In which I give up on counting, or Day 5 on a diet

The diet kind of did a belly flop today. Some days are like that. I’m taking it in stride.

You see, what it was was…

I unexpectedly (at least it was unexpected to me) drove my niece to the coast today for a camp. Since it was unexpected, I had no particular plan for how to handle The Diet on this little excursion. We had to eat lunch in Gulfport, though. That was even on the instructions. “Eat lunch before checking in,” they said.

And so we went to Applebee’s. We did this at the suggestion of my niece. She said she liked Applebee’s because they had Weight Watchers meals. That sounded promising. But you see a WW menu does not necessarily indicate a vegetarian diet option. Most restaurants like to list only their fattiest choices as vegetarian.

It was okay, though. I had a soup and salad plate with a small modification to remove the chicken. That probably wasn’t such a bad option for The Diet, even if it was uncountable on my online calorie tracker. I had every intention of skipping the bread stick too, except, of course, that I didn’t because who doesn’t eat the bread stick on the soup and salad plate?

And remember my niece, the one who likes Applebee’s because they have Weight Watchers meals? She ordered a bacon cheese burger with cheese fries. She said she needed to store up some energy because she had a long day ahead going to camp and all.

Sigh. I did not even steal a single cheese fry. I’m amazing.

So far, so good.

But then I go to the beach and take some pictures, and I drive to another spot on the beach and take some pictures, and I drive to another, and so forth. I had a good time doing it, but I forgot that there was a heat advisory out, and I forgot that even people on diets need to drink water when they are walking up and down the beach all afternoon.

And so it happened that the first thing I did when I started home was to drink the hot and flat Diet Coke that had been left in my car from who knows when. That was disgusting, but I was desperate. Then I stopped at Barnes & Noble and drank a giant glass of tea and waited around until I felt cooled off. Okay, then. Heat exhaustion and extreme thirst all fixed. Time to hit the road again.

And so it happened that somewhere between Gulfport and Wiggins I thought, “If I don’t get some salt and potassium in my system, I’m not going to be able to drive the rest of the way home.”

The most logical answer to this I could think of right off hand was to stop at McDonald’s for large fries and a large chocolate shake.

Strangely enough, that’s not what I did.

Even in my state of electrolyte depletion, I remembered The Diet, so I stopped at a quick mart instead and bought a diet root beer and a pack of peanuts.

You see, the South Beach diet book, which I read in one sitting a couple of days ago like a cheap paperback thriller, says that nuts are a good snack. I remembered that when I was searching my brain cells for food items other than fries that would contain both salt and potassium. Peanuts really do meet that criteria.

I believe the book says you should eat maybe five or so nuts at a time for an afternoon snack. Though, really, what Dr. Whathisname probably meant to say was that in circumstances of feeling particularly weirded out by having just been overheated and overthirsted, you should probably just go ahead and eat the whole pack.

That’s what I did. But I did not look at the wrapper, so I have no idea how to count the calories. Today is officially then declared a day of not counting what I’ve eaten. This is not by any means to be confused with a day of failing to stick to the diet.

That’s not what this means at all.

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