Yes, much to the surprise of those of you that know me personally, I am tackling the subject of diets. I firmly believe that any diet you go on works, if you follow it. This means, when you have had a good day of drinking kale and beets, you should not celebrate your success with a box of munchkins. It doesn’t work. Though bigger than a size six for most of my life(except for that one glorious summer of my growth spurt) I really have never been one to try fad diets (please stop thinking “maybe she should have, and she would still be a size 6.”) Eating grapefruit every meal or lettuce three times a day never appealed to me. I recently tried a juice cleanse, which was the first time I have followed anything successfully besides weight watchers, and I discovered that if it goes in green, it comes out green, but doesn’t necessarily make you glow, like the cleanse people suggested. It does, however, make you cranky, dizzy and weak. Is that how skinny people feel all the time?
There are those of us that are just naturally blessed with good metabolisms and lean physiques (So far my boys are like that, and we cannot trace those genetics back to anyone on either side of their families). People I know from elementary school who were skinny then, are still skinny now. Some of them can eat a lot and some of them have always “eaten to live” as opposed to me who has a tendency to “live to eat.” I know people who have purposely gained weight so their insurance would cover weight loss surgery. Really? Not even I would do something like that, but that is just me. Once you have the surgery, you still need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that does not include an overabundance of double stuffed oreos or entenmanns marshmallow iced devils food cake(it always goes back to that cake, God bless its soul.) So that just goes back to my original statement of any diet works if you follow it. Though some of the people who have had those procedures have gained the weight back, which is disturbing to me on so many levels.
Weight watchers is my favorite. I have been on it many times and just like Alcoholics Anonymous (which I have not been on…yet) “it works if you work it.” When I finished all of the food I was allowed for the day, even if it was 11:30 in the morning, I was done. That is when I follow it. When I am not in the “zone” (another diet I have never been on, but always a way to describe weight watchers who are really following program) if I have finished my allotted food for the day at 11:30, I will just eat the next day’s food. Yes, bad, very, very bad. That is when it does not work. But, the true beauty of the program, are the meetings. With your membership, you get to attend weekly meetings. The positive reinforcement is mind blowing. Let’s say you put on 4/10 of a pound. “That’s ok sweetie, it will come off next week. It must be water weight. It must be your time of the month, it must be the overabundance of baby carrots you ate while watching tv.” How can you not love that? Never would a lecturer say “babe, you gained weight because you stress ate two pints of ice cream.” Only positive, positive, positive-words to live by. But then at some point, when you have been successful, you think you can do it on your own and nope, it does not quite work the same way. Something about paying people to weigh you is quite motivating. It’s all ok though, because when you go back to the meetings six months later, 10 pounds heavier, the lecturer says “Let’s give a round of applause to Fattie(not her real name) for coming back.” And everyone claps for you. Just beautiful.
So the moral of this particular story is, as my skinny young friend often tells me “just stop eating.” Easier said than done, my friend. Everything in moderation and when that doesn’t work, ask one of those positive “rah rah” lecturers if they will come and live with you. Wishing you all good health and the body type you were meant to have.
Banji Latkin Ganchrow is a Teaneck resident and writer who enjoys traveling across the country by car with her husband and three sons. She is also the author of the blog holycrapimgonnabe40 and hopes to, one day, write a best-selling novel and appear on the Ellen Show.
By Banji Latkin Ganchrow