Friday, August 31, 2007

DIET is DIE with a T

One of my favorite fat fellows is that lovable cat Garfield. When I was a kid I used to collect Garfield stuff - books, posters, buttons, stickers. I think I used to have a Garfield coffee mug too, but can't remember what ever happened to it. One of the most memorable posters I had was one on which Garfield exclaimed, "Diet is Die with a T." Very appropriate and my sentiments exactly.

I guess the reason I started thinking about Garfield is because I'm on a diet right now. I can't say I'm a diet fanatic, but I've tried my share:

The Prisoner Diet - You prepare an industrial sized vat of cabbage soup and then proceed to eat a bowlfull at each meal, day after day, until you lose all your body fat.

The Skinny-Quick diet - You drink nutritious and delicious shakes in place of two meals per day. The only thing this did for me was increase my appetite!

Other Fad Diets - You eliminate certain groups of foods and concentrate on specific foods. Each diet is different, there are some where you pop vitamin supplements like sugar-pills and drink psyllium shakes before each meal, others where you guzzle down glass after glass of cranberry juice, ones where you eat all high fiber raw veggies, and others where you only eat meat.

I have to say that none of the diets I've tried have worked for me so far. I know it's because, realistically, a person can't maintain such a strict and limited eating regimine for the rest of his or her life, and, some of these diets are quite expensive to maintain too.

Sure, most of us can all remember that one kid in school who existed for years and years eating the same foods all the time and wouldn't vary from them. My husband had a childhood friend that only ate hot dogs and rice and about three other types of meals all the time! Now he's a perfectly normal eater and can laugh at those days gone by, but I think even he wonders about why he did it and how he was able to get away with it for so long.

I guess it's not so bad making a drastic change in the way you eat when it's only for a short while. I'm on a strict regimine for two weeks and then a less strict regimine from there on out. But the overall focus of this diet is to make changes in how you think about foods and to make better food choices for the future. So far, I seem to be doing fine. I don't feel I'm starving as I've felt on other diets. I haven't felt light headed or weak. I do feel bored though, as it's more work to prepare meals now because I have to modify the meals for my kids, and in essence I'm cooking two separate meals for each meal. But, by eating healthier, the whole family can benefit.

The toughest obstacle to successful dieting, and I hate to say it, is my husband. He always tells me that I have to put him on a diet, that he has to lose weight, but when it comes down to the wire, he's the first one to crack. Where is his will-power? When we were trying a diet where you eat unlimted protein and dairy, we did okay for about a week. What happened? He accused me of trying to murder him.

"What is this diet called?" he asked, "The Dr. Kevorkian Diet?"

"It's not the Dr. Kevorkian Diet!" I exclaimed, "It's the Dr. Atkins Diet."

"Well, it feels like you're trying to kill me!" he said, "and I refuse to eat like this any more." He rubbed his stomach, "The way this diet makes me feel, I prefer to stay fat!"

Needless to say, we went off that diet, and, at the mere mention of Dr. Kevorkian, er, Dr. Atkins, my husband still reacts in a volatile manner. You know what they say, an elephant never forgets!

Years later, and here we are again. We've been on this new diet for three days. This morning he already started complaining.

"Do we have to eat eggs every morning?" he whined.

I didn't say anything. I just handed him some bacon and a cup of coffee, hoping he'd drop the subject and go to work.

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