For the first time in months, I'm back on my diet.

Actually, let me expound on that. For the first time in months, I'm back on my diet AND it lasted longer than half of Monday.

And, yes, that explains why a loud, gurgling noise has been emanating from my house and the Deseret Morning News offices lately. It's just me retaming the beast in my belly.

My timing couldn't be worse. There have got to be easier times to rekindle the ol' weight-loss mojo than during the Dieter's Death Row of holidays — from Halloween to Thanksgorging through New Resolution's Day.

But I'm trying nonetheless, which is quite obvious by more than just the audible gastrointestinal clues. Here are some other ways you can tell I'm back on a diet:

• Don't have to give family a 15-minute head start to the dinner table.

• Can actually see car's floors, seats and dashboard instead of a big pile of old burger wrappers and fry containers.

• All-you-can-eat buffet restaurants suddenly have a food surplus.

• Fast-food joints' stock dropping faster than dollar-menu items used to in my presence.

• Receive thank-you cards from the oft-tortured digital scale on the bathroom floor.

• Don't have to do painful suck-in-and-fasten-in-a-hurry routine to put on pants (for most pairs at least).

• No longer do quick push-bys through produce department in grocery stores.

• No longer do slow strolls through treats-and-snacks aisles, either.

• Actually empty fridge's crisper drawer of fruits and veggies purchased in the revisited produce department before they start growing their own fuzzy offspring.

• Looking at nutritional labels again instead of remaining in blissful (and fattening) ignorance.

• Answer "Sure, sounds great," when wife asks, "Hey, my lean, mean hunky machine, would you like whole-wheat pasta for dinner tonight?"

• Ask wife if she'll add the "my lean, mean hunky machine" part to her whole-wheat pasta question to boost a guy's confidence.

• Monthly weight-loss column doesn't turn into a confessional (YET AGAIN!).

• No longer respond to acquaintances' "What's up?" greetings with, "Just my weight and cholesterol levels."

• Stop buying candy like Bit-O-Honey and Big Hunks using the rationale that they are "low fat" (which they are) making them less evil than candy like Snickers or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (which they aren't, really).

• Relocated running shoes (OK, walking slowly shoes) that had gone into hibernation for a while.

• Even starting to seriously consider actually putting on the shoes for their intended purpose.

• Didn't pull the annual "Halloween Candy Safety Inspection" routine with my son, which some claim was a not-so-coy ploy to pilfer the best stuff.

• Wife doesn't have to hide Halloween candy bags — at least not from her favorite weight-loss columnist. (The sweets-seeking son of her favorite weight-loss columnist is another story.)

• Constantly repeat things like "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels (or so they say)," and "Remember, mind over matter makes Pooh (and Jody) unfatter" (or so says Chuck on "Pushing Daisies").

• Preparing low-fat soups and salads, packing healthier lunches and snacks, moving more, feeling better, regaining self-control, not giving up even when occasionally giving in, and regaining hope that weighing less than 200 (about 55 pounds away) will happen someday.

• Losing weight again. Imagine that.

Jody Genessy's weight-loss column runs the first Friday of the month.

E-mail: [email protected]