Those of you who have been reading my blog for the last few months (Bless you, your share of my lottery winnings are in the mail) know that I love Hollywood. It’s fun, silly, and just weird enough to make me feel normal. A recent issue of Star Magazine (yes, I subscribe…don’t judge) featured an anorexic child actress extolling the virtues of a new diet pill, saying it “gave her back her figure.” (From where?? In your 16 genetically-blessed-and-never-had-a-baby years on this planet, what, were you up 8 OUNCES?)
This got me thinking about my weight battle over the years. When your sister is a size 2 and your mother is a size 6, a size 8-10 makes you the chubby one. My youth is littered with remnants of stupid diet tricks that scream “What was I thinking?” (Here’s where you ask, “So what did you DO?”) Okay, here goes. My personal All-Time Dumb Diet Ideas That I Actually Tried:
In my 20s:
1. Smoking. My 92-lb. college roommate assured me that if I smoked when I got hungry, I’d lose weight. Six months later, I was a chubby smoker. Yeah, that got me dates.
2. Laxatives. Great idea if you plan to live your life locked in your bathroom. And even if you could come out long enough to go anywhere, every dating conversation was interrupted with promises to “Be right back!” as you scrambled for the nearest ladies room at 60-second intervals. (One particularly promising evening, by the fourth time I came back, he’d gone home. Ended the date and the diet.)
3. Purging. A fancy word for “making yourself throw up.” (Hey, it was good enough for Princess Diana.) Still, the thought of sticking my finger down my throat to make myself throw up pretty much made me, well…throw up. Moving on.
In my 30s:
4. The Martini Diet. Second cousin to the Smoking Diet, but with gin. Since I don’t like gin, I substituted Kahlua and cream. Gained four pounds in the first week.
5. The Tapeworm Diet. Okay, I didn’t actually try this one. But I thought about it. A tiny little guy that lives in your tummy and eats all the junk you ingest before it hits your hips? That’s a better fairy tale than Snow White. Alas, since I couldn’t find a store that actually sold tapeworms, it was not to be.
6. The Phen/Fen Diet. Basically, this stuff is Chinese speed. Didn’t lose any weight, but damn, I got stuff done. By the 3rd consecutive night of NO SLEEP, I looked like crap and faceplanted into my fettuccine at Ye Old Spaghetti House, snoring into my cream sauce until Hubs carried me out, shouting to the patrons about the “bad shrimp.”
In my 40s:
7. The Praise the Lord Diet. This program tells you that God wants you to be hungry, as a sign of humility and gratitude. By day 5, I was decidedly UN-grateful and quit going to church. (I eventually went back because they were having their annual potluck after the service. God and I made up over homemade mac ‘n cheese, and He told me He never authorized that book. Ha. I knew it.)
8. The Cookie Diet. These are large “cookies” made up of oats, bran, fiber and sawdust. They taste like drywall and are intended to replace food you actually like. You can’t drink enough water (okay, wine) to swallow these, so I substituted two boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mints. The next morning’s weigh-in suggested that “Eat Cookies and Lose Weight!” was a bit misleading.
9. Fasting. This worked until I got, uh, hungry. The world’s only 3-hour diet. Whose idea was this?? If I had the willpower to NOT EAT, the aforementioned Dumb Ideas #1-8 would be limited to The Wine Lover’s Diet (no, you won’t lose an ounce, but WHO CARES?).
And now, in my 50s:
10. The Screw It, I Feel Great Diet. Ooh, is that a brownie?