I have the day off, but in honor of this time of year and my annual New Year's resolution, not to mention the leftover Christmas desserts I'm still consuming, I'm repeating a column about my annual diet.
Religion and diets are alike in some ways, I think. In making your choice, you look for the one that lets you sin the most with the least eternal consequences.
Nobody likes a fat angel.
I've tried them all. Diets, not religions.
Remember the banana diet? I did that.
Every day for a week you consumed a specific food group, leading up to Thursday, I think, which was banana day. There's not a lot of ways to prepare a banana, and splits weren't allowed.
I really like bananas, but to eat nothing else for 24 hours once a week will make a monkey out of you fast.
I tried the grapefruit diet years ago. The juice was supposed to somehow eat up the calories from your other meal choices.
I conducted a highly scientific experiment and discovered that in order to overcome a cheeseburger, french fries and black forest cake dinner, you have to drink an Olympic swimming pool full of grapefruit juice four times a day.
Now, I am on Day Eight of my induction phase of the Atkins Diet.
I know; I'm late getting to Atkins. Everybody else tried it long ago and I am the only un-Atkinsed human left in the civilized world.
I started last week, and I haven't cheated. Unless licking lip balm off your lips counts. And it probably does.
My friend Sherry and I decided the holiday weekend would be a great time to start.
Stupid decision. We went up to her lake house, taking only low-carb food. We called it Atkins Boot Camp. We should have joined the Marines instead.
In case you've been visiting relatives on the moon for the last few years and don't know about Atkins, it turns the other diet fad, low fat, on its end.
The stores are full of low-fat foods, which make up for the loss of all that delicious fat with sugar. We embraced the low-fat diet until we could no longer get our chubby arms around it.
With Atkins, instead of counting fat grams, you count carbohydrates. Meat and cheese have few or no carbs. Bread and sugar are loaded with them.
So it's hello cheddar, hi there bacon, welcome back beefsteak.
But it's bye-bye buttermilk, arrivederci pizza, french fries au revoir.
The two-week induction phase is the hardest. You can have a total 20 carbs a day.
Let's put this into perspective: a beer contains 13.2 carbs. A flour tortilla has 25. A glazed doughnut has 26.6 carbs, and an apple has 21.
Bananas contain 23.7 carbs.
No banana days on this diet!
We survived mostly on olives, cheese, deviled eggs and meat. Since we don't agree on how to cook much of anything, we each brought our own deviled eggs.
Hers taste like mayonnaise.
Every Texan knows deviled eggs are all about mustard.
It was that kind of holiday weekend.
We squabbled over the right way to cook hamburger patties on the grill. I was cooking, but it was her grill. I gave in, but not gracefully.
She got cranky Saturday afternoon and took a long nap. We celebrated happy hour with a diet soda. The book says that after a few days we will experience euphoria.
We wondered how the heck euphoria was going to occur without a drop of alcohol in the house.
I have stuck to the diet religiously and so far have gained half a pound. But they tell me I'll awake some morning and discover I've become a shadow of my former self.
How will this happen? When for Pete's sake will this happen?
Only the shadow knows.
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.