The Real Hunger Games: The Dos And Don’ts Of Dieting And Etiquette

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The REAL Hunger Games

I was recently on the phone with my mom, gossiping about an old frenemy I’d gone to high school with. She’d run into her and called to ask me, “Does she know she’s, like, a total chunky monkey?”

I love my mom. Between using corny phrases and calling my rivals fat, she always knows how to put a smile on my face. She also always knows how to infuriate me beyond reason, but we all have our faults. Through Facebook stalking, I’d been able to confirm that the girl in question had, in fact, put on some weight.

“She knows she’s fat in the way that every girl tugs on her skin and says, ‘Oh, my God. I’m so fat,’ but she doesn’t know it’s actually true.” I told her.

It’s an important distinction — girl brain fat vs. actual fat. Such is the distinction important between girl brain diet vs. actual diet. Girl brain diet is categorized by a lot of raw veggies doused in ranch dressing, bananas dipped in Nutella, and froyo with the works, because “These Cheez-its are low-fat. I’m basically LOSING weight by eating them.” You’re not. But that’s okay, because you don’t really need to.

If you’ve ever actually dieted, you know that it’s pretty much miserable. You have to hold yourself accountable for everything that goes into your body (NO PUN INTENDED, PERVS), and when you start really paying attention, you realize just how bad for you that Chipotle Chicken Salad, hold the cheese, really is. Good for you. Make a change, eat right, work out hard, lose some weight, make bitches jealous, and take names. But like with all good things, dieting comes with a price: you might start to suck. Don’t let that happen to you.

1. Don’t announce “I’m getting a salad, because I’m on a diet.”
Why? Because it’s rude. By announcing your lifestyle change, you’re making it about attention, and not about doing something for yourself. Once you get skinny, you’ll get all the attention you want, but right now, no one cares. In fact, you’re just making them uncomfortable. Your roommate really wanted a cheeseburger. You are only out to dinner right now, because she really wanted a cheeseburger. How’s she going to enjoy that cheeseburger, add bacon, and a side of mayo, when you’re all “dressing on the side.” Absolutely place your order, subtly, if you’re committed to it, but an ostentatious display of “I’m working toward making myself better, while you sit idly in cellulite city” is a good way not to be invited to dinner next Thursday.

2. Don’t make it a group project.
Dieting in big groups never works. Everyone has different cheat days, and ultimately, some girls are just going to be less committed to it than others. If everyone is convincing each other “Well, let’s just get calzones,” you’re like the naggy mother if you insist on sticking to your diet. The more people involved, the more girls there are to tell you that it’s okay to eat whatever you want. If you’re really serious about losing weight, it’s not okay to have a “cheat” day, every other day. The more people involved, the more people who can knock your size 6 ass off the bandwagon. If you have to have a companion, I’d pick just one friend to hold you accountable. Do a little weight check-in with each other, as many times a week as you deem necessary (but at least once a week), and that’s it. No one will get annoyed with you, but it’s still a reminder to designate some semblance of give-a-shit to your diet and exercise every single day. (Hint: use your mom. She’s the only person who will never hate you for being skinnier than she is, because she’s not now, nor will she ever be, your competitor.)

3. Do start on a Monday.
No successful diet ever began the day before Thanksgiving, Bid Day, or Friday night. You’re not in a habit of making healthy choices yet, so when you ultimately get home from the bar, and make Easy Mac while you wait for your pizza bagels to cook in the oven, you’re going to feel like shit about it. There’s nothing wrong with your diet starting tomorrow if your diet actually starts tomorrow. Set yourself up for success. When you’re at the grocery store, purchasing your “last supper,” i.e. a frozen pizza, a sleeve of Pringles, and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, also buy a banana for breakfast in the morning so you can start the day off right.

4. Don’t talk about how skinny you’re getting.
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY likes this humble brag, especially when they’ve stayed the same. When people notice, they’ll notice. You can tell your best friend in the whole world “I’m finally #HighSchoolSkinny again!” or “I fit into these old jeans again, and even though they’re totally out of style, because it’s been so long since I’ve worn them, I’m absolutely dancing around the house in them, and I might even go to the grocery store.” Casual “I lost three pounds” updates, on the other hand, are annoying. It’s just like the girl who brags about making straight As or having squirting orgasms — you’re bragging about something that isn’t happening for everyone else, and it comes off as bitchy…and gross. Girls love to tell their friends how skinny they look. If your girlfriends aren’t telling you that you look skinnier on their own, you either don’t look skinnier, or they’re not really your girlfriends.

5. Do allow yourself to splurge sometimes.
You know what’s absolutely no fun at all? The person who’s always perfect. Nobody likes that guy, and nobody likes that girl. Besides — it’s my birthday. Eat the damn cake. It’s bad luck if you don’t. More importantly, think about “period” you. Hell hath no fury like period you pissed off. Now imagine period you, pissed off, and deprived of chocolate. Insanity, thy name be that bitch. Any type of total deprivation is bad. Just think about the time you didn’t go shopping for 6 months, then spent $800 in one day…hypothetically. Allow yourself to lick the spoon every once and awhile…just don’t bake every day.

6. Don’t post it to social media.
The only thing worse than bragging to the people who love you is bragging to the people who don’t. Don’t post about your workout schedule, don’t post about how much weight you’ve lost, and don’t post what you’re eating. Seeing a photo of your grilled chicken and broccoli just makes me want to unfollow you, so I can eat my burrito in peace. To borrow words from Girl Code, “Just eat your lettuce and be sad.” People are only happy for you when you don’t tell them to be. You get ONE “#TransformationTuesday #IUsedToBeFat” and only when your transformation is complete. Until then, the daily updates will have people wishing bad fortune upon your metabolism, and it will cause for a ton of embarrassment if you don’t actually lose the weight you’re telling everyone you’re going to lose.

7. Do wear a shirt over your sports bra, no matter how great you look.
Take it from a girl who’s been really unhappy with her body from time to time…hold on while I find one: I get it. When you’ve worked really hard for your body, you want to show it off. The gym, however, is just not the place, because girlfriend — it’s NOT that hot in here. Everyone is sweating just as much as you are, and we’re able to do it with our clothes on. If you want everyone to see your skinny new bod, buy some more tight clothing, and go all out come Friday night. Plan an awesome spring break. Take bikini pics and make the group shot your cover photo, but do NOT be naked at the gym. Wear some yoga pants and a racer back for all the jealousy, with none of the judgment. Seriously. At least pretend your sole existence isn’t to make other girls feel bad about themselves.

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Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at veronica@grandex.co

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