He stalks the fifth floor every Friday, nostrils flaring over the cubical canopy in search of an elusive scent. His heavy footsteps cause little cups of water to ripple as many as four cubes away. Will there be bagels today? Doughnuts? Will there be both? Does coming in twenty minutes late mean he’s stuck with the pink doughnuts with the weird sprinkles? Or will he have arrived in time for the jelly and chocolate cream-filled tasties? He’s in luck: two doughnut boxes sit on the little table next to the VP’s office, closed and stacked on top of each other.
His breathing quickens as he tears towards his prey. Behind him, someone shouts, “John, did you get my email…” but it sounds like “bla bla bla” and he pretends he doesn’t hear it. An intern steps out of her cube but ducks back to avoid being trampled. He arrives at the box and opens it, grabs one of the paper plates and loads a chocolate cream and a jelly onto it, but no more than that. He’s on a diet.
For the last six months, the above scene played out every Friday. Oh, did I say Friday? How about every other day, at least, because there’s always random doughnuts and cakes and Panera sandwiches and cookies from meetings with vendors and potlucks at my job. All the frickin’ time. But that’s not the best part–I get to blame all this “bad luck” for my failure! It’s the job causing me to fall off the program, not me. I’m just a victim in all this, why not have a doughnut?
For the last year, my weight loss program has focused on low carb eating. Specificaly: the Atkins diet.
“But John L. Monk,” you say. “I thought Atkins was supposed to be easy. You make it sound hard!”
Easy, huh? Let’s get real for a second: 160 million years of mammallian evolution telling you to shove everything tasty into your mouth before you starve to death is not something that can ever be overcome easily. It takes work.
In my case, it only took 3 days of work.
That’s right. I sit here typing this up with no particularly strong cravings for doughnuts or ice cream or bread or pasta or rice or baked potatoes. Would I want a doughnut if one appeared next to me? Yeah. Am I telling Dot we’re almost out of paper towels so I’ll have a reason to go to Giant and snag an eclair (they’re big) from the glass-enclosed Fortress of Awesomeness back by the deli? Nope. I’m actually not that hungry. That’s one of the great things about Atkins–after a few days, a week in some cases, your craving for carbs goes away. This is how I lost 60 pounds last year.
But natural selection…she’s mean. It was around Christmas that I went to a fast food place and got a burger with the bun, and it’s been downhill ever since. In my case, I can’t screw up or the cravings come back. So here’s my advice to anyone wanting to try Atkins: don’t screw up.
Not so easy or pleasant at first, I know–but it has to be better than turning into a monster at work and scaring the interns, right?
(Big thanks to my wife Dot for letting me guest blog! Did you see that picture she posted of herself? She’s one hot momma.)