Now with less pants

By Mir
June 1, 2005

I am a grade-A certified control freak. So far as I know, there is not a diet that addresses this. Though that would be very cool.

“Obsessive? Neurotic? Feeling the need to be in control of everything in your environment? Shed those pesky worries and watch the anxiety melt away as you feel more energetic than ever before! Just one shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a sensible dinner. You’ll be feeling more easygoing in no time!”

I suppose that plan already exists… if valium comes in shake form, that is. But I’m telling you I have combed all the stores around here with no luck in finding any such thing. It’s not like I live in California, people.

So I was just commenting to someone tonight that I decided to hop on this whole “20 Days of Virtue” thing when I have a fair amount going on in my life. To a sane person, choosing NOW to give up all the foods I love is stupid at best and stability-threatening at worst.

But I never claimed to be a sane person.

Now is precisely the right time for a control freak to radically modify her diet. (While referring to herself in the third person!) Because that’s something I can actually, you know, control.

I cannot control the fact that my son has a crummy, snotty cold that’s aggravating both his asthma and his attitude.

I cannot control the fact that my daughter finished her assessment today and in less than a week I will have the report that either leaves us still struggling or gives us a diagnosis no parent wants.

I cannot control the challenges my loved ones are facing, and I can only check in with “How ya holding up?” so many times before they will start to fantasize about my untimely demise.

I apparently cannot control the fact that my cell phone works fabulously everywhere I go EXCEPT here in my house, where I morph into the annoying “Can you hear me NOW?” guy against my will.

I cannot control so many things, that if I think about it too much, wisps of smoke curl out of my ears and someone will move their cart out of my way at the grocery store and say “oh, excuse me” when I wasn’t even feeling impeded and then I will burst into tears because they are just so nice.

But hey, it turns out that I–I of zero willpower, and a deep and meaningful love of chocolate–can control what I eat. Who knew? Certainly not me. I’m sure the Oreos had no idea. And I opened the freezer for ice tonight and the ice cream just gaped at me. It’s been a shock for all of us. (Should we tire of referring to ourselves in the third person, we shall revert to referring to ourselves in the royal plural as a casualty of the personification of food. Carry on.)

Today I was a Virtue postergirl! I had NO refined sugar! I had NO simple carbohydrates! I had a lot of lean protein! And lots of veggies! And a gallon (YES REALLY) of water! And instead of parking my butt on the couch to watch TV after the kids went to bed, I parked myself on my elliptical trainer and EXERCISED! And did you know that exclamation points are not restricted on my diet? Hurray!!

The truth is that when I hopped on the elliptical machine, I wavered. I’ve been SO GOOD all day today, I told myself. Do I REALLY need to exercise, too? I knew I should. I knew I didn’t feel like it. And I also knew that every little scrap of control I can grasp renders me better able to face those things outside the scope of my influence. So, you know, desperate times call for desperate measures and all that?

I took my pants off. And stood there and looked at my thighs from the front and then peeked around at the back. And then I rode on the elliptical trainer until I worked up a sweat. And then I glanced down at my thighs (now swaying and jiggling with my strides) and kept on pedaling. Lather, rinse, repeat. Basically I just kept at it until my toes were numb, at which point I congratulated myself on a job well done and also wondered if perhaps I need different sneakers because numb toes are never mentioned in those “Just Do It” commercials. Then I took a shower and didn’t even bother putting pants on afterwards, because I was hoping that maybe a few more glimpses of my cellulite would impel me to solve the issue of world hunger or something.

I’m still overwhelmed and tired and my thighs are squishy AND the universe is not acknowledging the dominion which SHOULD RIGHTFULLY BE MINE.

But other than that, I feel great.


  1. dave

    That ice cream will probably be freezer burned by the time you get finished with this zero sugar insanity. Could you pack it in dry ice and overnight it to me? I promise to take good care of it.

  2. Dawn

    You inspire me-make me laugh..and make me feel less alone in this world. THANK YOU

  3. chris

    you are living in my parallel universe! but i think my thighs would start a friction fire if i did the elliptical sans pants.and, as bozo used to say-“always keep laughing!”

  4. Shaun

    I’ve tried the control freak diet. It only lasted for about two hours before I couldn’t stand NOT being in control. I keep telling myself that I’m going to get back on it, but with no luck. Good luck to you at trying it out. Let me know if you find something that works. :D

  5. ben

    “I shall call him Squishy. And he shall be mine. And he shall be my Squishy.”

    Sorry, the mind wanders. What were you saying? You lost me at “pants.”

  6. Sarah


    I am so very tempted to try this 20 day thing….so very very tempted. Does brown rice count? I don’t know if I could be completely free of the gluttonous stuff.

  7. bob

    All hail Empress Mir, queen of all she surveys. Bow before her squishy thighs and tremble at their mightyness. History will record the benevolence of her dominion over mere mortals.

    You go girl!

  8. carson

    What are we going to do today? The same thing we do every day, try to take over the world!

    The sucky diagnosis will at least be a diagnosis. And it will only be numbers/words on a page, not Holy Writ from Above Which Shall Never Be Changed.

    Good thoughts heading your way.

  9. Kestralyn

    Yes, you can have whole wheat things — still gotta get your fiber, afterall! Brown rice, whole grain pasta (YUK!), whole grain breads, etc.

    If you find a whole grain / better-for-you-than-the-white-stuff pasta, please let us know what brand it is? All I’ve found so far is scratchy to eat.

  10. joshilyn

    1) WHOLE GRAIN ORGANIC COUSCOUS! OMG IT IS SO SO SO DELICIOUS! Eat with butter and parm as a side, or use instead of rice or orzo in recipes.

    2) The secret to whole wheat pasta is to STICK WITH SPAGHETTI. No SHAPES. The other secret is that after you eat for a a month or so, exclusively, you will find the white flour kind tastes bland and wall-paper-paste-ish. Same with white bread after you get used to whole grain bread. True Story! I SWEAR!

  11. Jenny

    you are a mad woman. I love it.

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