My Diet, My Breakdown

DISCLAIMER: So as to not disappoint you when you find no breakdown worthy of a trip to the ER in this post, just know that my breakdown was me being depressed (quite depressed actually) that I couldn’t eat an inviting slice of supreme style pizza in an open box, on my parent’s kitchen table; all because I was vacationing in Diet Land.

When I started my diet I weighed 168 pounds. Not bad, except that I should weigh 150 pounds. Now, I don’t expect you to cry me a river or write a book listing 184 reasons the residents of earth should feel sorry for me; just know that I didn’t feel comfortable or good at 168. So, I set a goal — I was going to lose 18 pounds.

I’ve never been on a diet; not really at least. I’ve had three days here or a week or two there that I made wiser food selections and actually exercised, but that’s grown-up, normal life stuff, right? Or at least it should be. A diet is something else.

One of those embarrassing photos where the husband (me) pretends to also be expecting (taken forever ago):

Let me be a hypocrite and do something that always annoys me — offer a definition of the word diet, found on the world wide web:

Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.

And I will include the awesome sample sentence that was attached to the above definition:

“It is difficult to diet in a house full of cupcakes.”

Fact. Except, truth be told, I’m more of a pie guy. Although, there is this cupcake place in Phoenix, AZ that will send you traveling, bare foot, on clouds of flavor and joy, all before you are surprisingly dropped in to an abandoned alleyway just to have your insides murder you; all for your time piece.

One more thing: not only would it be difficult to diet in a house full of cupcakes, it would be difficult to live in a house full of cupcakes. I’d like to imagine myself swimming through the cupcakes like Scrooge McDuck swam through his money, but get real, swimming through cupcakes or trying to move around in a house full of them, would be awful, and sticky.


I wanted to weigh 150 pounds; and so, like the definition says, I restricted the amount and types of food I ate — I started a low calorie, limited food option diet. I could eat most white meats, red meat sparingly, vegetables, and fruit. Other than Total for breakfast, that was basically it. The menu was fine; I’ve always loved and eaten fruits and vegetables; I enjoy chicken breast and fish; all was well or so I thought.

The first week was great; I didn’t mess up or cheat; I even discovered that pickles have no calories. That was all before visions of Mexican food, thin sliced cheese pizza and Tom Yum Ghai danced in my head.

The blues I was feeling were not caused by eating yet another chicken breast with broccoli and 6 baby carrots as a side, they were caused by seeing my wife eat the steak ranchero plate from one of our favorite Mexican restaurants; it was my sister and mom bringing home a Costco supreme pizza, of course after 7 pm — when I can no longer eat — and of course, after I’d already consumed my limited calories for the day (like I could eat the pizza anyway).

My breakdown. I do not exaggerate when I say I stalked the pizza like a lion stalks a gazelle. I paced around my parent’s island, pretending to be casual but casting dangerous eyes at the pie. Rinda kept telling me, “James! Get away from the pizza, that’s not going to help. You only have 4 more days of your diet, you can do it!”

She was being a good wife; but that didn’t change the fact that I wanted to punch every diet, especially mine, in the neck and lunge for a slice; and then proceed to scarf it down — like Buzz did with Kevin’s cheese pizza in Home Alone. Instead, I chose to pout. I literally sat down at the counter (right next to the pizza) with hate and gloom painted all over my grill. Rinda: “What’s wrong? I was just trying to help you out, you have lost so much weight already. If you want to eat a slice of pizza, go ahead.”

I had lost 11 pounds but I didn’t care about the weight loss, I wanted pizza. When she saw me, still mad, Rinda said, “James! just eat some pizza.” I resorted back to my 4 year old self and whimpered, “you’ll be disappointed in me;” she kind of laughed (I am almost 27) and she said, “James, I’m not going to be disappointed, it’s one slice of pizza.” My sister chimed in with, “if it’s going to make you unhappy…just eat a piece of pizza.” Needless to say, I did not eat pizza that night.

Instead, I chose the mature route: I stood up, packed our things, and we left my parent’s house, leaving my family and their blasted pizza behind.

I have since assimilated that it was not the particulars of the diet that was making me unhappy, it was the lack of choice — I felt like I was trapped. From this diet I have learned the importance of balance. Go ahead, eat the things you like, even the unhealthy ones, but if you do, make sure the other meals you eat (that day or the rest of the week) are healthier; and for heaven’s sake, do some exercise.

Now, by no means am I a champion exerciser — the only time I’ve ever been to a gym is when they forced me to lift weights in 8th grade. I don’t like rooms full of exercise machinery. However, I do love being outside, especially in the morning; and so I use that as inspiration to get out and a run a mile or two. I like movies; so I watch one while I’m on a stationary bike; I like Rocky; so I pretend I’m him while I jump rope. You get the point — if you hate exercising (traditionally speaking), find an activity you do love and add exercise to it. Do you like bad radio music? Do some jumping jacks while you listen to it (not while driving).

I have lost 12 pounds. I have two days left in my diet. Pray for me.

UNFUNNY HUSBAND MOMENT: I’m a genius when it comes to reworking the words of existing songs. Rinda just LOVES it when I roam around the house singing my rendition of Hakuna Matata: “hakruna makrata, crhat a cronderfuld craze, hakruna makrata, craint no crassin craze, crit creans no crurries cror the crest of crure crays…crits crure croplem cree, cricosophy, hakruna makrata.” Thank you. Thank you. I know. I know.

