Take it off. TAKE IT OFF. TAKE IT ALL OFF!
It’s that time of year isn’t it? Noble resolutions, staunch pledges, good intentions ––– the whole kit and caboodle. We’re going to do something this year that we didn’t accomplish last year! Now personally, I NEVER make any annual promises because I break them on the first day. Maybe it’s the wild artist in me who can’t adhere to any commitment which is too alien to my basic nature or perhaps I simply have no willpower. But I’m thinking of you and want to help you face 2016.
Right up there at the top of most of our lists is usually the decision to lose weight in the New Year. I want to also, but I know I won’t. So this falls into the category of ‘don’t do what I do, do what I see all around me.’ Here it is: The Beverly Hills Ladies’ Diet.
Here’s an example: I go to lunch with a dear friend and say, “I’ll have a Cobb Salad with the dressing on the side please.” I have some willpower, so rather than pouring all that mayonnaise and Roquefort dressing on top of the salad, I’ll just dip my fork in the dressing.
My girlfriend says, “I’ll have the Cobb Salad, too, but without the bacon, without the cheese, without the chicken, without the avocado, and only the white part of the egg! Oh, and could I have balsamic vinegar on the side?”
So what she’s left with is lettuce and hardboiled egg whites! I call that air.
Another dieting oddity appears when eating a bagel. One simply does not consume bagels unless they are scooped out. Not only gouged, but served naked: no butter or cream cheese allowed. However, there are exceptions. You may have a whole bagel on your birthday instead of a birthday cake, but that’s it. One bagel a year.
Others I know diet by not telling the truth. I have a friend who is a world famous model. She is always asked how she keeps her weight under control? She very nicely tells the people who interview her that she eats very healthfuly and exercises. No she doesn’t. The truth is that she lost weight by only eating one meal a day. And exercising? Forget about it!
Yet another friend of mine has not gained a pound in years. I asked her how she did it? She said that for lunch, she eats only a tiny bite of something she really loves –– in her case, Brie cheese –– and nothing more. I admire her restraint. If I take one bite of Brie I’m undone and the whole wedge will be devoured. My lack of self-control is not to be underestimated.
Then there is the mother of one of my son’s friends. She loses weight by drinking ONLY Diet Coke ALL the time. Her entire garage is filled with cartons of Diet Coke. I wonder if that affects real estate values?
This weight loss compulsion extends well outside the circle of the glamorous in Los Angeles. I was having physical therapy on my wrist and I asked the therapist, who was young, how her friends kept their weight down. Without losing a beat, she casually commented, “Oh, they just starve themselves!”
That reminded me of the story in the LA Times about Bryce Dallas Howard (an actress and director, Ron Howard’s daughter) who had to go to a department store in Beverly Hills for a size 6 dress to wear to the Golden Globes. The top designers, to whom she would normally turn, only have size 0 or 00 on their sample racks! This is what you deal with if you’re not skinny. So when you’re watching television or reading a magazine and see a gorgeous but impossibly thin person, I’ll wager that they’re on The Beverly Hills Ladies’ Diet and starving themselves to fit into those clothes and to look slim for the camera. By the way, is size 0 bigger or smaller than 00? I’m not skinny enough to know the difference.
So, since few of us will ever achieve this usually impossible dream and since I cherish my Brie and Hagen Daz Chocolate Chip Gelato, (in fact I cannot bring it into the house) my resolution for the year is to exercise. To walk. And I’ve started again in the hills around our home doing about three miles a day. I’m walking for my health. Not for the New Year and not to fit into a size 0 anything.
I know I can do it. This is me hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho many moons ago.
P. S. Eat whatever you want, and if anyone tries to lecture you about your weight, eat them too!