Recently, I became aware that I have an addiction. It’s to those slim magazines that are housed at the beginning of store checkout lines.
The reason for my addiction is simple. Every cover features some new diet that screams out, “lose 12 pounds in a week,” or “burn away 15 pounds in one day.” Because I would love to lose some weight, I have not only purchased and read each of these diet plans, but I have actually tried a few of them. Let me share how they work.
Most of the diets consist of some kind of soup or smoothie that you must eat twice a day. Then you get broiled meat and boiled veggies for dinner. Snacks consist of a few nuts (and I mean 6 nuts), a chocolate fat ball (we’ll talk about this later), and/or some avocado — no chips, just the avocado.
I made the five-gallon pot of the “cleansing” soup. Just boil up some water and cabbage, add some spices, and eat it for a week. Get crazy and throw in some carrots and celery. Guaranteed, you’ll lose weight. You’ll also be hungry. And cranky. Your body will go into shock — at least, mine did. Remember that old commercial “where’s the beef?” My body screamed this at me the whole week.
I lost a pound. It found me the following week and brought a friend.
Those chocolate fat bombs? Roll some unsweetened melted chocolate in coconut oil and dust them with one pecan that you’ve ground to a fine powder. They do not melt in your mouth. They stick to your teeth and tongue like gorilla glue and taste like a rubber toy. When the residue is finally gone, you’re allowed to wash it down with non-caffeinated, non-sweetened, non-flavorful herbal tea.
You buy veggies you don’t like, coconut oil you’ll never use again, chocolate chips that taste terrible, tasteless teas, and things to put in a smoothie that simply don’t belong there. If you’re like me, you don’t like to waste food or money, so you keep eating the stuff all week. You begin to dream, but not about a smaller waist or a new wardrobe. Just a hamburger, a baked potato, or a real smoothie — the kind with strawberries and ice cream.
One week later, you get on the scale, smile proudly, and hop off to go cook up some bacon and eggs. So begins the slide into real eating and a larger number on the scale.
When you go to buy the bacon, you see the newest edition of the check-out magazines, with a caption that says “best belly-fat-burning diet ever!” and the cycle starts again.
I am still buying those magazines, but have realized a more important thing about diets for the older generation. When you get to a certain age, there are so many things you can’t eat, chew, or digest, that my new diet plan is this: If it doesn’t give me heartburn, break a tooth, or cause me insomnia, then it is OK to eat!
Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.