That is the question;
Whether ’tis healthier in the end to suffer
The icks and ewwwws of disgusting aspartame,
Or to drink happily that sugary soda,
And by drinking, get fatter. To drink, to gain;
No more; and by a gain to say we bloat
On bubbles and the thousand delicious calories
That Coke is filled with — ’tis a consumption
Always to be preferr’d. To diet, to lose;
To lose, perchance to gloat. Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that loss of pounds what gloating may come,
When we have reached that perfect weight,
Must give us pause. There’s the drawback
That makes the lazy feel justified,
For who would bear the walks and aching muscles,
Th’ trainer’s goals, the skinny girl’s judgement,
The pangs of unfulfilled hunger, the scale’s mockery,
The hours on the treadmill, and the commercials
That advertise th’ cheesy goodness of pizza,
When she herself might become the enemy –
A skinny critic? Who would willingly diet,
Grunt and sweat under a torturous regimen,
But that we all desire that advanced adoration
That comes with malnutrition and muscled abs?
And is someone, once fat, not more free,
Now thin, to say as they please about others
Than those skinny chicks who didn’t work to get there?
Thus justification does make couch potatoes of us all,
And thus the need to be thin
Is bowled o’er by the nicest part of me,
And allows me to drink the “real thing”
Without regret or secret guilt;
I remain pudgy, friendly
and self-loathing,
so as not to be tempted into judging 
Those more lazy than myself.

Let’s hear it for Shakespeare, bloating, and lack of sleep, the interesting combination of which produced a lovely (if slightly confusing) soliloquy on dieting.

Cheers!

:::::::::Liz takes big gulp of her Diet Coke, then cringes::::::::::

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And the real story begins. I’ve been tripping over the edge of the sidewalk’s end for five years – married and moved out, finishing and finished with school, job hunting and finding… My lovely husband has to remind me regularly that I don’t need my parents’ permission to buy, say, a new rug, and my lovely parents still try to force me to exercise whenever I’m visiting. Part of me is excited to be living my own life on my own terms. The other part is begging my parents to step in and tell me how to live. (Note to Mom and Dad – ignore that last sentence. I don’t really mean it)

What do most people do when they’re in this “in between” place? When they aren’t children, but also don’t have children of their own? 

Here’s what I do: fake it.

  • “Hi, former-co-worker-at-the-high-school-where-I-spent-a-year-fearing-for-my-sanity-much-less-my-life, no, I’m not still teaching. Yes, I am absolutely thrilled with my new job. Of course, I just love the traveling salesman gig. Who wouldn’t?”
  • “Mom, I promise that I will exercise tomorrow. No, I haven’t had a chance to clean up the guest bedroom yet. I know, I know, it’s been nearly two years, I should have all of my boxes unpacked by this point.”
  • “Oh, my goodness! High-school-friend-I-am-reconnecting-with-for-the-first-time-in-eight-years! It’s so fantastic to see you again. Yep, I still write. Indeed, I still do love math. No, no kids. Who wants kids when they could take care of the virtual zoo my husband and I have started in our 1200 square foot home?”
  • “What’s up, neighbor-across-the-street-who’s-name-I-can-never-remember? Sure, I’ll bring in your mail for you while you’re on vacation this summer! No, we never go on vacation, no cash flow. I know! Everything is so expensive these days…”
  • “Holla, younger-sister-who-is-adorably-more-befuddled-by-life-than-I-am, I would love to offer you sage advice based on my years of experience in the real world. Please tell me your 4.75 college GPA hasn’t dropped a hundredth of a point! Oh no!” (Note: I didn’t know it was possible to get above a 4.0 GPA in college, either. Leave it to my sister to find that out…)
  • “Boss! Thanks for calling today, I appreciate that you took the time. I know, living in different states makes communicating difficult. It is weird not working out of a real office. Of course I’m adjusting to the traveling. No, I really don’t mind cold calling. It’s just ordering pizza that makes me cry…”
  • “Darling-sweet-and-wonderful-nieces-that-I-don’t-get-to-see-often-enough, never grow up. Never.”

It’s the talking to people who don’t quite get it that makes things so difficult. Are they really all that grown up, or are they really like me, faking it hard, and I’m just buying into it because I’m so desperate for someone to  have a clue what they’re doing?