I tried to diet last week because I am determined to become a healthier person.

Reluctantly, I have decided to discuss how the diet went last week mainly because I feel like my diet attempt is basically everyone who has a hectic, crazy life and has attempted a diet.

Monday started off really well. I had a banana for breakfast, which, believe it or not, tasted nothing like my usual toaster strudel. I even managed to drink 40 ounces of water before noon. For lunch, I had some raw veggies — broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, and celery — with a tiny bit of ranch dip. After lunch, I maintained the water drinking and bypassed my usual afternoon Coke. On Monday, I didn’t even touch the chocolate in my desk drawer! During my planning period, I ate an apple. For dinner, I grilled some lean sirloin steak and sautéed some mixed vegetables — zucchini, squash, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, oh my! I went to bed without my usual nighttime bowl of Frosted Flakes, which was tough, but I managed to fall asleep without it.

Tuesday was a similar story. For breakfast, I ate a banana. The craving for my usual toaster strudel was a bit more intense than on Monday. For lunch, I had some raw veggies with dip again, but I added a packet of tuna to help with the afternoon urge to eat my arm before dinner. My water intake on Tuesday was pretty good. However, my bladder was not handling the added water well. I have never peed that much in my life. The craving was intense, but I once again avoided my afternoon Coke and chocolate. Instead, I had an apple during my planning period, which occupied my hunger for a brief moment. By dinner, I was starving. I cooked some teriyaki chicken, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, and white rice. It was so delicious that I passed on the evening bowl of cereal again!

On Wednesday, I had a banana for breakfast and my raw veggies, dip, and tuna again for lunch. Prior to my staff meeting, I inhaled an apple and a handful of gluten-free crackers. Having a soda alongside my weekly staff meeting is a tradition, so you can imagine how that was for me. Nonetheless, I sucked on the straw of my water bottle, imaging every sip was a giant gulp of fructose heavy Coke. Then the meeting was over, and I still had a giant stack of papers to grade… that is when it happened… I opened the desk drawer… Next thing I knew, there were five empty Dove chocolate wrappers covering my desk. I apparently blacked out in my candy container. I redeemed myself only slightly by cooking a healthy shrimp and veggie stir-fry for dinner. When my husband asked how the diet was going, I did not mention the chocolate incident from earlier that afternoon. I did manage to go to bed without any snacks though, so technically I was still winning.

Let me be honest, Thursday is when the stuff really hit the fan with my diet. For breakfast, I had my banana, and even for lunch, I had my usual veggies and tuna. In the afternoon, I had an apple for a snack and I stuck with the water even though the urge to grab a Coke out of the staff lounge was suffocating me. Then came my daughter’s dance class on Thursday evening. That, my friends, was the last time I saw my intact diet. After dance class, even though it was freezing outside, my toddlers talked me into going to the holiday festival to see Santa. When we arrived, the line was gigantic. It only took about two minutes of waiting for my daughter to decide these temperatures were not worth seeing Santa. On the other hand, my son was determined to stand there all night if we had to. As my daughter’s cries got louder, I knew I was going to have to come up with a high-stake negotiation to get my son to budge from his spot in line.

“Hey buddy, do you want to stay in line to see Santa or go get Runza?” I asked.

“Yay! Runza!” He yelled as he started running towards the car.

Folks, it turns out that for a four-year-old, Runza triumphs over Santa. Besides, can’t we just mail a letter or something?

As I was driving to Runza, I told myself that I would only get the kids something, but that thought was dead the moment I saw that cheese dripping from the side of the double cheeseburger screaming at me from the menu board. Next thing I know I’m upsizing to a large combo with frings and a Coke and, of course, two extra French onion dips. Nothing has ever tasted that good in my entire life.

I don’t remember Friday. I think I blacked out from the carb overloading. I do remember dozing off on the couch that night with my bowl of extra buttered popcorn on my lap as the Avengers played on the living room television.

Needless to say, Saturday involved Taco Bell binging, Sunday involved a Bloomin’ Onion from Outback Steakhouse, and my water bottle hasn’t left the fridge since Thursday night.

My diet may have started out strong, but unfortunately, it never made it to the finish line.

Maybe I will try again in January. Besides, I’m pretty sure there are rules in place about diets on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For now, as I am signing off from this column and the winter storm rolls into town, I think I will indulge in a few pieces of Dove chocolate before diving into a baked potato and some chili.

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