The Seven Deadly Stages of Dieting

Deciding to go on a diet is a rite of passage; a journey with various stages that will take you to different directions. For some, the road is smooth, for others it’s a little bumpier, either way there are certain moments which everyone goes through at one point or another – can you recognise any?


You have been doing very well for yourself in this diet so far. It’s been two weeks of successful meal planning, healthy eating and exercising. Your friends want to go out to eat and you decide to join, but you’ll be damned before you let this outing distract you from your weight loss journey. You eat your plainly grilled chicken breast while the others are gobbling down their pizza and pasta; can’t really afford to eat salmon every time you eat out. You munch your food in silence, secretly wishing it was the plate of pasta your friend has just taken a bite of. Maybe if you close your eyes and pray hard enough, the next bite will taste as good as the pizza from the next table smells.


You’ve been looking forward to this cheat meal for quite some time now. You’ve been planning it as of the last bite of your previous one, and now it has finally arrived. The other plates on the table look ok, but none compare to the plate of heaven the waiter has just placed right in front of you. You’re just about to start eating, when all of a sudden: “Ahh how good it looks! Can I have a bite?” What you really want to say is: “If you touch my food I will kick you in the face”… what you probably say, unless of course you know the person well enough, is … “Sure… go ahead”, as you die a little inside.


The very first meeting is a key aspect in any love story, old and new. Will the attraction be there? Will the similarity between the actual and the virtual be uncanny? What if you are left disappointed at the end of it? What if … god forbid … the portion is not large enough? Given that you allow yourself one cheat meal every two weeks, you want this interaction to be as satiating as possible. The ideal situation is one where you will find yourself moaning and groaning with every bite of serendipitous goodness; you can’t get enough and you’re not afraid to show it. You need to enjoy every single moment before it all turns to dust, no matter who is watching.


Ok! You have quenched your thirst and are ready to get back to the healthy eating and exercising routine! You are far from a morning person, but this week you have managed to wake up early to exercise for the past three days. What an achievement! That definitely deserves to be rewarded by one day of sleeping in, you can go to the gym after work. Working day was busy, you won’t really have a great workout when you are so tired, so you decide to go home; tomorrow you will go for sure, you would not dare miss two days in a row. Alarm goes off, you ignore it and go back to sleep. The process repeats itself until you realise that a week has passed and you haven’t stepped inside the gym once…. Shame.


At this point you can feel yourself going down a downward spiral. You have been dreaming about that ftira from the moment you laid eyes on it. You would have rewarded yourself with a bite had you gone to the gym like you were supposed to, but you didn’t, so no ftira for you! After much debate, you have convinced yourself that if you don’t sneak a bite, the craving will just keep getting worse; one small piece should be enough to satisfy whatever it is you are feeling. You cut the tiniest piece possible. One bite, barely tasted it so it doesn’t count, one more. Next thing you know, the big round shape is merely a crescent– you have hit rock bottom.


You are furious at yourself. How could you have let yourself lose weeks of progress over a piece of ftira and an extra hour of sleep, a mere momentary lapse of indulgence? Self-loathing does not even begin to explain what you are feeling right now. Your cheat day has managed to extend itself to a cheat week and after climbing on to that scale, you can’t help but want to slap yourself in the face for being so reckless.


You can’t quit now, you’re too good for that! You pick yourself up and you start all over again. Yes you have had a bad streak; so what? Everyone does! The important thing is to make sure that you throw yourself into the routine once more. Dieting is not one short period of starvation; it is a lifestyle that needs getting used to. As long as you put your head up, act as if that lapse never happened, and soldier on, you will be perfectly fine.

© 2016 – VIDA Magazine – Thea Formosa