Suggested listening: “Machine Gun” – Portishead
My diet’s working for me, but I don’t recommend it.
As you might know or imagine, the thing about losing weight through diet alone is that it’s really fucking hard. I’m hungry all the fucking time. (Apparently, though, since I’m a guy, no one really cares how I look anyway. This fact, in turn, makes me aware of my male privilege, which makes me feel self-hatred. But, of course, another part of me doubts the conventional wisdom about male appearance and attributes my loveless singleness to my being overweight, which kindles different (and boy, just equally wonderful) flames of self-hatred.) Despite the constant hunger-pangs, I manage to motivate myself to work with ✨✨caffeine✨✨, but the caffeine sometimes makes me feel even hungrier.
All of this means that, for me, weight loss comes at a huge cognitive cost—it takes tremendous willpower and concentration to ignore the constant hunger signals and push on with daily life—and I’m still 20 pounds from my goal weight.
Why don’t I just fucking exercise then, you ask? (Thanks for asking!) Well, because years of shaming from my mother have completely and utterly ruined my ability to enjoy physical activity. But hey man, you could really show her what’s what by proving you can enjoy exercise anyway! Sorry, well-meaning friend, I’ve done the math: Any capitulation will be reinterpreted after the fact as her having been right all along. (Jesus.) And yes, people who know me, I did enjoy being a member of an athletic team in high school and college, but let’s be honest, fellow oarsmen: It was never about winning for me. I hated the workouts, and I whined like a little bitch in practice. I was in it for the socializing. Plus I thought it would help me get laid. So now I’m left in this unpleasant mental space where even the mostly-sympathetic voice in my head telling me, hey, just go enjoy a nice, easy five-mile bike ride, dude makes me absurdly angry. Fuck you! I want to scream. I will sit in bed and eat pepperoni pizza if I damn well please. So that’s why I’m not into exercise.
I am, in other words, intentionally choosing one of the most difficult paths to weight loss imaginable, because it’s the only mode of losing weight that doesn’t make me feel like I’m capitulating to lifelong shame. Shame over junk food. Shame over sugary sweets. Shame over excessive delivery ordering. Shame over body fat. Shame over physical weakness. Shame over the way my clothes fit. Shame over my waistline. Shame over days without exercise. Shame over my lack of physical flexibility. You get the idea: These are the emotions I was made to feel throughout childhood and every time I went home as an adult.
Fuck it all, I say now. I can sit in bed all day, eat pepperoni pizza and candy, drink caffeinated soda, and still lose weight.
My weight loss advice, thus, consists only of this: Track—and harshly restrict—your caloric intake. If you go to bed hungry, too fucking bad. If your stomach’s growling, get over it. Be a total asshole to the craving, needy self. In other words, my advice is to use the techniques anorexic people use—try Googling “thinspiration”—but only for a short while. (For anyone worried, please don’t be: I’m still massively overweight (and I’m not just saying that—I’m five foot ten and weigh 212 pounds. I will balance out my calories when I reach my goal weight of 195.)
Besides, fat tub of lard that I am (ah, phrases that remind me of home!), I’m certain I’ll give in and overeat again. After all, it’s just my nature to be a pathetic fat-ass like that, sitting and licking the decadent male-privilege sauce off my fingers. I’d probably wash it down with a cancer-causing Diet Coke, too, just for the irony of consuming a diet soda alongside, say, an artery-clogging bacon cheeseburger (which is what I want right now—like so bad).
So, please, if you see me and it seems like I’ve lost weight? I could use a compliment, because believe me: I fucking have. Don’t try this at home.