4 December 2002
"I'm not on a diet tonight," I told my mother as I agreed to have a
pre-dinner drink with her. How long had it been since I had anything alcoholic? I can't
even remember. But she sipped her vodka tonic and I had a glass of chardonnay and enjoyed
"I'm not on a diet tonight," I told her as we went to the buffet table and I
took helpings of potatoes and yams and stuffing and creamed spinach along with my turkey
and green beans.
"I'm not on a diet tonight,"I told her when they invited us to visit the
dessert buffet and I took the remaining piece of pumpkin cheesecake.
We went home from the restaurant sated and, as I said, having had an "elegant
In the morning I was very pleased that I had made the choice not to go to the
traditional Sykes family gathering at Tahoe. I had been a good girl and made pumpkin pies
for Walt to take with him, but I would not be raiding the fridge at 3 a.m., hoping those
snoring in the room next to the kitchen would hear me quietly open the tupperware
containers and help myself to a piece. Or that nobody would notice when I slipped my third
"sliver" onto a plate and pretended it was my first.
I'd managed to avoid the pumpkin pie temptation entirely by making the pies and
then sending them away. I had my "I'm not on a diet night" and could put it
behind me as a "holiday one-day vacation."
I always seem to be starting diets two or three weeks before Thanksgiving. I don't know
why. It's like I was setting myself up to failure. Get all enthusiastic about a new eating
plan just long enough to have it become old hat, and then plunge myself into stuffing,
cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie--and all those munchies that the skinny people in the
family bring along for snacking all day before dinner, and the Sees candy that someone has
given someone at the office, which they bring to Thanksgiving so they won't be tempted to
eat it all themselves. And then, when the enormity of my leap off of the diet regime sets
in, I feel so awful about not being able to stick with my newly formed resolution that I
This year I did it more intelligently. I started this diet after Gluttony
Season. In January, when there is nothing tempting coming up until Easter. Definitely long
enough to let good habits sink in.
And I neatly bypassed the temptations of Thanksgiving by allowing myself a day to be
"not on a diet," and sending the biggest temptation up into the mountains.
But they didn't finish the pies. There weren't enough people in the group--and without
me along, there was nobody sneaking in to take handsful at 3 a.m. So they brought home
the leftovers. There it sat. My pumpkin pie. The pie I sent away so I wouldn't be
tempted. Did I have the fortitude to throw it away.
Sigh. No. "It's only one more day," I told myself. And I ate the leftover pie
(which was starting to taste like maybe it had been sitting out for a couple of days--but
I ate it anyway.)
So this morning was my day of reckoning. "I have to go to Kaiser first to get some
lab tests done," I told Walt, thinking that maybe it would take so long I'd miss time
for the Weight Watcher weigh-in. I even stopped en route at the post office to buy stamps
for those Christmas cards I'm finally going to send out this year, since it was 7:30 a.m.
and I figured I'd miss the line-out-the-door Christmas crowd (I did).
I left half of my blood at the lab (they needed four vials to do all the quarterly
diabetic testing), but even with that, when I got back into the car and looked at my
watch, I could see that I still had half an hour to weigh in. Sh!t.
Maybe I could just skip it. I knew I would have gained. The number "5" kept
flashing in my mind. Wine? potatoes? candied yams? pumpkin cheesecake? pumpkin pie?
Definitely 5. I've been biking more than usual, with the car in the shop and discovering
how to really do The Big Hill so easily that I'm almost enjoying it. But I also passed up
the club a couple of days--including today, when I didn't wake up until nearly 6:30. I
haven't exercised off wine, cheesecake, stuffing and pumpkin pie.
I also baked a turkey last night (seriously!). I ended up with a thawed turkey that was
supposed to go to a family that didn't have food for Thanksgiving, but I didn't have a car
to take it anywhere and Sam, from Breaking Barriers, was so swamped trying to feed 1000
people that she never had time to get over here to pick it up. So I had to cook it. I ate
a lot of turkey last night (to my credit, at least I didn't stuff it, or buy
Then I looked at the lab tech taking my blood this morning and remembered not that long
ago, when I was her size. How could I have stuffed all that bad stuff in my face, putting
myself on the track back to that size again?
So yeah--time to take my lumps again. I noted with some pleasure that when I parked
across the street from WeightWatchers, that I managed to "sprint" across the
street. "Sprinting" has not been in my vocabulary for so long.
The meeting was in progress when I arrived and I quietly got my folder, took off my
jacket and put my 20 lb purse on the chair and stepped up onto the scale.
The numbers didn't look as bad as I expected. I figured they were up, but the weigh-in
person didn't say a word, and I didn't ask. I grabbed my card and headed out the door, not
looking at it until I was outside. 1.6 lbs. I'd only gained 1.6 lbs. Not 5. A reprieve, of
sorts. First time in a year there has been a gain two weeks in a row, taking me back to 80
lbs. But I'm determined that I am not going to gain any more. The pumpkin pie is gone and
I don't have any temptations coming up until Christmas, so I should be able to stick with
the program again for the rest of the month.