Confessions of a Carb Binger

Every Monday I logon to Weight Watcher’s online and enter my best weight for the morning. I jump on the scales first thing out of bed and then about every fifteen minutes until time to leave for work. The variation sometimes makes me doubt the accuracy of my scale. I figure going for the best two out of three–or three out of five–or even five out of eight is a good control against any anomalies.

The past two Mondays I’ve entered 203.1 and 203–my lowest weight in at least twenty years. I’ve had moments here and there this month at 200, but so far, haven’t dropped below the double century number. I will. But it won’t be tomorrow.

Because avoiding temptation works better for me than trying to resist, I don’t keep much crap food around the house. I pick up the same stuff every week. The only bad food I buy on a regular basis: ice cream, ginger snaps, and black pepper/olive oil Triscuits. I keep a lot of fruit around–especially berries, grapes, apples, and bananas. Throw roasted almonds, string cheese, Greek yogurt and frozen Healthy Choice dinners into the cart and I’m ready to check out.

For the last week, I’ve been carb-loading like there’s no tomorrow. Instead of nibbling a few at a time over several days, I’m burning through a box of ginger snaps every twenty-four hours. When the cookies run out, I dig into the Triscuits and, over three nights, toasted an entire package of English muffins and ate every damn one, slathered with butter and jelly.


I’ve eaten pizza, pumpkin waffles, about five pounds of roasted almonds, a bucket of KFC original recipe–worse than grilled but not as bad as extra crispy, and several gallons of ice cream with maybe a quart of hot fudge. If you knew me, you’d know that without whipped cream and nuts, I barely even enjoyed it.

I skipped Zumba and told my trainer I couldn’t make it this week. Cold weather and rain prevented me from running. Toodles had to beg for her walks.

And I gained ten pounds.

Yesterday I spent almost two hours at the gym lifting weight and running on the treadmill. I HATE running on a treadmill, but fat-assed times call for desperate measures.

My trainer has me on a new weight-lifting program with four different routines, each targeting specific parts of the body. The goal is for me to do two of them a week plus my thirty minutes with him. I do six reps of several different lifts with the heaviest weight I can manage two times, then drop the weight down and do twelve reps two more times. He told me to be sure to push myself on the first six.

I’ve decided to try to do all four routines in one week instead of two. So I went to the gym yesterday and today. This morning I might have pushed myself too far. I could only get one side of the barbell back on the stand and was pinned on the bench. This enormous guy came to my rescue and said to holler if I needed a spotter. Now I’m thinking about targeted failures as a way of meeting some of the guys I see at the gym every weekend.

My arms were so sore I could barely turn the steering wheel for the drive home. The sun came out this morning and when I got home from the gym, the temperature had climbed high enough to almost feel hot. I changed into my running shorts and shoes and set out for a good run.

The last eight or ten times I’ve gone for a run, I’ve stopped just shy of three miles. The terrain where I live now is more varied, and my house is in the bottom of a valley. Having to run uphill to get out has been an adjustment, and it’s taken a while to find a route I like. Driven by a need to drop a lot of weight by my weigh in tomorrow, I ran five miles.

I wasn’t going to go to Zumba. A five-mile run was enough. But Zumba is fun, and the only social exercise I get. Seeing my friends motivated me to go, and as always, I was glad I did. The first fifteen minutes is a breeze. Long about the thirty-minute mark, I see no way in hell I’m going to make it for the full hour. But today I did. And when I got home, the scale said I’d only gained three pounds since my last weigh in.

But it’s early. I’ve still got the dreaded post-sundown hours to go. And a half a box of ginger snaps is calling my name.