16 Stages Of Vowing To Eat Healthier (Spoiler: The Last One Probably Involves Cake)
The first time I tried eating healthy was hands down the worst three hours of my life. Obviously that attempt failed, partially because I've been under the employ of several bakeries, and also because I have the willpower of a 3-year-old when left in a room alone with a slice of cake. Every time I try to pick up the gauntlet and try living off of food groups that aren't exclusively bread based, I go through the same, dependable stages of convincing myself I'm going to eat healthy, pretending I am eating healthy, and then inevitably (and blissfully) failing to successfully maintain a healthy diet. Really, I dare you to find anything on this planet more satisfying than the first few bites of a cheesy, steaming hot pizza after you've given up on a pact to eat more kale. Mmmm, mmm.
And it's no wonder that this is all so hard – eating well is tricky. Everybody has their own brand of what works and what doesn't and I feel like the lines just get so blurry that it isn't even worth keeping up with, especially when you have so many delicious alternatives. Still, every six months or so I take it upon myself to hazard a few bites of an actual vegetable which makes me start thinking that I'm going to turn my bad habits around and be like all those responsible human beings I've heard rumors about. This, invariably, leads me down a path that ultimately ends in failure:
Immediate, Irrational Relief
Ah, yes. Look at me being an adult and making good life choices. I'm so different than the person I was eighteen minutes ago who shoveled down a sleeve of Ritz crackers without blinking. I'm enlightened. I'm changed.
A Misguided Sense Of Invincibility
I can do this. People on TV do it all the time! Seriously, eating well looks like the easiest thing ever, and even though I've totally bombed my last 8,601 attempts, I have a feeling that this is the time I've totally got it made.
Gratuitous Healthy Food Shopping
Obviously I have to hit Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to stock up on every fruit, vegetable, and vaguely healthy grain I can find. Yeah, it's expensive, but my health is an investment.
Total and Unabashed Smugness
Look at me, strolling past the Cookie Butter. I have stellar willpower already. I am a god.
Telling Everyone About Your Diet
"Guys, I'm so focused now. Like a tiger. And my skin feels really good. Seriously, stroke my cheek."
Realizing Everyone Is Getting Annoyed At You And Scaling It Back
It's OK, I can find other things to talk about. Maybe there was some sort of sport that happened yesterday. Or the weather. Uughhhh I just want to tell everyone how good I am at making kale chips.
Oh, look, another Lean Cuisine. Somebody throw me a parade.
This usually kicks in within three days to a week. A friend will have a birthday, where there is cake. Or the office will have a potluck, where there is everything. And you're strong, right, like, you're totally cut out for this, but oh my god, are those mini hotdogs? Why is life so unfair?!
Strange Dreams About Cheese
Or whatever food it is you most crave. In the dream you know you shouldn't but you do it anyway and damn does it feel good. And then you wake up feeling inexplicably guilty for a thing you didn't even eat.
The First "Slip Up"
I blacked out. I blacked out and single-handedly inhaled a cookie skillet. How is that even possible?
No, no, it's cool. It needed to happen. It'll jumpstart my metabolism again, and now that I've had this treat I won't need another one ever again. I'll be twice as strong as I was before!
The Second "Slip Up"
Oh, frick. Was that your entire plate of French toast, bro? My bad.
Much Guilt Very Shame
Oh, man. I spent a hundred bucks on fancy health food. And that pair of pants that were definitely a size too small. Also I might have put up a Facebook status humble bragging about how healthy I was. All in vain!!
Wait, why am I guilty for this? In the words of Emma Stone, "Life is short. Eat the damn red velvet cupcake."
I'm pretty sure Emma Stone didn't say, "Eat all the damn red velvet cupcakes," but that's what happened just now, full disclosure. Also, can somebody please get me a wheelbarrow because if I have to use my body to move anywhere independently there will be consequences for everyone involved?
"What Have I Done?"
You stare into the empty void of the pantry you just ate through, and somewhere in that void you see the reflection of yourself and all your healthy eating failures. Also you see the quinoa packets that you never cooked and now have no honest intention to ever look at again.
Probably the best moment of any healthy living attempt is the moment you decide to give it up. Eh. There's always next year.
Images: HBO; Giphy(14)