The Fat Lady Doesn’t Go on a Diet

by Carol Hess on January 25, 2012

Phew! I’m back. But I’m still shaking off the effects of that photo/video shoot. What can I say? Reality can be a bitch sometimes. Well, actually more like a bitch slap. Wake-up calls – at least the kind of wake-up call where you lose yourself – are very unpleasant, but they are necessary if you’re committed to personal development. And I am.

If there is one thing I’m remarkably consistent about, it’s my own personal development. I am rather determined to keep moving forward, to keep evolving. It’s not necessarily a virtue. It doesn’t necessarily demonstrate strength of character. It’s just how I’m wired. I don’t know how else to be. Frankly, it’s a pain in the ass most of the time.

Also frankly, I don’t understand people who aren’t wired that way. How can someone be willing to settle for the status quo? Don’t they get bored?  Don’t they want more?  And if they are happy within the confines of their status quo, well, I’m going to understand them about as much as I’m going to understand little green men from Mars. (No offense to the little green men.)

That’s okay. I don’t have to understand the status quo’ers. But I do have to understand myself. And I didn’t understand my thinking right after the infamous shoot. Well, that’s not true. I did understand it. I just couldn’t believe it.

The morning after, when I woke up, I wanted to do what I’ve done all my life. I wanted to go find someone or something to tell me what to do so I could lose a ton of weight in a hurry. In other words, I wanted to go on a diet. In this case, I wanted to go on the mother of all diets.  Or several diets at once.

A diet? You’ve got to be kidding, Carol! You know better than that!


If they did, we would all be walking around skinny, right Carol?  If they did, you would weigh minus 250 pounds and have a different kind of weight problem. C’mon, Carol. A diet? Really?

How many times have you done the Sunday Last Supper/Monday Deprivation Diet routine? For those of you who may not be familiar with this routine, it goes something like this. You zoom out to the grocery store on Sunday to scoop up every single one of your favorite foods and drinks.  Then you rush home to consume all those foods and drinks in a massive orgy of overeating. After all, you’re never going to eat and drink those things again. The Sunday Last Supper is the dieter’s equivalent of smoking that last cigarette before you get executed. (Executed? Diet? Executed? Die-t? Get it?)

And then Monday morning rolls around (roll being the operative word considering how swollen your stomach is), and you swing into Deprivation Diet mode. That’s where you live on 5,000 glasses of water, three celery sticks, and 2.35986 walnuts per day (or whatever the “in” diet is espousing that week).

By about lunchtime in my case (maybe Thursday morning in your case), you are hallucinating about hot fudge sundaes and french fries while you sit on the toilet (where else would you be after all that water?) and munch your illegal fourth celery stick (and feel guilty about it). There’s nothing like deprivation to make you obsess about food like you never have before.

Repeat after me. Diets don’t work. Diets don’t work. Diets don’t work.

So what does work? Well, if I knew the definitive answer to that question, I wouldn’t be overweight, now would I? I would be walking around at that famous ideal weight of mine, wouldn’t I?

However, I do have a few ideas gleaned from successful weight losers (notice I didn’t say dieters) and weight loss professionals who have seen the light and are telling the truth. Since the photo shoot, I’m starting to see some faint glimmers of that light myself.  I promise to share them with you next time.

In the meantime, repeat after me. Diets don’t work. Diets don’t work. Diets don’t work.

