The Diet: It Sucks But It Works

I love food.


I mean, I love food.


I mean, I really, really love food.


Like most humans, I love the wrong kinds of food. What can I say? The ‘bad’ sorts just taste better. Eating lots of the ‘bad’ sorts also tastes better, particularly as a coping mechanism for depression.

However, that is known is gluttony, and is my favorite sin.

As such, baby-making and age eventually caught up to my habit. I found myself considering something I’d never had to before: a diet.

Before Child #4 and my thirties, I’d been blissfully ignorant of the difficulties of weight loss. I walked a lot. I was actively breaking up fighting children. I worked around the house and in the yard. I cooked our meals; sometimes, from our garden. I’ve never consumed alcohol or coffee and do not drink soda pop often.

About who-knows-how-many years ago, I had to do more. Baby #4 could walk and talk …and go into preschool, so I couldn’t use his birth as an excuse for the 30 extra pounds anymore. So, I started my own variation of the no-carb diet.

Diet #1


I cut out sugar, white flour, white rice, and white rap (we all know Mom’s spaghetti is loaded with carbs). Instead of going completely lettuce-wrapped, I replaced my grains with whole wheat and brown rice.

I lost about 10 lbs; then, reasonably, gave up.

This may have also coincided with school letting out for the summer.

Diet #2


About a year after Diet #1 and Christmas, I implemented another diet. I focused more on not eating after a certain time (9 p.m.), drinking more water, and not eating any sweets or desserts.

Again, this lasted about a month.

Diet #3


Cue yet another year and I told myself this was it. I told myself I would drop that final 10 lbs, whether or not it was Girl Scout Cookie Time.

For some reason, I had also been exercising daily since November. For some other reason, we planned our first-ever out-of-country and longer-than-two-nights trip. The husband wanted me to get a bikini. He assumed I would be seen in public wearing one.

This final time was more difficult than the others; due to its being the last few pounds, due to my exercising, and due to my wavering conviction after a few weeks. I did smaller portion sizes. I tried to avoid refined sugar. I chewed gum, wore my retainer, and shamed myself away from late-night snacks.

But, did it I did. Lost the weight I did.

Aaaand, now I’m back to where I started. Actually, I’m back to where I started, plus a little extra in case we run out of snacks on the flight to where I started. I’ve been trying to diet again, impatiently so.


I always forget how difficult The Diet is. Day One is the hardest. Actually; like they say in Holes, “the first hole’s the hardest;” then, “the second hole’s the hardest….” If I survive the first week without killing everyone in a hangry rage, my stomach shrinks and I make it a while longer. I’m hoping to stick with it till all the extra baby weight is gone.

I write this post to explain why I’m a little testy; why I’m somewhat unfocused. I also write it to encourage anyone working on dieting or other self-improvement. Self-improvement is difficult, but you can do it. I can do it.

We can do it, one hole at a time -er, maybe one salad at a time.


What have been your experiences with dieting? What worked? Whom did you murder during the first week?


I wrote some stuff, too:

Wednesday, January 22: Wondered at the anti-social social world in “Real Life vs. The Blogosphere.”

Thursday, January 23: Throwback: “Herculesa.”

Friday, January 24: Posted the winner of this week’s “Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.” Congratulations to Doug.

Saturday, January 25: Announced the 56th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is an epic poem of adventure. PLEASE ENTER!

Also, “Quick Game: Edit That Book Title,” for fun.

Sunday, January 26: “The Hereafter, Aloft,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, January 27: An inspirational quote from Charli Mills.

Tuesday, January 28ish: Poemed “Wanton Winter.”

Wednesday, January 29: Today

I also published a bit on my motherhood site. I wrote “You Might Have a New Baby If…” and “Time for Baby.”

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit:
Jonathan Borba
Kavita Joshi Rai
Laura Gomez
petra cigale
Ocean Ng
Anna Pelzer

60 thoughts on “The Diet: It Sucks But It Works

  1. A most entertaining post, Chelsea, and very relatable. I have never dieted per say, but then I have never eaten what I wanted to. I have liver problems so cannot eat rich creamy foods. I also don’t have a sweet tooth. I do keep an eye on what I eat. All the best with the diet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1) never diet….. change eating habits…. little bit every day.
    2) drink lots of water 🚽
    3) move more (I’m sure you do more than enough)

    I’ve got #2 down…. working on 1)….

