When I put myself on a diet two years ago this month, I had no idea I’d still be on it today. In fact, the only thing I cared about was making it to the weekend. It’s all I’ve cared about ever since. The place where I was working had bowls full of chocolates everywhere I turned. Each time I passed by them, I felt obliged to stuff my face with at least one. No willpower.
So, I made up a rule for myself: No eating sweets, Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays I could eat whatever I wanted. And I did. And I do. Surprisingly, though, I don’t eat any more junk food on the weekends than I did pre-diet.
Admittedly, it’s not much of a diet, and it’s not about losing weight, which is a good thing, because I haven’t lost any. It’s not even about willpower, though. Maybe it was in the beginning, but now it’s more about something else.
Did I mention I have a sweet tooth?
This little non-diet is ultimately about having one less decision to occupy my mind four days of the week. Before two years ago, the mere sight of candy would spark an internal battle. And I’d usually lose. Or win, depending on how you look at it. But however I looked at it, I ate the stupid candy.
Now there is no struggle because there is no decision to be made. Every Monday through Thursday the decision has already been made. And it’s a huge relief. The other relief comes each Friday when I can eat whatever I want without perseverating over it or feeling guilty about it. If I didn’t have the eat-free weekends, I wouldn’t have made it past week two.
Sure, I’ve “cheated” a few times, but it doesn’t matter, because I’m not a slave to it and I can still count the number of times I’ve “cheated” on my fingers. Also, holidays (the ones I celebrate) and vacations are exempt from the M-Th rule, as they should be. Otherwise, it’s four days on, three days off. Rinse and repeat.
Something there is inside me that doesn’t love a variable, which is why at least 200 out of the 365 days of the year I eat the same Clif Bar for breakfast, the same mix of nuts and raisins for snack, and the same turkey sandwich for lunch. And it’s why my brain feels just a little less cluttered when sweets are out of the equation.
Who knows how much longer this will last? I don’t. But I don’t feel the need to stop any time soon.