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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

Your Diet Diary

by Elaine Langlois

5 a.m. Here you are, up after a refreshing 11 hours of sleep. You sleep more on your diet, since there isn't much point in being awake. Mustn't talk like that. Just stop and think: you have gone 11 hours without eating. Imagine all the calories your body has burned up as it has gone about the important business of keeping you alive!

6 a.m. You've had four cups of coffee with skim milk and just the tiniest bit of sugar, and you're not even hungry. Just cannoning along on a great rush of caffeine. Pulse racing. Temples pounding. "Heaven blazing into the head." It's almost as good as wolfing down a half-dozen crullers.

8 a.m. Did 41 lying kickbacks, then your complete Pilates DVD at 4x speed. For breakfast, ate four little wheat toasts with peanut butter scraped over them and three-fourths of a cantaloupe. Spent a lovely ten minutes figuring out how many calories you expended versus how many you consumed.

10:00 a.m. Got to work late after a lingering shower and daydreaming on the scale and before the mirror. Already you can squeeze into those size 16 pants, if you spend all day not exhaling.

Noon. Ate your Lean Cuisine alone while drinking six glasses of water and perusing your collection of Nibblers Anonymous magazines. No longer lunching with your best work pal, Volumnia, because of her catty remarks the day you announced you'd lost 4.3 oz.

For years, you've surrounded yourself with friends like Volumnia who share your interests and hip measurements. Now, you have to accept the possibility that these friendships may become strained or even fall apart. No more Friday nights cleaning out all-you-can eat buffets. No more Saturdays shopping together in Bigger Misses' departments

Certainly, you will want to be with them awhile to savor their envy as you shed those inches and pounds. But then you will want to find yourself a whole new set of friends. Women who buy expensive, form-fitting exercise clothes, wrap their knees in Ace bandages, and drag their dogs out for five-mile runs on frozen, tundra-like mornings.

2 p.m. Ate a double-chocolate Boston cream cupcake from a batch Theresa brought in to celebrate her birthday. It's only polite. Punished yourself by running around your desk for ten minutes carrying two packages of copy paper and a couple of electric staplers (couldn't find your hand weights)

2:20 p.m. Felt hungry and ate another cupcake. You will just skip supper.

2:30 p.m. Felt down and had another cupcake. Can't imagine how many calories that is.

2:35 p.m. Ate the last cupcake. Now they are out of the office and there is nothing left to worry about until Valentine's Day.

3 p.m. OK, so you took a little slide. It doesn't matter. What matters is whether you allow it to defeat you or accept it as a temporary fit of madness and move on. Six in ten people keep their New Year's resolutions. You will be one of them. Not just this resolution, but the other one, the one about not saying any more stupid things. Already, by barely speaking to anyone, you have cut the number of stupid things you utter each day from 35 to 17.

4 p.m. Spent the last hour running up and down stairs to deliver your memos to all departments except Volumnia's. You feel purged of chocolate, clean of cupcakes.

4:45 p.m. Should have been listening to the world news and improving your mind, but spent the drive home fantasizing about your fat zones melting away. At the same time, did 750 toe raises, nearly taking out a mailbox, two pedestrians, and a golden retriever, but on the upside, scaring off tailgaters.

5:30 p.m. You were flipping around to see what was on and stumbled across a cooking show! A serious mixer; thick, rich chocolate dough congealing.

7:30 p.m. Whipped up a batch of whoopee pies for the kids in the downstairs apartment. They are so nice when they aren't playing video games too loud or pounding on your door for you to buy magazine subscriptions, you really owe them. Ate a lot of batter. But finally managed to get what remained into the oven. Wrapped all the WPs except the broken ones in wax paper (ate the broken ones). Oops, you forgot; they're not home. Ate seven.

Had a moment of nobility and threw the rest of the whoopee pies in the trash. Rushed the mixing bowl and measuring cups and spoons into the dishwasher and turned it on.

8 p.m. Desperately surfing the Internet for motivation. Found an article that says the average person can expect to put on a pound over the holidays; if you're "already on the plump side," two to five. Ho, ho, ho. And think of how that can add up, the author notes, over the years. A registered dietitian says, "It's simply a matter of burning as many calories as you're taking in." Googled with no luck for the number of calories in a whoopee pie. Might as well just estimate it at 500.

8:30 p.m. Finished calculations. It will take you two weeks of a Spartan diet and an Olympic exercise regime to undo the damage of this afternoon and evening.

10 p.m. Volumnia called. She and the gang are going to Bertha's Stuff and Tuck for a late-night binge. Would you like to come along? You dress hastily and head out the door.

10:30 p.m. Just arrived at Bertha's. You stand in the parking lot a moment. It's cold, and the air is sharp and clear. You stuff your hands in your pockets, take a few breaths, look at the stars. Climb in your car and go home.

© 2005 Elaine Langlois

Mentioned and quoted from "'Tis the Season to Sneak in Exercise," by Camille Noe Pagàn, at Lifetimetv.com.

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