It found me on New Year’s Day: 10:40 AM. The defenses I had built up the previous evening (and throughout the holiday season) proved surprisingly feeble, and by mid-day the beast burrowed in deeply.
Ever since that day, the pest has been a constant companion: nibbling, gnawing, nagging at me dozens — if not hundreds — of times a day. Hot or cold, wet or dry, no conditions can shake the little monster. Even when I feed it, there’s no relief. At least not for more than a moment or two. So: I simply grit my teeth and endure.
I fight a daily battle with the hunger pangs of a man who’s on a diet.
For some reason, I find this pest of middle-aged existence particularly odious. The plague of male pattern baldness set in on me years ago, and I’m made my peace with it. I’ve learned to deal with periodic attacks of the back-pain monster ever since my decade in Amsterdam, and some physical therapy has given me tools for dealing with it. The wrinkles around the corners of my eyes have never really bothered me that much. And regular exercise is actually something I enjoy. But this whole dieting / calorie-counting / watching-my-weight thing… I’ve been glad to escape it for as long as I have.
With the onset of 2014, however, I’ve come to realize that I can escape the struggle no longer. The enemy is real, and it must be met in battle. I’ve got the support of my wife and some friends. I’ve got some gimmicks that help to make things more fun and practical (anyone else like to use MyFitnessPal?). I’ve got all the information I need to build discipline into this area of my life. I’m just finally making the decision to diet. I don’t like to think of it as a resolution, but I’m certainly resolved. And I expect to win.