I've decided to abandon the Atkins diet and switch back to Weight Watchers. The reasons for this are somewhat complicated but it really boils down to variety. I love and need variety in my food, and when I see something I haven't tried I will come up with any excuse necessary to try it out. Even foods that sound like they'll be disgusting (S'mores candy bar, for example) have a strange pull on me because I LOVE the various experience of sampling different foods. Atkins is very limiting in the new stuff you can try. Weight Watchers less so. I think I can stick to it better.
Of course part of the reason for switching diets is to stick a few days of uncontrolled eating in between there, and I did that quite well. I know these days are coming way too fast and frequent now and that needs to stop. They're astoundingly pleasurable but hazardous as well and they tend to snowball. The more you excuse terrible eating the easier it becomes. It's like loosening the reins on a runaway horse. The more you give the harder it is to get them back.
God I love food. I love a nice piece of pizza or garlic bread dripping with butter. I love crispy doughy dumplings and Beef Lo Mein. I love a really good hamburger, the type where the cheese is just dripping down the sides and the bun is perfectly toasted and you can almost feel the meat dissolve on your tongue, the juices and fat filling every crease of your mouth with deliciousness. Most of all I love sweets. Sweetened cream, so soft and delicate and yet so powerful when it reaches your mouth. Chocolate, layer upon layer of delicate flavor over the rich deep bitterness of the cocoa. I love maple syrup and butter pecan ice cream and flaky pastry slathered with butter.
I love it but it's killing me. I know this. I've taken years off my life already (as inaccurate and loaded as such statements always are) and put myself in serious danger by packing on the pounds. I've abused my body in such a way that it will never FULLY recover, and I understand that. If I don't get rid of this weight when young then it will never go and that will mean an early grave. I don't believe in an afterlife. This is it. Each chocolate filled croissant is another shovel of dirt on the casket.
It's not just hastening my demise, of course, it's also strongly damaging my quality of life right now. For one thing there are the girls, or rather there AREN'T the girls. I'm not going to say that being fat is the only reason I haven't gotten any women. There are a million reasons. You could start listing them now and not be done before there was a Democrat in the white house, even if you spoke at auctioneer speed. On the other hand having a big ass, a bulging belly, and a double chin (at various times) is not exactly an asset in the pursuit of the confusing creatures. There's also the fact that like food women can be a sensual pleasure, but unlike food they are also infinitely deep and complex, helping to fulfill the intellectual and inquisitive sides of my personality. You'd think that their siren's song would be enough to get me to take my hands away from the French fries and shape up.
It's strange. I desire women, really I do. Sometimes I sit back and look at a particularly beautiful example of the species and I'll be blown away by just how much I desire her. I know it's biology and brain chemistry and the hormones I was bathed in as a fetus in my mother's womb, but to me a female form can be the most perfect work of art ever wrought by man or god. The curves, the weight of it, the texture of the skin. Bedroom eyes, the lips and the ways the muscles move them, the line of her chin, the dampness she hides between her legs, it's unfathomably alluring. It doesn't matter though. I don't regret the females I never asked out like I do the blueberry crepes I left on my plate.
There's a host of reasons for that, of course. I have no conceit if not psychological complexity, and I am quite conceited. I'd like to identify a couple major factors though. For one there's the "sure thing" element. Food is a sure thing. You have a certain amount of money you can get a certain number of corn dogs. There are occasional imperfections or problems with food but for the most part it's quid pro quo and easily obtained. Women are a crap shoot in the best of times and a long shot for a guy like me whose personality could be favorably described as quirky and unfavorably, but fairly, described as insufferable. Losing your father early in life teaches you that there are few sure things, even among those that we sort of assume (Like that Daddy will come home after work) and you tend to want to take the sure bet because you don't TRUST the other one. That chick probably won't want you, and if she does she might be a bitch or a cheater or maybe you'll just be bad at sex and never enjoy it. The cream puff will be delicious, guaranteed. Delicious and it will want you. Its love is a sure thing and it's only $1.99!
Then there's love. Sensual pleasure is often used as a substitute for love, and food is quite a sensual pleasure. If you're someone who doesn't get a lot of love or affection from other sources you can feed that need with a peanut butter fudge brownie. If nobody else will love you or touch you or listen to your troubles then, like the one man show says, you can be your own wife and care for and treat yourself. Sugary concoctions aren't blow jobs but anyone who says that they can't be as good has never tasted a perfect eclair. Self-love, it's not just stroke and splatter.
Finally, related to the first point, there's investment versus payoff. Getting thin takes a hell of a long time. Years at my weight. That's a lot of effort and you can work your ass off for six months and not get there and then slide back to where you were with no appreciable gains. That's a real threat. Like I said, I don't trust things that aren't sure. I don't believe that tomorrow will be a better day. It might be, it might not be. I could die of cancer next Tuesday. We just don't know. It's hard to invest so much time and discipline and all that shit when you don't KNOW the outcome. It's fucking hard.
There are dozens of reasons to try and get thin. Beyond the musky smelling creatures with the ovaries and erratic behavior patterns there's sports I want to play things I want to do, the promise of better sleep a sharper mind and more respect from other people, even those whose mucus membranes I don't want to rub with my penis. There's the satisfaction of conquering a demon and avoiding failure. There's cheaper pants that don't wear out in the crotch. Everything a young boy dreams of.
It's something I need to do and something that I need to devote more focus to. I need to get used to being hungry ALL the time if that's what it takes. It may well be. I need to get used to rationing sweets and eating shit that tastes horrible. I need to find love and pleasure somewhere else. A place that won't break my knees down before I turn 35. I need to figure out the balance between self shame and too much leniency and walk that tight rope. I need to write a follow up to a Hemmingway classic and call it "A Farewell to Bacon" (Too many literary references recently? Is this upsetting? I need feedback. FEED ME!!!! back.)
I'm still down significant poundage from the start of the year. That's a step. I'm going back on a diet that worked and wasn't too onerous when I did it right. That's a step. I'm buying my clothes too small rather than too big and trying to stay optimistic. That's not so much a step as a silly symbolic act, but without symbolism where would Emily Dickinson be? Dead, which is where she is anyway, and where I'll be soon enough if I don't substitute fast walking and Brussels sprouts for Grand Theft Auto and cheese balls.
I don't want to die. Really I don't. I haven't even spent all my money yet.