10 Emotional Stages of Being on a Crash Diet
This sacrifice better be worth that Instagram shot.
(SPOT.ph) There's a scene in Bride Wars where Kate Hudson's character emphasizes this point: "You don't alter Vera [Wang] to fit you, you alter yourself to fit Vera." Not everyone can wear designer duds, but this is an all too-familiar situation, especially for women. Who hasn't gone on a diet? You know, the bad kind where you try to lose this amount of weight in a short amount of time. You know, the kind where you go all batshit crazy.
Today, we document that experience.
Editor's Note: SPOT.ph does not promote unhealthy dieting and unrealistic body image. A balanced meal and good old-fashioned exercise are still the most effective ways to reach the best physical version of yourself. Not everybody can be a size 2. This article is purely for entertainment purposes.
Stage 1: "You're going to be so jealous when you see how I look in my skinny jeans."
Also known as: Motivation
Laboracay. Another beach trip. Maybe some expensive bodycon dress that you just have to absolutely look good in. Doctor's orders. The photo of Heidi Klum. Whatever it is, you're just psyched to get up and going. Everything is still theoretical at this point. You have a plan: You're going to cut a percentage of your daily food intake, you're going to fill yourself up with kamote and vegetables, you're going to sign up for a juicing program, you're going to make good on that weekly gym resolution you made back in January. You have a goal—weight.
Stage 2: "My belly was flatter this morning."
Also known as: Signs of encouragement
You've been at this eating-less regimen for three days and the weighing scale is giving you hope. It's a small taste of the bigger reward—and the (false) confirmation that you're on the right track. This motivates you to go on. Yes, you've been eating just canned tuna and yes, your tummy is growling at night just as you're about to sleep, but you tell yourself that this is all worth it. At this point, you don't realize that a few days isn't the same as a few weeks.
Stage 3: "That Snickers bar looks awfully good."
Also known as: Hunger pangs
Is it just you or is this not starting to be fun anymore? Food is good. Food is good. Food is good. You want some right now. Your grip is slipping, but you still have a pretty firm resolve. Every time you get tempted by the smell of bacon or the sight of a grilled cheese sandwich, you look at your fitspiration photo of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Coleen Garcia. Your body may be weak, but your will is strong.
Stage 4: "Uhh, like, this is called being healthy. What are you guys doing?"
Also known as: Excuses and denial
Your friends are starting to get annoyed watching you sit there, drinking iced water, while the rest of them are enjoying crispy pata. They're also concerned about your newly adopted eating habits—or lack thereof. They support your decision to lose weight, but they also support having fun and eating. You know, #YOLO. You sit there, starring (mentally drooling) at them indulge in chocolate cakes, and consoling yourself that you're just being healthy by cutting down on sweets. Besides, they were born with fast metabolism. You have to work thrice as hard. Boo!
Stage 5: "WTF! I hate everybody!"
Also known as: Hunger-induced anger
As a few celebrities on juicing diets would confirm, there's a science behind this. Lack of food in your body means lack of happy chemicals and hormones, too. What's left? Anger and all its minions—irritability, impatience, rudeness. Every little thing ticks you off, especially that apple pie your officemate is currently eating.
Stage 6: "Why am I sitting next to a giant cake?"
Also known as: The mirage
You have moved on from angry to completely delusional. You're seeing food everywhere: The shape of your boss' head reminds you of a burger; your cousin's dreadlocks remind you of squid-ink soba; your umbrella looks like a candy cane. Fruits and vegetables aren't enough. You need something rich—and fast. You're about to go full-blown Temptation Island, but you're reminding yourself that you're only a few ounces away from your goal weight.
Stage 7: "I gained what? This scale is obviously broken."
Also known as: The slip-up, slide-back
At some point, you're going to give in. A cheat day, a well-deserved Mars Bars reward, a sneaky trip to the kitchen at night. And there will be consequences. Crash dieting isn't at all healthy, and building up hunger means building up your appetite and wrecking your metabolism. The tiny bite of chocolate that seemed so innocent before is a ticking time bomb in your thighs. We quote Romy in Romy and Michele: "I've been killing myself for eight days, and I gained a pound."
Stage 8: "I fit into my jeans!"
Also known as: Success!
That happy feeling when you try on that fitted dress and—it's a win! All that "hard work" has paid off. You look great. You throw away those body-shapers. What on earth is Spanx anyway? Who needs them? You sure as hell don't. You can wear a tucked-in shirt and look hot. There was barely any effort when you slid into your jeans this morning. Bikini? No problem! Just...don't let it get into your head that you'll start wearing just your sports bra at the gym.
Stage 9: "I am amazing. I am self-control personified."
Also known as: Renewed confidence
You managed to lose this many pounds in this few days? You are superwoman. You can do anything. You might even take up a new hobby or go bungee-jumping.
Stage 10: "Give me that burger."
Also known as: Back to normal
Whatever event that was has ended. The pressure to look good has lapsed. You realize that this barely-any-food diet is no longer worth it. Food is good. Food is your friend. Okay, you'll try to be healthier—but the right way. The point is...You can eat eat pizza again. Time to celebrate.
GIFs from Giphy.com. Art by War Espejo