    Don’t look to models etc! Women are expected to be thinner than us good for them!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hooray!! Age and medication have caught up with me. I would love to lose 50. I’d still be heavier than the charts allow for, but it would make it easier to reach my toes while sitting! Ha ha

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Way back when I had my first, I watched daytime television while nursing. I remember a talk show where they had all sorts of diet ‘tricks’ featured from people. My favorite was this black woman who’d hidden her dentures and wrapped herself in plastic wrap. Now that I’m trying to have more self-control, her tactics make perfect sense!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Sad to report I still haven’t lost the last of my ‘baby belly’ after three pregnancies in quick succession… even though my youngest baby turns 35 in a couple of weeks! And I agree with you, depression definitely doesn’t help with diets… sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I’ve never gone back to where I started, before any pregnancies. My optimistic goal is always about the point at which I feel starving if I go any lower -so maybe another week of the diet. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Applauso for your commitment and spirit, Chelsea. I hate to admit it, but vanity – nearly as much as health – has always been a motivating factor in being in good (enough) shape. Morphing deeper into middle-age that has changed. For me, with some binge-worthy exceptions and “earned” treats on weekends, staying committed to sensible eating habits, away from “white death” ingredients … I’m not a Keto zealot … simply balanced diet of micro nutrients – proteins, carbs, fats – and my ass off to the gym a few times a week. Also, no stressing or confessing about any of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what my husband points to: a healthy vanity. It sounds funny to call it that, but there’s always a point at which I can’t take it anymore!
      I like reporting on progress or goals if they’re helpful. You’re absolutely right about stress/confess not being a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Die + T= diet. Never had weight issues until menopause. A trade off-no hot flashes, but gained 20 lbs. And no matter the walking, the gym, the salads, no this, no that, the weight remains. Bikini!?! Convince him tankinis are more fashionable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am of the old school that says a calorie is a calorie. Protein, carb, sugar, fat, if you eat 3500 calories worth of it you will gain a pound. Deny yourself 3500 calories of it and you’ll lose one.
    Of course I say this while I am eating twinkies for breakfast……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Are you really? I think I’d get sick.

      I also feel that way about calories, but then feel more full with some foods compared to others. I’ll bet that has to do with how quickly my body processes them.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Our grandchildren suddenly decided they wanted to become vegetarian as they do gymnastics and had heard it was good for muscle recovery, so my wife started to cook plant based meals and I’m delighted to say I have lost some weight after only a few weeks and the great thing is it doesn’t feel like we are on a diet.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. About seven years ago I did a low carb, high protein diet and lost 30 pounds in 3 months. Yes. That’s true. My doctor was shocked and impressed. I am trying it again but I don’t have the will power I did back then – which was driven by fear from food allergies I had developed. I keep sneaking sugar and dairy is a huge issue for me because it is so easy to grab but I really feel it keeps the weight on me. I’m the heaviest I have ever been and it’s breaking my heart 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds a lot like my experience, but only with 10-15 lbs of that first, extra weight. I literally gained 50 this pregnancy (20 left with delivery, thank goodness!), so I’m feeling fat!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You had me at “I love food.” The double cheeseburger and real french fries picture is definitely drool-worthy. I’ll choose a meal like that 6-8 times a year and be totally satisfied. Moderation and healthy choices when it comes to food plus an absolute boatload of cardio has been my lifestyle for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love food too, and I love to cook with whole ingredients – no processed foods. For me, low-carb has also done the trick, along with intermittent fasting. Have been doing both long enough that it’s not much effort anymore. But I don’t believe in saying, “I’ll never eat bread again.” I do treat myself occasionally, don’t beat myself up about it, and return to my normal eating habits the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Using apps helps me. I downloaded My Fitness Pal and the first time I used it I was shocked to learn that I ate on average 3000-4000 calories a day 😳 So I cut down to 1500-2000 a day and it’s been really easy to follow. Also eating less calories makes me want to eat healthier foods so that I can still feel full. Along with slowly starting running at the peak of my depression, I lost 30 lbs in 6 months. I’ve gained some of it back, due to not running as consistently or tracking my diet as firmly. But now if I were to try again, I would only need to lose about 15 pounds. That feels a lot more doable!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I gave up bread in all its forms in 2016. pretty much the only food change. Eat earlier, eat slower too where I can. I’m a nearly vegetarian too. I drink too much milk, never alcohol and I like sweet things but I can easily have too much. I lost twenty pounds back then and it stays off. It helps my only demands are me so I can walk dog lots, walk lots, go the gym and yoga several times a week and for a balding grey 60-cough- year old I’m stupidly vain… I learnt the hard way that each of us has a diet that works with our metabolism and stomach bacteria and it doesn’t matter if you try all sorts, only the one that suits you will work. The trick; finding that one and finding how you can not actually diet (because that suggests an end goal to me) but affect a lifestyle change. Whatever you do it’s for life so don’t do something you know has a finite lifespan that isn’t concurrent with yours. Sermon over… And skip the bikini and wear whatever makes YOU comfortable; it’s your break.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 😀 Well, the bikini *was* flattering…. I just feel like something’s going to fall out.

