Yes, I did it. I managed to fudge, cornbread dressing, cream cheese dip, giblet gravy, Oreo Bark, cheese grit, sugar cookie and eggnog myself into gaining an extra amount of weight during the holidays. I’m not deliberately withholding from you the exact amount of said weight gained, I just don’t know myself.
I refuse to get on the scale just yet, as I don’t think my heart can take whatever horrendous number it may be. But trust me, my zippers have a good idea. They say to me quite smugly, “You do understand there is only so much pressure we can take before we blow, right? It’s called science, fatty.”
So like most Americans this time of year, I am now searching for the magic answer to shed these pounds and also the ones who moved in long before. I had hoped to rid myself of those “earlier settlers” quickly too, but I didn’t, and they eventually put down roots in my hips, stomach and thighs and are now having children of their own and inviting their friends to move into their neighborhoods too. Obviously, my lower torso must have an excellent school system.
Luckily, there are many plans out there to rid yourself of these “communities.” Just turn on the tube and you can find a variety of former plump celebrities schlepping diet solutions.
Men get much better spokesdudes to appeal to their beer bellies — Dan Marino, Terry Bradshaw and Sir Charles Barkley. Hell, even Jared seems like a nice enough guy. If I were sitting on my couch watching football covered in Cheeto dust and one of their commercials came on, I would totally “pick up the phone and call now.” And I’m sure it works for them in seconds, as every diet does for the male gender. (Grrrrrr. Hate y’all and your stupid fast metabolism!)
But we lady folk do not get such inspiring, trustworthy former fatties. We get Eddie Van Halen’s ex wife, Krazy Kirstie Alley and Marie Osmond, who also pushes “meals ready to eat” in case of the apocalypse. Seriously, she does. I hear Rapture Ravioli is their biggest seller.
So needless to say, I was not really feeling much faith in these ladies to be my fat shepherdesses, so I decided I would explore other options.
And boy oh fat boy, are there options.
There are the well-known and probably most sensible ones pushed by doctors and health care organizations, like the Mayo Clinic diet. This would have been my mom’s diet of choice.
God rest her soul, she was always a big fan of these kinds of plans. And this was pre-Internet so I am not even sure how she got her hands on them, but she always acted as if she was holding Xeroxed copies of highly classified miracle diet documents she had come across surreptitiously, as if she had broken into the American Heart Association world headquarters or Dr. Atkins’ office in the dead of night and nabbed them out of their safes.
“Ashley, this is the diet doctors give to people in the hospital just after they’ve had a triple bypass — people who have almost died — so you know it’s a good one,” she would whisper excitedly.
Great mom, you’ve come across the top-secret recipes for hospital food. I can’t wait to get started.
I was always a much bigger fan of the “fad diet.”
One time in college, my roommates and I went on the “Cabbage Soup Diet.” It promised to help you lose like 10 pounds in a week or something like that. We were already skinny back then (though we didn’t realize it and would all kill to be as “fat” as we were then), so I can’t really remember if it worked. But I do remember just how awesome the apartment smelled for seven days … for a variety of reasons. And why it took me years to eat cabbage again, but I digress. There are a bajillion new fad diets out there now guaranteed to skinny you up — some in as little as three days or as many as 17.
Gluten-free is popular, as is the raw food diet and two others based on as if we still lived like cavemen or during The Great Depression.
The former is the Paleo diet designed for us to eat like our “hunter-gatherer” ancestors. I am not sure if a spear and fur loincloth is included with this plan but I hope it comes with an elastic waistband.
The other is called “Intermittent Fasting” because our bodies “were programmed for feast and famine.” You basically eat nothing for two days of the week and then “whatever you want” for the other five. That sounds reasonable.
These days, I think you could pretty much market any kind of weight loss plan and make a million dollars.
In fact, I am thinking of writing a book called the “al-Qaeda prison camp diet.” It’s based on “the science” of how our bodies can indeed survive in captivity and on bread, rice and roaches alone. It will guarantee rapid weight loss and scurvy and will be available on iTunes by the end of the week for $12.99. I will follow it up next year, with the “CIA torture diet,” which will come with your own tube and pre-packaged meals for rectal feeding. But don’t worry that’s just in what we will call the “induction phase,” where you are guaranteed to lose weight like the world’s most wanted — yet recently captured — terrorists.
“But Ashley, this is what the CIA uses,” my mother would whisper excitedly.
Even more frightening than these fad diets is the other fad accompanying them: “the cleanse.”
The word cleanse in many other contexts is awesome but in this one, it just means pooping … lots of pooping.
Just yesterday, I was invited by a dear friend to join a group who would be doing a cleanse for 10 days, then a diet for a couple of weeks. They were going to have a friendly competition for each phase to see who did the best.
I thought to myself, how exactly will the cleanse portion of the competition be measured.
Yuck. Yuck Yuck.
I know diets and even “cleaneses” are a good way for people to get motivated, but it doesn’t really take a doctor from the Mayo Clinic to tell us what we need to do. (Though my mom would disagree.)
My thinnest friend would always tell me she was on the “put down the fork and get your fat ass off the couch” diet. No hunting or gathering, cabbage, fasting or excessive pooping required.
Sounds like a plan my zippers could really get behind, as well as my behind.