Sunday, November 14, 2004

They say America's getting fat. I even saw an article about how airline expenses have gone up because of the extra weight of the passengers. In our own personal war against the waistline, last year my wife and I started the South Beach Diet. I lost 30 pounds over the next few months, so I can attest to its succes. Prior to the diet, my meals consisted mostly of fast food or, if I was going to "cook", perhaps Hot Pockets, a frozen pizza, mac&cheese, or some other "pop it in the microwave and eat" meal. If it's unhealthy, I ate it. Throw some chili on top and it was even better. Eating this way made phase one of the South Beach Diet particularly tough for me. For thos not familiar, phase one consists of various leaves, grasses, and dirt sprinkled over a hunk of lean meat (I was ok with the last part). It's similar to Atkins in that you cut out most carbs, but healthier because it also cuts out most fat and encourages consumption of the aforementioned ruffage. This goes on for two excruciating weeks, in which you'll experience dizziness, pounding headaches, and tunnel vision. Why put yourself through this? The carrot at the end of the stick (no pun intended), is the belly fat you lose during this time. I dropped 15 pounds during these two weeks. After that you the diet loosens up slightly, allowing for bread, as long as it has seeds, nuts, and grains in it, and some fruits. I've never been more grateful to be able to eat an apple. By phase three it's fairly easy to stick to the diet as long as you don't eat out. Which brings us back to America's weight problems. Just look around at all the fast food joints with fatty burgers, fries, and greasy chicken, or sit down at a restaurant and look over the menu at all the things that really aren't healthy, which covers 95% of the menu including many of the salads, shoot, just walk through a grocery store. Nowhere is healthy eating supported. And I still love all those unhealthy things. Please, someone create cheese fries and a chili cheese dog that will make me lose weight and live longer. That's all I ask.