I contribute a weekly column to the Platte County Landmark under the “Rambling Moron” name. It’s a great Northland Newspaper and well worth a subscription. The following is an copy of my article which appeared in the 3/14/12 edition – printed with permission.
YOU CAN’T GET DIET WITHOUT DIE
I found myself last week with the opportunity to be on television, which means that the next day, I started a new diet. (One person asked me if there were 30 cameras on me. Ugh.) A diet is simply attempting to train your body to accept a multitude of new habits (and stop doing bad ones) all at the same time. This isn’t my first diet, this is, roughly, my 924th diet. I am the Cal Ripken of dieting. But I’m still in week one. Still feeling good. Still getting that boost of energy. And I haven’t made that fateful crash trip into McDonalds yet.
This column won’t be about the mechanics of a diet. They all seem to follow a similar premise, you change a bunch of terrible habits to good habits and then hope a few of them stick after a few weeks. So far, in previous diets, I have been successful in stopping to drink soda, I’ve stopped pouring salt on my food and I eat much less fast food, roughly once a week versus three or four times a day. (Unless McRib is back, then get out of my way.)
Have you ever made eye contact with someone at the grocery store, only to then be persecuted by a 30 minute conversation? Healthy people are like that when they know a dieter is in their midst. This article is about the “Healthy People” a.k.a. “People Who Need To Not Talk To Me While I’m Dieting.”
Now, let me make this clear, I’m not disparaging healthy people. I love you all. I should be learning these healthy habits from you. But, respectfully, I’d like to bash your heads in with a hammer. You all seem to creep out of the baseboards like a London fog once you realize that there is a dieter amongst you. You start with the “suggestions” – “Oh, well, Frank and I simply ALWAYS drink soy milk.” And you “drop by” with your no-bake gluten free hairball pie. (I don’t actually know the name, I just know what it tasted like.)
I really harbor no ill will towards these people. They are only attempting to show their love and affection for this little fat guy. The problem is that they’re actually part of the problem with living a more healthy lifestyle. Us fat people have simply been programmed to eat these terrible chemicals our whole lives. For whatever reason(s) these habits have been made part of our daily lives. An e-mail isn’t going to fix that. It is a retraining. If you really want to help, make me a chicken breast and a salad every day for the next 60 days, deliver it to me and don’t talk while I eat it. THAT is going to help with the training. Not your no-bake toe-jam granola bites.
It’s not that I’m ungrateful for your suggestions and help. Well, actually, I’m not. Turns out that weaning yourself off of these chemicals and toxins makes you extremely grumpy. So it’s not that I don’t appreciate your help, it’s just that I very well might run you down in the parking lot whilst eating my banana and broiled chicken.
The other issue is that all of you healthy people maintain your healthiness in different ways. Some just have high metabolisms, some are on gluten-free lifestyles, some go super-herbal in their efforts to maintain their weight and some do the powders and pills. The problem is that your suggestion is likely forbidden by the next guy who gives me a suggestion. One person told me to drink “Crystal Light” and then in the very next e-mail, another person says “that stuff is poison.” If you eat something as simple as a hard boiled egg, there is some guy out there who will tell you it’s worse than a Big Mac. So, I’m left to figure it all out for myself whilst repressing the urge to end up on the front page of The Landmark under the police blotter.
In the meantime, if you have recipes that taste terrible but are “healthy for you,” diet suggestions that can easily be proven as unhealthy by some camp or just coupons to Casey General Store for some of that “Business of the Year” pizza (which I’m certain is calorie-free), you can send those into The Landmark and I’ll make sure to give Ivan the coupons and I’ll give your recipes a try. (But if they taste like glue, I might write about it.)