The Dreaded D

by Carol Hess on April 29, 2011

“I can’t hear you!  I can’t hear you!  I can’t hear you!” 

Little Carol claps her hands over her ears, stomps her feet up and down, and screams at me, “You can’t make me!” 

She’s absolutely right.  I can’t.  I can’t make her eat the broccoli I’ve been so busy telling her is yummy, yummy, yummy. Once Little Carol is triggered, that’s that.  There is no reasoning with her.  She categorically refuses to do anything I want her to do.  

Eat that nice, crisp, bright green piece of broccoli?  Fat chance.  (Fat being the operative word.)  Slurp that smoothie that was a pretty lavender until I added the spinach and made it look like – well – sludge?  No way, José.

I can’t fool Little Carol.  She knows when the Dreaded D has invaded our happy little home.  No matter what I call it – a food program, a plan of eating, a menu – she knows when we’re on the Dreaded Diet. 

We’ve been on one too many of them, she and I.  No matter what I promise her this time – the most beautiful party dress in the store, the coolest little boy to play with, her very own 2-story playhouse  – Little Carol isn’t falling for it.  She knows (1) the diet won’t work and (2) she won’t get what she wants.

No more diets!  No more deprivation!  No more delusions!  (I seem to be fixated on d-words today.)

Little Carol is fed up with my bullshit and, quite frankly, so am I. 

Before I can figure out what I’m going to do about this disillusionment of ours (another d-word, really Carol?), Little Carol starts talking.

“We gained a pound.  Your stupid old diet isn’t working.  Forget the diet.  I want chocolate!  I want cookies!  I want a McDonald’s double cheeseburger with fries.  And don’t forget the Coke.  Oh, make that a Diet Coke because, after all, you’re on a DIET!”

That last word is screamed so loud, it’s my turn to clap both hands over my ears.  But it doesn’t help.  I can still hear Little Carol chanting over and over and over, “Chocolate, cookies, cheeseburger, fries, DIET coke.  Chocolate, cookies, cheeseburger, fries, DIET coke.  Chocolate, cookies, cheeseburger, fries, DIET . . . ”

“All right!” I scream.  “I give up!”

I grab my purse and run out the door, car keys in hand.

And the rest, as they say, is history.  My history.  Our history.  The scenario that plays out, sooner or later, every single time I put myself and Little Carol on the Dreaded Diet.

Diets don’t work.  Restricting doesn’t work.  Deprivation doesn’t work.  White knuckling it, keeping a death grip on the reins of control, beseeching the gods of willpower and self discipline – none of it works.

At least not in the long term.  And, since I’ve got over a hundred pounds to lose, we are definitely talking long term.

Even if I lose all the weight, I know what will happen.  I will put it all back on again.  How do I know?  Because one time I lost 90 pounds and stayed at that weight for about thirty seconds before I started gaining it all back again plus more.  Gain, lose, gain back more — a 3-step dance.  The Weight Watcher’s Waltz.  The Diet Deprivation Dance.  The I Can’t Keep Doing This Can Can. 

The Diet Dance doesn’t work no matter how often I change the music or my dance partner. 

I’ve got to find another solution. 

(Smell of burning wood as I think.) 

Hmm.  Could it work?  Maybe.

I’m a more kind of gal.  If one is good, two is better, and three’s the best of all.  Less is most definitely not more in my book.  More is more in my book. 


I’ve been focusing on the part of the glass that’s empty.  On what I can’t have.  What about concentrating on the part of the glass that’s full?  On what I can have?

I’m not exactly sure how that’s going to play out, but I think I might be on to something.  Little Carol is quiet.  This is a good sign.