Lead Me Not Into Temptation!

Thank you, but I know the way. I do not need any help finding temptation, it is all around me. When it is not around me, I am still tempted by things in my mind.

To wit: While there are ‘naughty’ foods in my kitchen, most of them are things that are reserved for Leslie to enjoy during her visits. I have never been tempted by Bear Claw cookies or by marshmallows. Don’t get me wrong, they are both snacks that I would enjoy, but unlike other things that could be lurking in my cupboards, I have never salivated over either of these.

We all have our temptations… our Achilles Heel, if you will. Among my favourites are Buffalo Wings… dipped in batter and deep-fried (or even baked), dripping with sauce… these have been a weakness of mine since I was a teenager. Of course, they have to be really good wings, otherwise they hold little appeal to me. Unfortunately, there is a restaurant which I used to frequent under three kilometers from where I am sitting, that makes absolutely delicious (and sinful) wings. According to their website (www.montanas.ca):

“Dusted twice and cooked to a crispy finish. Try ’em sauced up just how you like ’em. Served with your choice of dipping sauce and carrot sticks. 390-410 Cals/serving, serves 2”

That sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? Until you realize that the 8 wings is not 410 calories, rather it is 820 calories, because they are saying that this order serves two. Would someone please tell me what self-respecting (or not) glutton with a food addiction and a particular predilection for Buffalo Wings is sharing this dish with anyone? Nay, pray bring forth the double portion, and if my table mates wish to taste them, they can bloody well get their own! 1,640 calories of deliciousness for myself!

By the way, the same page of the same website is advertising their cheese nachos at 470 calories/serving… but oh yeah, that order serves four people, so the plate is 1,880 calories. Unlike the wings, this is a huge plate, and likely will be shared… by two or maybe three people, as long as they are planning on a good main course.

Just like there are social drinkers and solitary drinkers, likewise there are social eaters and solitary eaters. There was a time when I would try to maintain a sheen of decorum… I would eat reasonably in company, and when I was alone, I would go wild. I do not know when that stopped; I do know that after I started my diet, Leslie mentioned to me that she was surprised by how much I was able to eat before. On a number of occasions, I took her to a pub for dinner, and we would devour a large pizza and a plate of wings. By we, I think you can guess who did most of the eating. No, I was no longer ashamed of my eating… or maybe I was, but I was not going to hide it anymore.

I do not need to get into my car to go to the nearest fast-food restaurants to get a triple burger combo, or to the grocery store to pick up a large bag (or two) of chips. Of course, I probably would drive to either of those places if I was not actively trying to lose weight. There was a time when I would try to justify that ‘If I walk there, I will be burning off many of the calories I will be consuming there.’ No, Taz… according to www.mapmywalk.com, during the 5km walk that I did on Monday, I burned a total of 519 calories in fifty-six minutes. Extrapolating from that math, walking to Wendy’s and back (1.8km) would burn 186 calories… according to the website https://order.wendys.com, a Dave’s Double® burger (with cheese… they do not seem to list the without cheese option on their website) is 860 calories. A medium order of French Fries is another 350 calories. Assuming you add a bottle of water or a diet soda, you are still at 1,210 calories. If you burned 186 calories to get it, you are still over 1,000 calories.

I have a diet buddy who was telling me just yesterday that she was going to visit some friends, and she was extremely nervous about the pressure she would feel to break her diet. That is very real for some people. It is difficult to say to someone, especially someone who is trying to be hospitable, that no, you do not want what they are offering. No, they cannot get you anything else. It is a bit easier when those people know that you are on a diet. It is just not everybody’s business that you are on a diet… or what diet you are on.

There are several different responses you will get to the statement, “No thank you, I am on a diet.” These include:

  • You don’t know what you are missing!
  • Oh, come on… just one!
  • These aren’t too bad for you!
  • They are healthy!
  • You can diet tomorrow!
  • What else can I get for you then?
  • What diet are you on?
  • Dieting is bad. What you need to do is… <fill in the blank>.

I will address these all individually.

First of all, yes! I bloody well do know what I am missing. Do you think I got to be morbidly obese because I don’t know what really good food tastes like? I do not need to diet because I spent most of my adult life gorging on things that do not taste good.

Just one is what we call ‘getting the ball rolling.’ Yes, it always starts with just one… and then there will be another one, and five more after that. We do not have the first one so that we cannot possibly have the second one.

Whether something is bad for me or not does not mean that it is on my diet or not. That is for me to determine, and I do not want your help doing so.

Avocados are healthy. They are also fattening. The fact that something is healthy also does not determine whether or not they are on my diet. Again, that is not for you to determine.

