The vices of dieting advice

What can we discuss while we wait for our Thanksgiving repasts to digest? Black Friday shopping? No matter what some people think, I prefer to write about things of which I have first hand knowledge and the day after Thanksgiving shopping craze isn’t one of them. First of all, it’s badly misnamed. Black Friday is not nearly descriptive enough. It ought to be called Too Awful Friday or Crowded Madness Friday or Consumer Activities for the Insane Friday.

To someone like me, who abhors shopping under the best conditions, the prospect of rising at oh dark thirty to stand in a seething line to save five dollars on a must-have video game that will be obsolete by February defies understanding. I’m not a big fan of crowds in general and that dislike escalates dramatically when the crowd in question is loud, unruly, caffeinated to within an inch of their lives, and suffering a turkey hangover. Add in the stress of obtaining the very last (insert hot toy name here) on the shelf and tempers are bound to be on the very very short side. Plus, it’s the day after Thanksgiving. Someone just spent about 20 hours shopping for and cooking a meal that takes the huddled masses no time at all to wolf down.

As the late, great Erma Bombeck once observed, it takes 12 minutes for Thanksgiving dinner to be consumed. Football halftime lasts 12 minutes. This is not a coincidence. No, thank you. While I’ve never participated in the Black Friday debacle, I’ve seen the video. I’ll leave Big Time Wrestling to the professionals.

Just to prove irony didn’t die the day Le Duc Tho won the Nobel Peace Prize, I think now, while we still have the aftertaste of pumpkin pie on our tongues, we should talk about conflicting diet advice. We’re about five weeks early to be talking about diets, resolutions-wise, but it is never too soon to think about which of the thousands of pages of contrary opinions you’d like to try to follow before, around mid-March, you say, “The heck with it, I’ll just live in muumuus.”

You could go on the low-carb diet. This is really popular right now, understandably so. This is a plan that says eat all the meat and butter you want. Someone with a degree in marketing has jumped right on this. You can’t swing a dead cat (not that I am for 1 minute suggesting that you do) in the grocery store without hitting low-carb this and low-carb that. I’m not sure when carbs got to be the enemy. I’m also not sure how a beer with 2 grams of carbs can still legally be called a beer. I realize anything that tastes as good as carbs can’t be completely without its drawbacks but carbohydrates are very popular in some places. Like your brain, for instance. Your brain lives on sugar. It could not care less if you never eat another steak or green bean. It wants the sugar and it wants a pretty darn steady supply of it. This from a girl who never met a mashed potato she didn’t like. Call it projecting.

You could go on the low-fat diet. Scarf down all the carbs you want but eat a minimal amount of fat. Tell me I can never have another steak and I’ll say, okay sure. Tell me I can never have another slice of bread and my sugar-super-charged brain will find a way to thwart you.

The smart people, of course, eat everything in moderation and make the rest of us look bad. Literally and figuratively. Once again quoting Ms. Bombeck. I’ve been on a diet for 40 years. I’ve lost 789 pounds. By all rights, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today.