by Vicki Wilson
I was on a diet.
It was a few months after the holidays, over which I’d eaten much chocolate and more prime rib than a good-sized tyrannosaurus rex. And then everyone in my family had a birthday with cake and ice cream and then it was after Easter and I needed to drop a few pounds.
I’m a writer. A work-from-home, hungry writer. I measured, and the refrigerator is thirteen feet from my desk. The pantry is closer. The pantry has potato chips.
On the first Day of the Diet, I sat down at my computer with an apple and my cup of coffee all creamed up with skim milk. I sipped and nibbled while I opened my emails. “This isn’t so hard,” I thought. “My mind is occupied. My coffee is good. I don’t need a bagel. I don’t need cream cheese. I don’t need one of those Boston cream doughnuts. I certainly don’t need scrambled eggs.”
In one email response, I typed “steak” rather than “stake.”
Lunchtime came (at 11:30 a.m. because 11:30 a.m. is lunchtime when you’re on a diet). I made a healthy turkey wrap, sat back down at my desk, and felt as though confetti should fall from the ceiling, both to celebrate my dietary parsimoniousness and that it was lunchtime. When I looked up from the writing I was working on, I was surprised to find my turkey wrap gone. Writing is a hazard when you’re on a diet. You can become too absorbed in what you’re composing and completely miss that you had a meal. This is not encouraging for your dieting mind, which by this point was obsessed with a turkey bacon club with extra mayo with a side of fries and a large Coke rather than a nice turkey, lettuce and tomato wrap (which had already been eaten).
No, not yet.
2 p.m. I ate baby carrots and thought about pitching someone an article on whether hunger can make you wild-eyed and nutty as a fruitcake (I noted that the mention of fruitcake did not make me want fruitcake and I congratulated myself on not being too far gone).
Nope. 4:30 p.m.
The phone rang and I jumped on it like I was grabbing for a rope to leap out over a swimming hole. Hunger distraction. It was my husband. We made small talk. Then, “What do you want for dinner?” he asked me.
Oh, goodness. What did I not want? I wanted mashed potatoes with butter. I wanted lasagna. I wanted macaroni and cheese.
“Maybe a grilled chicken salad?” I said. “I’m on a diet.”
“Right,” he said. “Okay. You want me to pick it up?”
“Sure. Or, maybe, why not just a cheeseburger?”
“A cheeseburger? What about the diet?”
“Okay, just a hamburger.”
“Okay,” he said, and hung up.
I didn’t need a cheeseburger. I was a work-from-home writer. I had cheese in the fridge, thirteen feet away. Right beside the pantry with the Lays.
I had everything I needed.
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www.vickilynnwilson.com or follow her on Twitter (@Wilsvick).
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