What’s so difficult about a food journal?

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First Posted: 2/16/2015

Who remembers that stupid diet — er — healthier way of living I embarked upon in January?

Me neither.

It’s February and I’ve already blown it into a million pieces. The fact remains; I am a horrible, despicable, sugar-infested gorger.

Oh, I tried, but starvation just isn’t for me, man.

As always, I was whining to my friend, Anne.

“I can’t button my chubb-o pants! Well, I can, but then I have, like, this Silly Putty overflowing over the top.”

I lifted my shirt up to show her my doughy excess and she sighed and rolled her eyes.

“I’m serious,” I insist. “This time I’m really going to start eating better. The day after tomorrow. Or maybe on May 1. I’ll sart. Help me!”

But I didn’t really mean, you know, “help me.”

“Look,” Anne said, slapping her hand on the desk. “You’re going to keep a food journal. We’ll get to the bottom of your atrocious eating habits.”

My outside voice said, “Goody! Yay!” But my inside voice said: “S%^T…” I mean, it’s not like I eat two bags of Cadbury Eggs with the crispy shell and say, “Now that was a healthy snack.”

I realize my pitfalls and they all include sugar. Chocolate and sugar.

I’m a bad liar, but a high-caliber exaggerator, so I’m going to be honest and document every crumb I shove down my throat. Anne can sniff out an omission a city block away so I just decide to go full throttle. I even jot down the bad foods; like the two Hershey bars dunked in peanut butter right before bedtime. She’d know anyway; there’s a big, greasy stain on page 3 of my food journal.

Since we began, I think I’m eating much better and not indulging in copious amounts of crap. Hold on, that right there is a bold-faced exaggeration. I just ate three pieces of chocolate that someone dangled before my eyes at work. I’m not made of stone, you know. If I was, I would have a more chiseled core.

At the end of the week, I proudly presented my food journal to Anne for her dissection. She frowned as she turned the pages slowly. She gripped the edge of her desk and gritted her teeth. I think she cracked a crown, and not the one on my head. She slapped it shut and let out an enormous –(and a tad too dramatic for the situation) – sigh.

“I did good, right?!”

“Maria,” she explained patiently, “every piece of food you ate this week was beige, white, taupe or ecru.”

I stared blankly.

“Well, I’m confused. Isn’t a beige potato also a vegetable? How about oatmeal? Healthy. That’s what the dude in the Amish costume on the label tells me. Plus it lowers my cholesterol. Win-win!”

“You have to eat food that’s a variety of colors! The greener the better,” she advised.

“You mean like green M&M’s? Done!”

She threw up her hand in surrender.

“Fine tonight I’ll try a green bean,” I conceded.

I’m playing along, for now, because my Silly Putty is expanding. It never ends. Even after I’m gone, the vessel where my ashes reside will read: “Does this urn make me look fat?” Because, you know I want some Cadbury Eggs shoved in there with me.