The Low Carb Crusader
Much like how Dolly Parton has to be thankful to the underwire in her bra, I am so very thankful for the support shown by all my readers during my “Operation: Atkins 2.0”! I replied personally to many of you who mailed me, but after 36 hours, 2 boxes of Band-Aids for my blistered fingers, and a full bottle of Visine Eye-Drops, I decided to go with a blanket statement of thanks for the remainder of you. So if you didn’t hear back from me, it’s not because I’m unappreciative of the support, I just didn’t have the time/strength/power to do it! The mind is strong, but the body is oh so WEAK!
I got lots of advice, both good and bad, from many of you. Everything was suggested from calling on the power of The Lord for my weight loss (“Get Thinner For Jesus, Eat More Cheeses!”), to Mafia-style threats (“It sure would be a shame if I was to see youse in at da Krispy Kreeme, because I hates havin’ ta bust knee-caps.”), to just plain old psychotic people ramblings (“Whenever I want pizza, what I do is go and sit in the parking lot of Godfathers Pizza and jab safety pins in to my arm until I cry and remember how I felt when Mother died and I was all alone and I had to shack up with those Lithuanian boat people who smelled like tortilla chips and pine needles… pretty soon, the cravings are gone!”).
But I think that the greatest advice I got was from all the people who gave me recipes for dealing with my incurable cravings for PIZZA! Well, okay, all the recipes for Proxy-Pizza were good except for one. So to whoever suggested that I just take all the Pizza ingredients (pepperoni, sausage, cheese, sauce, green pepper, onion, olives, etc.) and toss them in the blender to make myself a “Pizza Smoothie,” I appreciate the thought, but, uhm… well, I’d like to try it, but my doctor said I should stay away from all pureed foods for a while? Yeah, that’s it!
I hope this doesn’t come off sounding racist or something, but the majority of the people who wrote to me seemed to take pride in the fact that they could succeed on this diet while being Italian. Having come from a good German/French background, most of my ethnic-related obligatory meals are nothing more than sausage, cabbage, and cheese. But the poor Italians! Every Italian who wrote me mentioned that family get-togethers are very difficult for them thanks to the generous servings of “Rigatoni ala Mothers Guilt” and “Are-you-Ashamed-Of-Your-Family-EAT-Don’t-Make-Your-Grandmother-Cry Casserole.”
Now while I agree that an Italian heritage can be very detrimental to a low carb lifestyle, I think that there may be an even worse ethnic origin combination. Imagine, if you will, a person with an Italian mother and a Starving Chinese father (you know, of the “Starving Chinese” children that your parents told you about whenever you didn’t eat all your dinner?). So not only would you have the classic Italian mother’s side-dish of guilt with every meal (“You’ll WISH you had eaten my pasta when I’m dead and gone!”), but you also have to deal with DAD saying stuff like “HEY! There are starving kids back in my old neighborhood that would give anything for a meal like that! Now finish your tempura-battered rice in sugary-sweet sauce!”
So here I am, back on the diet. Been going strong now for a little bit over a month now, and only one minor cheat as a black mark on my ongoing weight loss (I had to have a slice of Koogan, a sugary raisin/cinnamon bread, baked by my dear old Aunt Verna, on Easter.) Funny thing is, I have come very close to cheating several times during this past month, and have always been able to stop myself at the last moment. (And no, I didn’t stop myself from cheating by jabbing safety pins in to my arm and thinking of Lithuanians.)
I found my motivation in Crystal, my fiance. Everyone is familiar with that feeling after you cheat, right? That “Oh my gosh, that wasn’t even that great of a meal, and I blew my entire diet for it; I suck; I wish I hadn’t done it!” feeling of regret, right? Well, for me, I don’t really care if I get depressed. As with most people on this diet, I spent a good chunk of my life dealing with depression related to my weight, and have absolutely no problem dealing with it again over something as simple as a one-meal cheat. Eat the pizza, regret, cry, watch “I Love Lucy” ’til I feel better. No biggee.
But now that I’m with Crystal, things are a bit different. If I cheat, I know that she’s going to cheat right along with me. And when she cheats, she gets extremely upset. Upset to the point of irrational anger inadvertently directed at ME! So now I know that if I cheat, she’s going to turn in to Cruella DeVille, skin a bunch of Dalmatian puppies, and generally make my life a living hell for at least a day or two!
Gee, come to think of it, that’s an awful lot like jabbing myself with a safety pin, isn’t it? Maybe the safety pin would be a little bit less painful, even!
So my advice to you, my readers, is this; since Crystal can’t be your fiance, too, find yourself a safety pin, and start jabbing!