I love hate diets. I’m one of those gals that is always willing to try a reasonable diet at least for a week or two to see if it works. REAL TALK: I’m bad at diets because I have the patience of a 2-year-old who wants her goddamn pony now AND I like being happy. Diets do not bring you happiness or ponies. I’m always willing to try them, though, because deep down inside me, there will always be the desire to look like a strung out tree branch.

After you do so many diets, you realize that you have to “set yourself up for success.” Sidenote: I hate that saying. Nobody sets themselves up for failure, so STFU. Anyway, here are some tips that are required for a good diet:

1. Choose something that is easy to follow

2. Make sure the diet has the right amount of calories for your body - enough to sustain energy while losing pounds

3. Consistency

Some people may also include “more exercise”, but they are wrong. I mean clearly, if exercise worked, we wouldn’t need diets so zip it, Billy Blanks. AND YES, GIRL, I AM REFERENCING SOMEONE FROM 1998 BECAUSE THAT’S THE LAST TIME I TRIED TO EXERCISE.

After considering these options, I decide to design my own program called The Chicken Wing and Diet Coke Health Plan. This program matches all the above requirements, especially because I work next to a Popeye’s Chicken. A single wing is surprisingly low in calories while the diet coke, I believe, is enough to sustain the energy I need all day. Plus I’d still be able to maintain happiness because deep fried foods, y’all!

9:00 am: I checked the Popeye’s website only to find out that Popeye’s doesn’t open at 9 am so I ate a banana with peanut butter, to hold me over, noting I’d need to buy extra wings for the following days.

11:30 am: I’m STARVING and need to run out for my wing and soda STAT. I get into my car and my stomach is aroused by the wafting smells of grease and visions of see-through napkins start dancing around my heart. I try to pull myself together. I make a deal with myself that for lunches, I’ll eat the drummette and save the wingette and tip for dinner.

11:40 am: I’m offered a biscuit at the counter, but fight the urge because I am disciplined and on a mission. I take my single wing and diet coke and walk to my car--extending the time between picking up my food and eating it, helps me get my mind in order.

11:41 am: I eat the drummette with vigor and eagerness and….relief. I quickly wipe away the saliva and crumbs with the back of my hand and slam the diet coke without taking a break because life has no meaning anymore.

11:41:30 am: My body is overcome with ripples of caffeinated pleasure as I burp up aspartame and oil. I lean my head back and howl into the grey afternoon Chicago sky.

11:42 am: The wingette calls my name, but I turn away. I fight the urge to eat it and start the car. WHERE IS MY DIET COKE?! I GASP IN HORROR LISTENING TO THE STRAW DRAW NOTHING BUT AIR! My shoulders drop onto the steering wheel as I try to remember when last I ate. I look at the wingette, run my fingers across its crispy floury skin.

11:43 am: I decide the suffering is too great and eat the wingette with fervor and joy and begin singing, “How Sweet It Is” by Marvin Gaye. My mind is rapt with illusions of fried chicken wings swaying behind me and belting out the back up vocals. The sun begins to shine brighter, pedestrians pass by my car holding hands with their lovers, babies stop crying, and then it starts raining money and I AM FREE!

Noon: Someone has brought us a made-from-scratch lemon butter pound cake. I tell her, “I’m on a diet.” She looks at me and says, “Diet, Schmiet.” In that moment, we are bonded and I take the cake, walk into the bathroom, and cry-eat a slice on the toilet realizing that now, I am truly free.