I was once in a particularly campy version of “Anything Goes,” put on by a local community theatre group out in the boonies, where–I swear on my children’s heads–I had to drive past a field full of sheep to get to rehearsal. These sheep were part of a research program at the local university. As part of whatever experiment was being visited upon these poor animals, it was necessary to demarcate them in a way more readily visible than conventional ear tagging. And so, I didn’t just drive past any field of sheep on my way to rehearsal every night. I drove past a field full of pink and blue spray-painted sheep each night.
(The painted sheep are not at all germaine to the tale at hand. I’m just incapable of passing up an opportunity to share about them. Because, sheep! Spray painted! In a field! It’s better than cow tipping, because you don’t even have to DO anything for it to be funny!)
Anyway. “Anything Goes.” It’s a Cole Porter musical; it involves a lot of singing and tap-dancing and tangled love interests and minor intrigue. I don’t remember a whole lot about it other than that it was a very amateur production, I had to pretend I could tap dance, and that I played a character named Virtue and had exactly one line.
Even at my tender young age at the time (16 or so, I believe), I appreciated the irony of the main character and her groupies. Reno Sweeney is an evangelist turned nightclub entertainer and is flocked (constantly) by her “angels” Chastity, Charity, Purity, and Virtue. These gals have a deep love both for Jesus and showing some skin. Nothing could’ve amused me more than to take this role of good/bad girl with such a meaning-laden name and play up the ridiculousness of it.
You’d think that–seventeen years later and maybe even smarter–I would just KNOW BETTER than to try to seriously undertake anything with VIRTUE in the description. I mean… I’m a little old for tap dancing, now. Without a healthy dose of parody, virtue and I aren’t really on speaking terms.
Alas. I was hypnotized by the promise of pretty, pretty shoes and somehow found myself under an evil spell wherein I signed on for 20 Days of Virtue in a show of solidarity.
20 days of no refined sugar. 20 days of no simple carbohydrates. 20 days of despair.
No. No! 20 days of taking control of my diet and my health! 20 days of maybe breaking my addiction to sugar and not feeling so tired and crappy all the time. 20 days without a yeast infection, maybe (you’re welcome for sharing)! It’s a good thing. Really. I swear that’s what Joshilyn told me while she had me in a headlock and made me promise to participate.
Yesterday was easy. Well, pretty easy. Today was a different story entirely.
First, I was at work happily drinking my water and my coffee, and a coworker showed up with bagels from Panera. They were still warm; I could smell the cinnamon crunch ones in my office. I gritted my teeth and refilled my water and wrote a quick, friendly email to Joss. (“There are bagels and I am here at my desk crying. Hope you’re happy.”) She responded with some sage wisdom. (“Virtue’s reward is a smaller ass!”) and I clung to this comfort all morning as I drank liter after liter of water.
For lunch, a nice romaine chicken caesar salad, light on the dressing, no croutons or bread. Hey, this isn’t so bad! I can do this! No problems! Wait… is that… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
An employee birthday. Chocolate strawberry buttercream cake from the GOOD bakery. Jesus wept.
I retreated to my office and shed bitter tears of hunger and jealousy into my herbal tea, while gnawing on one of the legs of my desk. Another mail to Joshilyn. (“SO. NOT. FAIR.”) Again, she saw me through the challenge. (“SMALLER ASS. And someone will have a stinking birthday on day 21.”) I practiced deep, cleansing breaths inbetween running to the bathroom to pee out the twelve gallons of liquid I’d consumed and refilling my mug with tea and my bottle with water.
There is no way to adequately convey the trauma of a sugar-free afternoon. By way of illustration I will say only this: I got more done today than I have in weeks. I had to concentrate REALLY HARD to stop fantasizing about the peanut M&Ms calling me from the kitchen. DO YOU HEAR ME, JOSHILYN?? I was so unbalanced on this regimen, my productivity went way up. That’s just frightening.
After work, I ran some errands, then came home to fix myself some dinner before the kids came back from their dad’s house. Cottage cheese… fresh fruit (aaahhhhhhh sugar… but fructose, not refined sugar!)… and a hard-boiled egg. And! More water! Hooray! I feel great! Really, really great! And by “great” I of course mean “cranky and wanting chocolate!”
I joke. Actually, it’s not so bad. I was okay right up until Chickadee suggested that we start eating more ice cream, on account of recent events require that she go to a relatively soft diet. I, of course, lovingly replied that there will be no ice cream in this house for a month or so, and if she were to argue this point I would call the tooth fairy and suggest she skip our house from now on.
I feel healthier already! Oh… wait a sec. Hang on. Whoops! Sorry, I meant I feel more evil already. I always get those two confused. My bad.
Anyway, onward towards virtue! This is going to be really great. Really. Or I am going to drive to Joshilyn’s house and beat her with her pretty shoes. While eating chocolate. Oh dear. I might be crossing the line between fantasy and hallucination. Can you flood your brain with too much water? Wait, don’t answer yet! I have to go pee. And slit my wrists.
For a minute there I was afraid you’d tell everyone about how I tormented you all day via e-mail with tales of Ben and Jerry’s, “no snow” for years, and swimming pools full of hunky guys. Or were they full of Chubby Hubbies? I can’t recall exactly.
“Anything Goes” amateurish? Just don’t you go dissing “Godspell,” or we’re going to have some WORDS, young lady. That, or I’ll just start pelting you with M&M’s…
I tried a 3-wk sugar fast once, made it two weeks, got really cranky, and quit.
That is to say, way to go! You can do it! Ra, ra, ra!
I started weight watchers 4 weeks ago and don’t have to give up sugar, which is very good for me!
It gets better after about day five. It’s just those days leading up to day five that are pure hell. Of course, it is probably much worse for you since you have kids and probably actually have sweets in the house. It’s easier to resist temptation when it requires a 9 pm trip to the grocery store and you’ve already got your jammies on.
Good luck! You are truly an inspiration. Not that I’m thinking of making a similar attempt, but you know, it’s still all inspiring and stuff.
You’re making the kids give up sugar too? Talk about SO. NOT. FAIR. There may be a mutiny going on around Casa Mir.
Silly, silly girls. Why do you think they put the ass in the back? So you don’t have to see it. Sheesh, do I have to tell you people everything?!
I have a very warm place in my heart for Cole Porter and the only explanation for it that I have is that I think my Grandfather used to listen to him when he would pick me up from daycare…
That’s why birds do it, bees do it, even ordinary fleas do it. Let’s do it, let’s fall in love…
As your designated “pinch snacker” I have dutifully eaten chocolate, bread, cake, and rice for you. i also enjoyed a sugar-laden glass of tea. Please understand that I would have had these things anyway, but it was more fun to tell myself that I was helping you out. You can thank me later! Uh, Mir? Put down the knife! Don’t hate me because I’m fat and happy! :)
How can we tell if you’re sticking to your diet??? I think that daily status photos of the shrinking “areas” for verification of dietary adherence are called for.
Now, you can do this your way, suffering from chocolate deprivation or you can do it my way – adopt a big dog. This month last year we were forced to adopt a dog (after watching it fall out of a moving car on the interstate and the owner speeding on his way). I have lost 25 pounds walking, or more accurately, being walked by this dog since. I have not given up chocolate, sweet tea, ice cream or oreos.
That’s my prescription – buy a dog larger than you are and let the shrinkage begin!