Next stop, The White House! And by "White House" I mean going into the pristinely white aisles of Walgreens for more Slim Fast shakes.
Hang in there, everyone! You'll feel good about dieting soon. And if you don't, you can always just embrace the way you look and have sex with normal people who also love eating.