Coming to a fork in the road â€” to diet or not to diet
The first thing I do each morning before I get out of bedÂ is to decide which diet I will be on for the next 24 hours.Â I get bored easily, and Iâ€™ve been known toÂ switch from one diet to another in the course of one day.
I might start off with eggs and bacon a la the notorious Atkins plan, then begin craving some French fries. So I scoot on over to Weight Watchers and count points for a couple of hours. By supper time, I feel like such a failure. Iâ€™ll just eat a half jar of peanut butter, go to bedÂ and dreamÂ of being chased by a giant head of lettuce.Â
Iâ€™ve fasted for 24 hours, only to end the fast with an entire bag of Chips Ahoy.
My dieting repertoire includes Sugar Busters, South Beach, Sonoma, Scarsdale, and SummersizedÂ â€“ youâ€™ll note they all begin with the letter â€śSâ€ť for â€śsnookered.â€ťÂ Most of the programs vilifyÂ anything whiteÂ such asÂ sugar, flour, potatoes and rice.Â Â
Wonder what would happen ifÂ we ate nothing but the white stuff. I could make a fortune with my plan andÂ write a best sellerÂ called â€śWhite on Rice.â€ťÂ Â
So howâ€™s all this â€śdietingâ€ť working for me?Â You be the judge. During each week sinceÂ June Iâ€™ve lost a minimum of two pounds per week for a whopping total of 40 pounds.Â Unfortunately, my dress size has remained the same since I gained 2.25 pounds each week, or 41 poundsÂ during that same period.
You do the math, because obviously I canâ€™t.Â
Today, IÂ reached a fork in the road. To diet or not to diet, that is the question.Â My dismal results have me wondering if I would have doneÂ any worse by just eating normally.
I just donâ€™t know what â€śnormalâ€ť looks like,Â sinceÂ Iâ€™ve been on a diet practicallyÂ my entire life.Â My mother claims I was a picky eater as a young child, but the day some genius merged chocolate and peanut butter, I was a goner.
I remember sitting on my front porch steps as an awkward 12-year old, drinking Metrecal. Do yâ€™all remember that vile stuff?Â It was the first â€śdiet in a canâ€ť to hit the stores. It tasted likeÂ theÂ chalky cocktail you drink before having a colonoscopy.
Then, along came Figurines, a sort of cookie that tasted like paper Mache with a squirt of cyclamates. It was one of the most heinous foods ever foisted on a hungry human. It rates right up there with Hollywood Diet Bread. It was bread sliced to the thickness of 1/8th inch and cut the size ofÂ a graham cracker square.
I remember seeing Mother chop upÂ small white mushrooms,Â and adding a little soy sauce (sodium had not yet been demonized). She bakedÂ them until they shriveled up to nothing. This particular treat was called â€śpopcornâ€ť. Yeah, right.
Next came the grapefruit juice diet. It was all the rage back in the 60s. I drank so much grapefruit I broke out in hives and lost some of the enamel off my teeth.
In college, we madeÂ a â€śdiet soupâ€ť by boiling cabbage, green pepper, onion, celery and shredded carrots. No salt, just a beef or chicken bullion cube for flavor.Â â€śStudiesâ€ť claimed it took more calories to digest than it contained in the first place.Â
DIET has become the worst of all four-letter words in my vocabulary, and Iâ€™m sick of it. Besides, at my ageÂ I figure I need a few extra pounds to fill out the wrinkles.
Yogi Berry advises, â€śWhen you come to a fork in the road, take it.â€ťÂ Iâ€™m taking the road less traveled and giving up the diet, and maybe even the fork."Â
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers reaching retirement.Â She welcomes comments at www.deludeddiva.com
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