The BIG Diet (Or What Happens When You Deprive Yourself of Luscious Delights)--Week #7

First time on “The BIG Diet”? Start here.

I’m so embarrassed.

I really, really hate these milk shakes; I’d just as soon give up eating, starve to death, than drink another one of those ghastly things. The thought of that cold slippery stuff sliding down my throat....

Anyway, yesterday I skipped a shake. Bad move. Later, I passed out in class. One minute, I’m lecturing on Fritz Perls and the “Here and Now,” and the next thing I know, my head feels woozy and legs like rubber. I just fold up and drop to the floor, sick on my stomach and all sweaty.

I’m glad I didn’t lose consciousness because someone would have called an ambulance. My life would have been ruined--no more diet, no more Brian. Nicole and my promise to her. Instead, I told a student to call Shel; I lay on the floor until he came. I knew that I needed to drink a shake and take a potassium pill, but I didn’t want my students to know about the diet. I don’t know why I should care what they think, but I do.

“Not one ounce of common sense,” Shel mumbled as he helped me to the faculty lounge. He mixed a chocolate shake with an orange diet soda. He shoved it under my nose.

Totally gross.

“I don’t want it,” I said. “I feel sick.”

“Well, then,” he said, picking up the phone, “Guess I’ll have to call for the meat wagon.”

I grabbed the shake from him and drank it in one swallow. It was all I could muster not to puke it up. “There! Happy now?”

He rolled his eyes.

The lecture: Shel can’t understand why I can’t relate to food in a normal way, why I have to drink shakes in order to lose weight, why I can’t stop eating when I’m full.

I don’t understand why either. How do I explain to him that something--God only knows what--went haywire in my body? That some time in my past, I lost the ability to control what goes into my mouth; I have to go cold turkey when I diet--otherwise, I cheat.

Next week, I’ll talk to Brian. He’ll understand.


Source: “The Big Diet,” by Jennifer Semple Siegel, Are You EVER Going to Be Thin? (and other stories), 2004.

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© Jennifer Semple Siegel, 2004. This work may not be reprinted or reposted without permission from the author.


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