      I need to get where you are. I agree that certain foods affect certain people differently. I’d like a permanent diet, a happy medium. Maybe I’ll finish making children, and then try for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Don’t look at me for inspiration and encouragement! I tried dieting a few times when I was younger, but never really stuck with it to ‘success’. I finally stepped back and looked closely at the situation: either I needed to be willing to do what was necessary to eat healthy and lose the weight, or I needed to reconcile myself to that and stop torturing my way through life. (Yo-yo dieting is worse than none at all.) Does that mean I eat anything and everything that I want, whenever I want, as much as I want? No. I still try to park farther away and walk, take the stairs occasionally instead of the elevator, and try to keep the food indulgences within reason. That’s something I can do, and stick to it. Sometimes I get carried away, and have to rein myself in again, but I try to at least hold my weight steady rather than climbing. Maybe I’m not the healthiest person around, but I’m a lot happier than all those suffering dieters. And, luckily for me, I’m not a foodie. I eat to live, though I like it to taste good (though I’m kind of easygoing about the definition of good), but once I’ve eaten and am full, I don’t much think about food until I’m hungry again.

    So, I can wish you well in your endeavors, and clearly you are more motivated and stick-to-it than I am. Losing weight is more difficult the older you get, and having kids adds to that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed, if you really want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m all for being comfortable and not yo-yo dieting; you are absolutely correct! In reading your comment, I thought, “I’d love to get to that point …after I’m 30 pounds lighter.” 😀


  14. Why does food have to taste so good?

    I don’t have a healthy relationship with food, so admitting to that has certainly helped. I’m currently attempting a slow-paced calorie reduction plan right now. Each week I’ll be reducing my caloric intake by 50 calories or so and probably stop the reduction when I hit a consistent 500 deficit. …That and I’m drinking more coffee hahaha.

    Good luck with this diet!

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes.
            But it’s okay–you made those calories, so you’re their master and thus they have no impact on you.
            (At least that’s what the Internet told me, and it would never lie, right? ;P )

            Liked by 1 person

  15. The only one which has worked for me was initially the 5:2 fasting diet. But got bored with that so doing the only eat between 2pm and 10pm one. Initially you just gorge in those ours but as I’ve stuck with it the gorging stops and it starts to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. One year hubby and I went on Slim Fast and it worked great for us until we went back to regular food.
    I find that cutting the carbs really works for me. I hate exercising so I pretty much avoid it. I do drink a lot of water though.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m learning to embrace life as a large woman, be mindful of eating, and appreciate my body as it is. We are life-bringers. That’s amazing. Feed your body accordingly, what feels precious.

    Liked by 1 person

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