Carol, are you listening?

by Carol Hess


Categories Relationship with Food, The Mind Game, Weighing In (Rants & Raves), Weight Loss

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sandi Amorim January 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

OMG, I just snorted out loud really LOUD! Been there, done that, totally get it Carol. Thanks for a refreshing reminder!


avatar Carol Hess January 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

I don’t believe you and I are the only ones, Sandi. :) But so many people who struggle with overeating do think they are the only ones, and that just magnifies the shame they already feel. But that’s okay. That’s why I’m here. To let those people know they are not the only ones. Let’s shed some light on this corner of darkness, shall we?


avatar Charlotte Rains Dixon January 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Totally agree, Carol–I don’t get how people cannot be interested in their own self development. As for the diets, I’ve never gone on one. Ever. Never experienced what you write about. And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge for you…..


avatar Sandi Amorim January 26, 2012 at 3:07 am

Haha Charlotte, you totally got me 😉


avatar Carol Hess January 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

She got me too, Sandi!


avatar Carol Hess January 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

You had me going there for a minute, Charlotte! :) Seriously, I wonder what on earth it would feel like to have never been on a diet? Well, I intend to spend the rest of my life finding out what life without diets feels like. I know it doesn’t mean it has to be life without health and weight loss (even though the diet industry would have us believe otherwise.)


avatar Nikki Groom January 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

It’s when you start eating secretively that you know it’s bad… You begin to feel like you need an intervention!

For me, exercise that I enjoy (emphasis on the “enjoy”) is key. Formerly kickboxing, nowadays pilates and yoga (gotta find a new cardio fix – zumba?) – and then eat sensibly alongside. And by sensibly, I mean DON’T eat that ENTIRE bag of chips, Nikki…


avatar Carol Hess January 27, 2012 at 12:17 am

You are so right, Nikki. Eating in secret is a major warning sign. And I agree that exercise is an important factor in self care and getting healthy. In fact, I’ve changed my relationship with exercise to such a degree that I don’t recognize myself! And this is a good thing. I never in a million years thought I would look forward to and enjoy exercise. That tells me my relationship with food can also change. Let us know how it goes with that new cardio fix.


avatar ellen jett February 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm


You may be interested in a book called Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen. The personality types are examined within the universe of Life, Love and Work.

The blog from ? really spoke to me concerning accepting the ‘status quo’ when status quo is boring, unsatisfying, and limiting re: personal growth [that’s me]. And, of course, your humor. I had a good belly laugh from reading your blog besides how ‘on target’ you are with your words. One woman wrote that she admires your willingness to expose your vulnerability as so many of us are unable to. I’m going to write that you show your ‘soft underbelly’ a phrase that Helen Hunt says to Jack Nicholson in ‘It’s As Good as it Gets’. Helen and Jack were in a seafood restaurant ordering soft shell crabs.

Anyway, Thanks for being you [who else would you be]. Oh re: the Myers-Briggs test either you or another woman wrote about perhaps being too empathetic and compassionate. I’m kind of stuck there since I lost both my mom and dad and still kind of grieving and unexpectedly having a knee problem, arthroscopy, physical therapy. I must learn/risk to seek a healthier balance before the empathetic/compassionate emotional teeter totter hits ground 0.




avatar Carol Hess February 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Uh oh — one of my “soft underbellies” is books. So now I’m going to have to check out Type Talk. Yes, I remember that scene between Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson. Isn’t it interesting that my astrological sign is Cancer, the crab? :)

So glad that what I’m writing is talking to you, Ellen. That’s why I do it! It’s always nice to be appreciated and complimented for my writing. I can never get too much of that. I believe very strongly that the writer’s job is to tell the truth — or at least her truth as of that moment. Sometimes that’s scary to do, but when people like yourself respond positively, it makes it a bit easier to get vulnerable the next time.

I’m sorry for the loss of your parents, Ellen. I lost mine many years ago, but I still miss them. I don’t think that’s a grief that ever goes completely away. Maybe for us empathetic/compassionate types, we need to remember to be empathetic and compassionate with ourselves first and foremost. I think that might keep our emotional teeter totter (I’m stealing that metaphor!) a bit more balanced.

So glad you joined the conversation here at Star Polisher, Ellen. I’m looking forward to more conversations with you. I hope your knee problem clears up SOON.


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avatar December 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm

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avatar Carol Hess December 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thank you. I appreciate what you said.


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