Dieting As an Adult: A Timeline
7:45 am: Wow, what a day! I can’t wait to diet and get skinny by Friday—my crush will definitely text me to hang out if I send a fire selfie on Snapchat. I have not a figment of an idea about what I will be doing this weekend, but I’m sure I’ll post a 100 second Snapstory to show it off!
7:50 am: I have my homemade salad ready to go, my single egg is cooking on the stove, and my coffee (no sweetener!) is a-brewin’ and ready to pour into my new ironic Star Wars coffee mug. Don’t believe the hype, Mondays aren’t so bad!
8:25 am: On my way to work! I power jog through the Herald Square crowds. The glare of my maniacal grin parts the Red Sea. Is that a drop of sweat down my forehead? Sweet, toxins! I am unstoppable.
8:59 am: Made it on time to work—and with a minute to spare. I go to put my salad in the office fridge and spy a pot roast sealed inside a Tupperware container. I laugh audibly; I’m not even fazed by its brown gravy luster. I eat clean now!
10:30 am: Uh oh, I felt a rumble in my stomach. Good thing I packed my trusty almonds!
1:00 pm: Phew! Made it to lunch. I eat my salad happily, knowing that the avocado and goat cheese will keep me full long until dinnertime.
3:44 pm: Should I be drinking green tea? I heard it curves cravings!
5:15 pm: When I get home, I’ll eat a quick, healthy dinner and then head to the gym. I’ll go after gym rush hour, so it won’t be too crowded.
8:30 pm: I am jogging on the treadmill and I can’t help but feel that my baked salmon and garlic spinach dinner has already digested. Was that another grumbling in my stomach—no, it’s just a cramp! I’ll walk it off. Everything is fine. I am fine!
8:36 pm: Is it just me, or are my running steps several decibels louder than everyone else? I am sandwiched between Twig #1 and #2 who are running like swift, graceful antelopes. I feel self conscious. Stop it—be positive! I try to take a cute work-out selfie, but I’m sweatier than Ben Stiller trying Indian food in Along Came Polly.
11:00 pm: I am showered, in bed, and successfully resisted a late night snack. Tomorrow will be easier. I can tell my stomach has shrunk, so I won’t be as hungry!
7:58 am: Shoot, I hit snooze one too many times. I also just realized that I forgot to prepare my salad for the day. That’s ok, I’ll make it really quick—I’m practically an expert now! The subways have been really efficient this week, I’m sure I’ll make it to work on time.
9:12 am: I’m a little late. It’s ok though! I have lots to do. Staying busy this morning will help distract me from the sinkhole that is my stomach cavity.
11:00 am: I am all out of almonds. The vending machine downstairs dances in my peripheral as I re-focus my eyes on the Excel sheet. I will make it until lunch. Surely my newfound iron will shall keep me from straying from my path!
12:59 pm: My salad is gone and I started eating it a minute and a half ago. Should I go find a healthy snack? A green apple would do the trick. Oh, look—a banana! The potassium will ensure that I keep my wits about me through the second half of the day.
6:15 pm: I cook pasta for dinner because I HAVE EARNED IT. I decide on an olive oil-based linguini, and I stir in roasted red peppers, onions, black olives, and the steady drool that is cascading out of my mouth. It’s fine; it’s whole grain so it has fewer calories. Anyway, I’ll need carbs if I’m going to make it to the gym later!
9:05 pm: You know what? I don’t need to go to the gym today. I heard working out two days in a row could actually sway your diet and make you eat more. I’ll use this time to rest up.
2:26 am: I can’t fall asleep. The earthquake in my stomach just registered a 9.2 on the Richter Scale. Someone alert the Red Cross. I need a string cheese.
7:52 am: I rise from the dead. I blindly make my morning egg(s) and then go get ready for work. Of course, I forgot to pack my salad again. Well, looks like I’ll be eating out for lunch today!
9:30 am: I made it to work on time, but now I sit at my desk allowing the screensaver to hypnotize me into a parallel dimension.