FOLLOW MY BLOG (bottom right)! Have thoughts on diets? Want to tell an UNFUNNY MOMENT? Please share in the COMMENTS!



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29 thoughts on “My Diet, My Breakdown

  1. A big misconception people have about going on a diet is that its a painful experience. The true definition of a diet is just someone’s eating habits. So you can have a healthy diet or a bad diet. Much props man for choosing to have a healthy diet. Have you looked into the Fit2Fat2Fit guy he lost 20 pounds in a month mostly through his choice of foods and stretch/cardio routine it wasn’t anything extreme. I remember I lost 10 pounds in a month once eating like crap, but working out like a mad man. For every delicious pizza expect a consequence of pain and suffering. ha ha.

    • Amen brother. It really is all about choices — having them and making good ones. To know that when you eat poorly and don’t exercise, you will probably gain weight; if you eat well 90 percent of the time and find time to exercise, you will feel good and maintain weight or even lose.

      You can feel good in life. Just consider your choices and consequences.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. lostnchina says:

    Wait, you’re dieting when it’s the holiday season? You are a brave, brave, and maybe slightly insane, man.

    • Ah, you misread. I am not that crazy! I started with a short diet — post thanksgiving – December 17th. I will not be dieting during the holiday season, just trying to eat a little better. If I eat too much of the popcorn from the barrel of three kinds, I will eat an apple next.

  3. YouKnowIt says:

    Awesome, awesome read! Glad to see you’ve added in some healthy choices. In the past month I started eating healthier and going to the gym 5-6 days / week and feel great. No more milk and oreos while catching up on Netflix at 10pm. And it’s not so bad choosing a banana over raisinets (which I used to say was okay b/c of the anti-oxidant labeling they include) haha.

    Keep it up man!

    • Thank you. Don’t you feel way better? And you are right, it really is not that hard to eat something healthy (and still delicious) instead of always going for something not-so-great for you.

      It feels good to know you are doing something to improve your self.

      Now, I just need to schedule a nice exercise regimen, nothing too serious, but something to keep me moving.

  4. YouKnowIt says:

    That last comment was from Brian Simmons btw, haha. Sorry, thought they’d include my email which makes it obvious who I am.

  5. melsar93 says:

    12 pounds is impressive in that short a time. I am a Traditionalist so I’m waiting for the new year to start the diet. Your approach might work well for me. I don’t tend to think about what I eat – I just eat. If I cross off most food items for a couple weeks I should be able to stick to it.

    • I, too, am a traditionalist. So we shall see how my discipline holds up during the holidays. I know I am going to go very easy on sugars and starches for the next couple of weeks, but after that I just hope to be balanced.

      I wish you luck in the new year. You can definitely do it. Just don’t depress yourself by crossing EVERYTHING off the list. If you want pizza, eat it, just not a whole pie, and then do some exercise.

      Thanks for reading.

  6. Jani says:

    hahah I felt so bad for you that night. We should have made the chicken, vegetable stir fry. Sorry we were lazy and caused you your temporary depression. Congrats you didn’t eat the pizza. I would have in a second. But then again we know how healthy i eat. For me it is all about running those extra miles so I can enjoy my slices of pizza. hah Thank heavens we are having our Home Alone Marathon with cheese pizza this coming week.

    • I only didn’t eat the pizza out of pride (and some far away reach for success). But heck, your method can work — eat what what you want (including healthy options) and then work out like a maniac.

      But yes, I will be eating pizza at the Home Alone Marathon. It would be a sin If I didn’t.

  7. Mandi says:

    I had a similar expirence at a Cracker Barrel once. All I wanted was the Chicken Fried Chicken with garlic mashed potatoes, but I couldn’t bring myself to order it so I reluctantly got a salad instead (who ever goes to Cracker Barrel and gets a salad??). It really is so sad when you feel like you can’t eat what you want. BUT I love your blog. You’re such a good writer and your personality really comes through. I feel like I can hear the tone of your voice when I’m reading. It’s great. 🙂

    • Salads don’t quite stand up against chicken and MP’s, it’s the truth. I am trying to figure out how to eat what I want a lot of the time but not always. Mix that with healthy options and exercise and hopefully life is okay.

      Glad you like the blog; I like being weird and am happy that people are entertained by my weirdness.

    • chelsea says:

      The cracker barrel salads are AMAZING, though! The sourdough croutons are amazing. I always find myself comparing other salads to cracker barrel ones.

      Also, I like to order them so I can justify the chocolate cobbler for dessert.

  8. chelsea says:

    I think it’s awesome that pride won over desire.

    Also, as someone else said, it’s not really even a diet. Just make small lifestyle changes and it’s so much easier.

    Or get really really fat and have surgery like I did. Either way…

  9. You really were stalking that pizza. It was pretty sad watching you self-inflict yourself by sitting directly in front of that pizza box… like your brother, Ryan, gagging as he watched you eat rice cereal when you were a baby.

  10. Natalie Neal says:

    man this is a really hoppin’ blog! james you’re so popular!!

  11. Topsy says:

    No joke, the second I was done reading this post, I went straight to the fridge and ate a pickle.

  12. […] My Diet, My Breakdown ( […]

  13. Hello. I love your blog and wanted you to know that I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can find the details at the following link:

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