Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do or Diet?

I’ve been on diets since I was in high school when a tough, little firecracker body gave way to a pudgy, squarely-built teen with bulging saddle bag thighs.

In the intervening years I may not have tried every diet that slithered out of the closet of poor self-esteem, but surely most of them: Dr. Atkins, Pritkin, Cabbage, Hollywood, Grapefruit, South Beach, Sugar Busters, Blood Types and that stand-by classic Reach for Your Mate and Not for Your Plate. They all worked. For a while. Then it was time to try out a new one.

As a fatty, you really have only two choices in life when it comes to your weight. On the one hand, you can eat the way you always have for four or six months out of the year, until your body swells up like Mylar balloon, and you become wracked with remorse and guilt, endlessly boring your friends and family with whiney, empty promises of: “starting next week I’ve just got to go back on my diet.”

And maybe, a month later, you actually pull out your copy of the The South Beach Diet and start back on phase one, 10 pounds later moving into phase II, and on until you’ve lost a goodly totally of maybe 15 pounds. But by then you know on the one hand you still haven’t reached your goal, and you also know that you simply cannot face another single day of pretending pureed cauliflower tastes as good as mashed potatoes. And you fudge (often with fudge) and crash and burn…again…and…resume eating the way you always have.

On the other hand, if you choose the path I have taken, you don’t even get to eat naughty stuff ever, let alone for four or six months out of the year. You undergo a lifestyle transformation called, “eating right.” I liken it to a religious conversion.

As a convert, you get to endlessly bore your family and friends with holier-than-thou, cautionary advice like, “You shouldn’t be eating that; it’s not good for you.”

Unlike saints, however, I usually gain a few pounds either through holiday overindulgence or not walking when it’s cold weather (or both). I try to get rid of them before going beyond five pounds, because after that it becomes a major production that takes over my life. And I don’t want losing weight to be a major project. I just want it to be an ordinary task that I may have to do on occasion like Spring Cleaning, or going through the closets, or taking the dog to the vet. Just something that needs to be done.

I don’t do much aerobic exercise when I go on a diet (I don’t change my morning routine – I still do yoga and lift weights) but I don’t join a gym or visit the swimming pool. I don’t deny that it’s possible to lose weight faster when you both diet and exercise, but it’s also possible not to.

Exercise makes me hungry. If I go out and walk at a nice brisk clip for about a half hour I usually come home feeling a little peckish. Good person that I am, I eat an apple and small handful of walnuts. Guess what? I burned 150 calories walking and then consummed 220 from the snack.

Exercise is a whole exciting topic. Stay tuned.

Want logical, practical, step-by-step motivational diet advice? Check out John Walker's, "Hacker's Diet," It's an excellent, no nonsense blueprint with great advice.

Many thanks to Jamell O'Toole whose charming painting "Rose in Crystal Vase "(inspired by my Capricornian heritage) graces this post.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Duchess of Pork

I was going to reveal my enormously helpful theory on diet and exercise in this blog (Next time; I promise), but I got sidetracked after receiving “A personal message from Sarah, The Duchess of York.” (That’s her pictured, not me, in case you might be confused.) Her note was included in a solicitation to subscribe to
Weight Watchers Magazine.

My initial reaction was, fee, fie, fo fum, Fergie. Even though not an official royal anymore, you still have money and personal trainers and professional chefs to help you achieve a fine figure.

But after giving the matter additional consideration and doing a bit of research on the Internet, I came to a grudging admiration for this woman, not just for losing weight but for literally remaking her entire life. When her marriage to His Royal Highness Prince Andrew of England began to crumble, Fergie did what most of us do when we’re unhappy; she shopped and she ate.

By the late 1980s, early 1990s, she had accumulated millions of pounds of debt as well as quite a few around her hips. In cruel headlines, the British tabloid press labeled her, “the Duchess of Pork.”

Redemption occurred when Sarah, no longer known as Fergie, came to America, got thin, and cleaned up her reputation (A wicked streak of Schadenfreude causes me to illustrate one memorable occasion of her naughtiness: a 1992 topless, toe-sucking frolic on the French Riviera with a Texas businessman.) Nonetheless, she soldiered on to author several children’s books, champion many charities, and join the ranks of “Rent-a-Royal,” becoming the spokesperson for numerous publicity campaigns in this country, including Weight Watchers. She eventually made enough money to to reimburse Queen Elizabeth, who had paid Fergie's debt to the British treasury, and become wealthy in her own right.

The moral here, if there is one: When someone has turned her life around, you can’t simply ascribe it to position or luck or money; she has also made a tough decision and stuck with it.

Oh, by the way, I signed up for the magazine.
Not because the Duchess asked, but because of their offer of scores of winning recipes, like..."Chocolate cheesecake. Fudgy Frosted Brownies. Rum Truffles. Carrot Cake....Recipes that SATISFY -- and help you lose weight."

I was hungry.

E-you, darlings

Aunt Rose

Link of interest: