Up until a couple of weeks ago I hadn’t weighed myself in a long time – maybe six months or more – and I liked it that way. I could eat whatever I wanted and still convince myself that I wasn’t turning into a pile of goo.

“I probably weigh about the same,” I’d tell myself after polishing off a double cheeseburger. “I might have gained a pound or two, but I’m probably basically the same.”

This continued until one day I tried to put on a dress shirt and had to fight like hell to fasten the top button. I finally got it closed just as Heather entered the room. “Wow,” she said. “I’ve never seen a muffin top neck before.”

As sexy as my muffin top neck was, it got me thinking about my weight. “It’s been six months since I last weighed myself,” I thought. “What if I’ve gained more than a couple of pounds? What if I gained like five? Or ten? Or twenty. OH MY GOD WHAT IF I’VE GAINED THIRTY POUNDS AND EVERYONE IS TOO POLITE TO TELL ME?!?!?!”

Eventually, after worrying that it might be possible to have gained fifty pounds and not realize it, I got on the scale. It calculated and told me I’d gained… ten pounds.

“WHOOO-HOOO!” I shouted sounding disturbingly like Homer Simpson.

Later though, when the thrill of having not gained fifty pounds wore off, I realized I was going to have to drop those ten pounds. I’m a few weeks into a diet now, but there has been one obstacle that has made losing weight almost impossible: Miss Annabel.

my chocolate face

This photo of her from last weekend is a perfect example why. It captures her jutting a half-eaten ice cream sandwich at me and saying, “All done, Dada!” I took the sandwich from her and looked around for a trash can, but as I did my stomach started to rumble.

“Don’t look at it,” I told myself like Indiana Jones telling Marion not to look into the ark of the covenant. “Don’t look!” But then I sneaked a peek and saw its melt-y, chocolate-y goodness. Heather knew exactly what I was thinking.

HEATHER: “You’ll hate yourself afterward.”

MIKE: “I can’t just throw it away. There are starving people in China.”

HEATHER: “Is that still true?”

MIKE: “I don’t know. The Chinese seem to be doing pretty well these days. But somewhere people are starving, and what kind of person would I be if I tossed out this ice cream?”

So, for the good of others, I wolfed down Annie’s leftover ice cream and licked my fingers clean.

The same thing happens almost every day. I finish my boring as heck, three hundred calorie diet meal just as Annie announces she’s “All done!” Next thing I know I’m standing over the sink eating her stupid, delicious leftovers and hating myself.

Amazingly, I have somehow lost seven of the ten pounds, but I probably would be back to my high school weight by now if it wasn’t for Annie. No one ever tells you that feeding your kid will make it so damn hard to lose weight, but it really does.