Good Intentions, My Ass!

What’s that stupid saying? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Well, I had every intention of staying true to continuing my no sugar/no gluten diet through 2020. You know—the one I endlessly boasted about the previous year. Was I planning on being as fanatical/adherent to it? Nope, but I was going to be cautiously mindful of my sugar/starch intake—so as not to upset the balance of my yearlong dietary success(es).

And then coronavirus culture hit. And quarantine. And the fact that one of my bestie-boos got so sick with COVID-19, they were on short-term disability for 33 days. I started eating my feelings. I started eating other people’s feelings. For much of March and April, I could not stop eating junk food if I tried.

How bad was it? At one point, I was eating an entire bag of Ruffles potato chips per day. I took stress eating to a whole new level. My nutritionist/life coach was aghast. “I never thought I’d see the day when you would willingly wolf down a glazed donut like your life depended on it,” she admonished me. What she didn’t know is that I was wolfing down a dozen donuts—uh, and a couple apple fritters to boot.

Old habits die hard. Pastry engulfing habits die even harder.

I had every intention—there’s that damn word again!—of starting to show some self-restraint around Mother’s Day. Instead I ate a gargantuan charcuterie tray and an entire pecan pie. My friends would casually comment, “Oh, I see you’re off your diet” while I was eating frosting out of a can. “You deserve a medal for your perception,” I’d retort.

In the middle of all this indulging, a well-known national magazine asked me to write an upcoming column about my experience of eschewing sugar and gluten. I gleefully accepted whilst facedown in a coconut creme pie. I decided to include my three month dalliance with desserts, because—why not? I’m human. Sh*t happens—as does pandemic eating.

Why am I divulging all this? Because tomorrow I’m back on the wagon. It’s been three months —almost to the day—since I started relentlessly overeating. Today, I took the last train to Starchville—and went out with a bang. I chowed down on pasta, meatloaf, a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, a copious amount of trail mix and something my friends whipped up called Miracle Mashed Potatoes. (It’s apparently made with a vat of cream cheese, an entire stick of butter and some bear lard.)

You’ll be happy to know I dutifully tossed seven half-eaten pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from my freezer today. And I made sure my grocery run did not contain so much as one ounce of added sugar. Despite putting back on some weight, I have zero regrets about the last 90 days. When global pandemics occur, we all react to it differently. My coping mechanism just happened to be sourdough bread. I mean …

Remember how crabby I was for the first four months of 2019 as I was going through wicked bouts of sugar withdrawal? Well, I would approach yours truly with an abundance of caution until, say, Halloween. Safety first, people. And—be advised—if you come within a 500-foot radius of me with a fried cheese curd or peanut butter cookie in the near future, I will hire a mafia hit out on you. You’ve been warned.

2 thoughts on “Good Intentions, My Ass!

  1. So help me, I am right there with you, had achieved a long time goal of 140lbs, and held it for one year, then this Covid Crap hit. I have not stopped eating for a moment except when asleep. I have to get back on it 20plus lbs over goal is as far as I intend to go. My sister is Connie Gish, and you know how strict she is about food. Wishing you godspeed to your goal, wish my luck!

  2. Hi Michael Mackey. It’s been a long long time. This is Karen‘s mother. Do you know where used to hang out when you guys were teenagers. Beautiful article Michael. You are a fantastic writer. I laughed my head off. Mostly because I did the same thing during the pandemic. I’m glad that Karen is still in touch with you. I remember you well

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