Saturday, February 07, 2004

Screw Oprah's NO WHITE diet...Buy less, eat less and move more.

No white diet? It's not what you think. I was driving home from work. The 405 ramp from 26 was blocked off so I had to take a detour downtown. I won't listen to most radio so I had it tuned to channel 6 radio. Extra was doing a feature on Oprah's new diet. I'm not sure what supernatural powers smiled upon Oprah when she was born, but the American people basically take Oprah's words as if they came from the mouth of the Almighty Himself/Herself. Whole Foods received a big boost in business with Ms. Oprah's episode on 'healthy foods' which featured the Organic supermarket. And if you need more proof of the Power of Oprah you only have to witness sales of books that were featured on her book club. Intentionally or not, she is the pied piper of consumers.

Now Oprah has had at least a dozen or more diets (that we know of) and whatever she does the American public usually follows in suite. I have to wonder whether switching from diet to diet and dramatically changing your intake and eating habits can be healthy for your body. It seems to me that riding the diet roller coaster is just another form of physical self-abuse. Now Oprah's championing yet another no-carb/low-carb diet which maintains that white food (bread and rice) are taboo! I ate a half a pound of pasta with cheese (see the orzo recipe from Wednesday, February 04, 2004) today just to commemorate her refusal to eat carbs. If Oprah's not eating them, someone else needs to. Albeit, I had to walk that pasta off. I wonder what the Olive Garden restaurant chain is going to do now. I'd be quite impressed if they could follow Applebee's example and come up with a low-carb menu?

Wandering through the aisles at Trader Joes I did see packages of low carb pasta, low carb tortilla chips, low carb bread (no, it's not an oxymoron) and low carb snacks (essentially fried low carb pasta with a great deal of salt to disguise their unpalatable nature). Most of these foods are literally just 'filler.' High in fiber, they satisfy the need to insert food in our mouths and fill our bellies, but judging from the sample of the low-carb bread, most of these items taste about as good as cakes made from sawdust and applesauce. I simply don't understand why people would rather fill up on tasteless food. It seems like more of a punishment than an option for better living.

In the end, diet fads are diet fads... though this one seems BIG. Forget Oprah when you see that countless suburban mega-chains of suburban family restaurants are advertising carb cutting menu choices. Even the "Burger King" has a new low carb Whopper. In the long run, there may be an increase in cases of arterial sclerosis, and kidney disease. The dieter's kidneys go into overdrive as they attempt to rid the body of the excess protein. In some cases if the diet is followed over an extended period of time, the increased intake of protein can result in Calcium loss and subsequently osteoporosis.

I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that there's something so completely absurd about the whole concept of most diet fads. Let's face it, America. All you need do to stay thin is EAT LESS and MOVE MORE. There are too many diets out there that claim to melt your ass away without requiring you to actually get up off of it.

And through all of the hyper marketing of FAT-OFF fads and the race to make ourselves leaner it seems that people have forgotten one simple truth: you eat too much - you get fat. How many ways can I say this?

Eatus morus and your butt will be bigus.
You are what you eat.


Stop pushing the flatbeds full of supersized chip bags, potato salad, pot stickers, hot pockets, wiener wraps, fruit pies, Kudos bars, blue fruit leather, and Hershey’s nuggets from the cost-savings value clubs. Stop ordering that extra super-sized fries or the genetically altered baked potato with extra cheese and sour cream. It's not okay to be a size XXXXXXXL. Buy less, eat less and move more. Park your goddamn car on the other side of the parking lot. Your bones fucking ache because you have that weight on your body... if you start walking it off and start curbing your hunger pangs... the pounds will leave slowly but surely.

I can't claim that I was ever like Subway Jared, but a year after I picked up a desk job and starting living in a place where I had to drive in my car to get provender instead of walking to the grocery store to pick it up... I gained at least 30-35 pounds. So yeah, I was getting a little plump. Actually, I was becoming convinced that being 'bigger' was just a natural repercussion of growing older (i.e. two things happen as you get older: your dress size gets bigger and you have to pluck more). After all, most of the people my age were putting on the pounds. This was a natural thing... at least out in the burbs... especially after having children.

But I didn't have any children. Yes, I was in a relationship that put me under a lot of stress and my job load put me under some more stress, but I began to realize that I could not use food as a pacifier for my angst. After leaving my ex I decided to change my lifestyle. Move more and eat less. I did go to the gym at least 2x a week. I didn't train for any triathlons because I know my limits, but I did notice that I went from a size 10 to a 6(that's a real size 10 not a 10 that's actually an 12) it took about 6 months, and now I have to watch what I eat a little more carefully now, but I'm happier and healthier. I still eat, and I still cook good food, JUST LESS OF IT.

Of course, if eating is your ONLY pleasure, and you don't mind living a shorter life and paying for a larger coffin then sky's the limit.


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