11:00 am: Bathroom break. Anything to distract me from my suffering. I glance in the mirror and see this:
12:31 pm: I Husain Bolt to the local salad place and request every protein available for my spinach spring mix. I resist the bag of chips and grab the Kind bar instead—just in case I get hungry later.
12:36 pm: I slip my salad container and Kind bar wrapper into the garbage bin. I have 54 minutes left in my lunch break. I have no idea what to do with myself. I crawl back to my desk and write a sad poem.
5:00 pm: I am going to go home and thaw the chicken in my freezer. I am going to cut up a zucchini and roast it in the oven. I am going to drink lemon water until the enamel on my teeth peels off.
5:22 pm: I arrive at Tina’s Cuban Restaurant and order roast pork, yellow rice, a whole liver, beans, and sweet plantain. I will eat exactly half of it and save the rest for tomorrow’s dinner.
7:10 pm: I lie still and motionless in my Shame Bed, wrapped in my Shame Blanket, watching my Shame TV show, while the empty container of my Shame Dinner haunts me from the bottom of the Shame Trash can.
10:02 pm: I have not moved.
6:30 am: I am jogging on the treadmill and I am going to turn this week around! If I eat only vegetables today, I will set myself back on course. This weekend is mine for the taking. I am unstoppable again!
9:05 am: I am showered and on time for work. The outfit I picked out is both work appropriate and stylish. I greet everyone who walks by. I am on coffee number three. I cannot feel the tips of my fingers.
11:14 am: I am already feeling the caffeine crash, but no matter, it is almost lunch and I packed my salad today. I have a fresh baggie of almonds on hand in case things get tough.
1:05 pm: My salad isn’t quite as filling as I’d like it to be, but I know that I need to behave myself to seize the fast-approaching weekend. My iron will has never been stronger!
5:45 pm: I will cook a delicious and healthy meal. I still have that zucchini in the fridge, so I better use it before it spoils. I wonder what other ingredients I can use for my rag-tag low-calorie meal? If I prepare it right, everything will be less than 500 calories.
6:03 pm: The sushi delivery man knocks on my door. He greets me by name and leaves me to vacuum my $27 dollar sushi dinner. I crank 30 Rock at full volume to drown out the guilt. Liz Lemon is the only person who understands me now.
10:37 pm: I decide not to go out with my friends in order to save myself the calories. I watch their Snapchats until my eyes bleed.
7:53 am: I AM AN EMPTY SHELL. HOW DID THAT MUCH FOOD DIGEST SO FAST?
8:10 am: I decide to not eat breakfast to punish myself.
9:10 am: How did this week go so awry? I work a 9-to-5 job, so I can’t even plead exhaustion! I have one last chance today. I am an adult now. All I have to do is look good tonight. I can do this. Oh god, please do this. Do it for me.
11:22 am: I face the vending machine. My dark and distorted reflection stares back at me with empty eyes. Which is healthier—Cheeze-Its or Sun Chips?
12:30 pm: I say fuck it and go to Chipotle. Extra barbacoa! All the salsa! Yes, I know that guacamole is extra, did I stutter?
1:03 pm: I eat half of the Chipotle and then immediately throw the rest away to stop the temptation. I don’t need that much food! I feel plenty full.
1:05 pm: Sweat brews atop my lip. I threw it away sealed and unspoiled. Heart beating, my eyes dart around to see if anyone saw. The coast is clear.
1:11 pm: You just ate Chipotle out of the garbage. Garbage ‘Potle. You are garbage. Go back to your cubicle and think about what you’ve just done, you animal.
5:33 pm: I pit stop at the liquor store and buy two bottles of red wine. I am unstoppable in a new way. Google says that there are 600 calories per bottle. I shrug and pop the cork in my apartment. I take a fire selfie with my wine in hand and take a swig. Dinner is served; I win after all.
FEATURE PHOTO BY RYAN MCGUIRE OF BELLS DESIGN VIA GRATISOGRAPHY