I still remember asking a friend, “How is the diet going?”

“It’s all over,” she said sadly. “My husband brought me a doughnut and begged me to eat it.”

Now, why would a loving husband insist his wife go off her diet and eat a doughnut?  Because she was driving him crazy.  The medical name for her condition is  Diet Crab-ola.  You dieters know what I’m talking about.  When you suddenly restrict your calories and cut out the sugar and carbs,you get cranky.  There are several good reasons for this.

For one thing, you start thinking of how you are suffering. Then you think that it would not be necessary for you to suffer if people would only accept you as you are.  Then you begin to think mean thoughts about your spouse or friends who let you know you aren’t as attractive as you were several pounds ago, which prompted this suffering in the first place. Those mean thoughts turn into mean words and actions.

But we have an answer for Crab-ola.  For one thing, you aren’t losing weight to make someone accept the way you look.  You are doing it for YOU, so you can live a healthier, more fulfilling life.  No need to be mad!

Secondly, you are going to do reasonable things that you can do forever, so you aren’t going to suffer through a day of eating only 500 calories worth of celery sticks.  Doing crazy things that make you miserable also makes you crabby — so don’t do them.

There are other, physical reasons for Diet Crab-ola.  One is the fact that toxins are stored away in your fat tissue. When you burn fat, the toxins start floating around in your system, making you feel lousy.  For most of us, lousy feeling = crabby. The answer? Drink lots of water to flush out the toxins.  Eat fiber, or, if necessary, take a fiber supplement to keep the toxins on their way out.  And hang on.  You will get past this.

When you start doing things right, sometimes your body starts complaining and your autopilot doesn’t know how to respond.  It has adapted to “wrong” for such a long time that “right” throws it into a tailspin.

Again — just hang on. It will sort itself out and will soon be better.  Just look at it as a bump in the road on the way to a life beyond gorgeous.

Here’s a suggestion:  Make provision for Diet Crab-ola in advance. Tell your spouse and friends, “I may be a tad crabby over the next few days. Please disregard any unkind thing I might say. And do NOT bring me any doughnuts.”

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown


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