JH Mae

As I write this, I am choking down a fruit cup - pears and peaches. "Choking down" is an exaggeration, but let's just say I'd prefer a chocolate donut.

I really love Doritos. Oreo cookies. Sugary cereal. Orange soda. And those beloved, wonderful, oh- so- sweet donuts. But since life is sometimes about denying pleasure, I can't eat junk food anymore. I shouldn't. Maybe just one bag of Doritos. One donut?

There are two paths to be trod here. One path is paved with the happy consumption of the fatty, salty and sugary. But at the end of the road is cellulite, muffin tops and self-loathing. The other path is paved with granola, kale chips and plain chicken breasts, and lots of tears.

But the end of the road is a trim tummy, toned fanny and self-confidence.

You can't have everything in life, I guess.

My route to gaining weight was also paved with denial. Since I got married I've gained ten pounds. I have no idea how this happened. I exercised when I felt like it, and half-heartedly limited how much soda and junk food I ate.

But the last five pounds were gained in the last nine months - after I quit my old job. The freedom that came with it led to a little over-indulgent, celebratory donut eating. Until one day while watching TV and inhaling down a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, I wondered when my underwear had gotten so tight.

So I'm back on the diet wagon.


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I did it in the few months leading up to my wedding - trimming down to 135, my all time low. I can do it again. I love Funyuns and Three Musketeers, but no one gets what they want without a little hard work.

This weekend I power washed my house. The white siding looked as if it had been peppered - black streaked down from the roof, mold sprouted under the windows. It was driving me nuts. The process isn't what I'd call a blast (pun intended); I got wet and muddy, earned a sunburn, and my ears rang for a half hour when I finished.

But it looks so much better now. And I'm proud and satisfied and altogether absolutely happy that I got it done.

Hard work is just that - hard. You really, honestly can't have your cake and eat it, too. If you want a hot bod, you can't stuff garbage in your face.

Bottom line. The road that leads to weight loss is going to be difficult, frustrating, exhausting and yes, there will be some tears. But I'm sure I'll survive to see the day when my butt doesn't jiggle anymore.

A side note: There's a lot of talk about six packs and thigh gaps and the like. I don't want to look like a skeleton, there's no beach for me to wear a bikini at, and I'm not going to appear on the cover of Maxim. When approaching the dreaded diet, the goal should always be satisfaction not starvation. And that's my mantra.

I'll also get through it by keeping my sugary cereal, and allowing myself a candy bar once (or twice) a week. Trust me, it's necessary. I get cranky when I haven't had my sugar.

JH Mae is a Banner columnist.