Apr 24/75 Sense and Nonsense [Nechako Chronicle]

Everyone is interested in dieting these days. Fat people collect diet plans like little boys collect hockey cards. Medium-sized people instantly cut out the goodies the minute they gain a pound. Even skinny people worry that they too may become fat overnight. Everyone agrees that being fat is Un-Canadian. To top it off we are told that at our best we are still in poor shape compared to most sixty-year-old Swedes.

There are thousands of diet plans available and I have tried quite a few of them. One of them is drinking a horrible tasting potion three times a day. If you can get the stuff down I imagine it would ruin your appetite for food. Another plan is eating delicious tasting candies along with a cup of coffee fifteen minutes before every meal. This does cut the appetite at mealtimes, but does nothing for the in-between meal hunger pangs. I found myself drinking coffee and eating these candies at fifteen minute intervals throughout the whole day. I developed dental cavities and caffeine nerves but never lost an ounce. A third plan is drinking a formula which tastes vaguely like a chocolate malted milkshake. With this idea you give up food entirely and drink all your meals. The only trouble with this plan is that you never use your teeth at all. I believe that people have a need to chew. I found myself gnashing my teeth constantly and when I unconsciously ate half a cigarette I threw the remaining formula out.

One diet that has been making the rounds for years is the grapefruit and egg diet. It is supposed to be scientifically fool-proof. The combination of the eggs with the grapefruit and other fruits and vegetables is supposed to form a chemical reaction in your tissues and cause the fat to literally melt away. This is not true. I tried it for one week and actually gained weight on it. I only cheated a little, adding salt and pepper to my eggs. I have been told since that salt is very fattening but I cannot believe six grains a day can be that potent. Anyone who can eat eggs without any salt cannot be overweight in my estimation. They must be suffering from near terminal starvation.

A friend told me of a real miracle diet. Apparently the movie stars use it whenever they want to lose 10 pounds in 4 days. It consists simply of sherry (dry) for breakfast, steak and sherry for lunch and just plain sherry for supper. I tried it once for one meal (breakfast) I can’t remember lunch too well but later I was so badly hung-over I couldn’t even down my suppertime sherry. If one could last the four days they would probably lose weight all right, but on the fifth day they might wake up in a sanatorium somewhere wondering where all the pink elephants came from.

I believe we should reverse our opinions of ourselves as fat Canadians. We should enjoy our own images. We should smile at our reflections in the mirror and whistle while we waddle. Whenever a sixty-year-old Swede passes us on the street we should wave gaily and reflect that possibly in 20 years time we may be in much better shape than he.

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