Yes, I can diet tomorrow. I can also diet today, and that is what I decided to do. Do you know exactly how many days I said to myself ‘I will start my diet tomorrow?’ How many times did I say to myself, ‘I will just take today as a cheat day?’ I assure you, if we counted them all up, I would be slimmer than Ally McBeal.

Please, do not get anything for me. I assure you that if I planned my diet properly, I will either eat what I feel I can from what you are serving, or I will not. I might have a meal replacement bar in my pocket, but that is not your concern. Whatever I am doing, any pressure that you might be applying to me is as unwelcome as it is unnecessary.

If I wanted you to know what diet I was on, I would tell you about it. If I do not, then it is personal, and please do not try to pressure me into telling you.

Yes, dieting is bad… we all know that moderation is the key. Healthy eating is the key. Eating a half a grapefruit before every meal is the key. Exercise is the key. Getting a good night’s sleep is the key. Walking is the key. Taking vitamins and supplements is the key. With all of these keys, pretty soon I am going to feel like the school janitor in the days before there were master keys. In the meantime, you do you, and let me do me. Is dieting bad? Trust me, so is being fat. Your advice is as useless as it is unwelcome.

Do you see what I am getting at? There is temptation at every turn, and we cannot succumb to it. We got fat because we did. Is there really anyone on the planet who does not know that a diet of junk food and not exercising leads to obesity? We got fat because we were too weak to resist temptation. We are being strong now, and we do not need anyone’s help to falter. We know where temptation is, and if you think you are being helpful then I assure you that you are not.

It is too bad that those around us who want to be helpful so often do not understand that unless we ask for their active support, the only thing they can do is to passively encourage us from the sidelines… and sometimes that will be from a distance. If they don’t understand, put it to them this way: When you are watching your favourite sports team losing a game, what can you do to help? Aside from cheering them on and encouraging them from the sidelines, there is nothing else you can do. Running onto the field of play is just not an option. Likewise, the coach does not need or want your advice. Cheer them on, encourage them… nothing else is helpful.

Dieting is no different.

Do not lead me to temptation. I know exactly where it is, and I will go out of my way to avoid it, if you don’t mind…

4 thoughts on “Lead Me Not Into Temptation!

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  1. Well said Mitch but I cannot be on a “diet” which to me means short term. When I was on a diet, I lost over 120 lbs and found 140! Cancer doctor told me she would not operate (uterine cancer caused by estrogen from obesity) until I lost weight. She sent me to a specialist who put me on and in 3 months I was down 50 lbs. Continued on and am now down 130 lbs but still have an obese bmi. But at least I look “normal” in clothing now. Still on but also have protein and veggies most days. Weight loss has slowed a lot. Maybe I should try to maintain at this weight as Dr. Sharma told me to do after my first time losing and before I regained. He said that since I had lost a third of my body weight I should concentrate on maintaining as losing more would be difficult. Back then there were not so many good substitutes like zoodles for pasta ( artichocke spirals etc). Past was my downfall and portion control. Since moving to Ontario, I am still under care of doctor and at age 72, I tell them that I will NOT go off because I know I will gain. It is so much easier to continue on . Veggie soup helps a great deal as well as I need to feel full. Still a scary slippery slope but I don’t have time to yo yo any more and need to stay at this weight or lose some more. I am not on a diet but on a plan or way of eating that has to be permanent . I remember when you were trying this last time and I hope you will stay this time. It is worth it. My brother has developed diabetes and requires insulin and I am not even pre diabetes. Cholesterol is good too. My brother has had bypass surgery twice. It is worth it Mitch and you are still young. Just ignore the tempters. Hard but worth it.

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  2. I’m going to be a nagging, annoying girlfriend for a minute. STOP LOOKING AT FOOD PORN AND GET BACK TO WORK. You are procrastinating and you haven’t even called me today. 😜 Until you change the mindset that food = happy and you find something else that releases happy endorphins, you dear sir, are going to be on this food train for a while.

    Restricting yourself to never having your favorite thing ever again is not feasible. Saying, I am going to have HALF an order of wings and something else that is not going to kill me because I want to live for a really long time is. And then you eat those wings really slowly and enjoy the hell out of them. Do you notice how long it takes me to eat anything? It has been a process for me to slow down, think about what I am eating, think about the texture, the flavor, the subtle profile of everything that goes in my mouth. What does that remind you of? A cigar maybe? Change your relationship with food from one that is for comfort or just something you do to survive to one that is to be savored, enjoyed and to gain pleasure from.

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    1. My nagging girlfriend is, as usual, correct… or at least, partly correct. I have not been looking at food porn, and when I have not been taking HRF out, I have been hip-deep in writing my course!

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