(SNN) - I’ve always been a curvy girl. Even in youth, I had more in common with Sophia than Twiggy, and towards the end of the last decade, I was definitely in the Marilyn class. But lately, there has been a slight shifting of the curves…a lower European drop, so to speak. The crisis came last January, when the sweet little store Clerkette asked me when I was ‘due’. For the record, I was done long ago.
It was obvious: this couldn’t go on. This former beach babe was on track to becoming a beach ball. Badly needed was a swift revision of the current eating strategy, which involved stuffing in as much as possible at least five times a day in order to avoid the famine that might just come in the next seven hundred years or so.
First, I tried Weight Watchers. Nice people and sound advice, but all the ‘counting’ had me thinking about food every hour. I fetished over fruitcake. I don’t even like fruitcake. This was not for me.
In desperation, I turned to television. Prepackaged food plans are all the rage on cable: “Look at me! I’m a Grandmother, and love prancing around in a bikini again…” Hey, that annoying person could be me, back in a size 2! I was a size 2 in grade four. There had to be a sensible way of eating for life, that didn’t involve wacky obsessions.
Which got me thinking… thin people are thin because of how they eat. And if I watched them carefully and copied them religiously, surely I would be thin in time, too?
Brilliant, I thought! Piece of cake, I thought! Why do all my idioms involve food?
I went in search of a role model. Diane came to mind, a tall blonde colleague, willowy slim. She once told me that she hadn’t had butter in over 15 years. I remembered a conversation we had during a conference. It was one-thirty, lunchtime had come and gone, and I was ravenous. Leather portfolios were starting to look tasty.
“Are you hungry?” Dianne said. “I’m starving. Do you want to go down and get a bowl of soup? I could really do with a bowl of soup.”
We went down to the cafeteria. I had a chicken salad sandwich with mayo and fries. Dianne had a bowl of clear chicken soup with 4 soda crackers.
“Oh, that was good,” she said. “I’m stuffed.” And she didn’t eat anything more until dinner at seven, when she had a large salad with no dressing.
Soup is the answer, no question. I shall have a bowl of soup every day for lunch and not eat anything else until dinner. I shall be as slim as Dianne, eventually. Who needs crackers?
7 a.m.: I hate breakfast in the early morning. Dianne never eats breakfast. Coffee with milk (yuck) instead of cream and out the door.
10 a.m.: In a meeting. Will she ever shut up? Somebody pass the muffins. They’re pigs at that end of the table – pigs! Oh yeah – I can’t have one. I’m being good.
12 noon: Soup! I’m having soup and it’s really good. Salty. Chickeny. It’s gone. That was quick. I’m feeling righteous. This can work, I think.
1 p.m.: Ate the 4 crackers that came with the soup.
2 p.m.: Went searching for gum, breath mints, anything.
3 p.m.: Snuck somebody’s Diet Coke from the fridge.
4 p.m.: Screamed at my staff for talking.
5 p.m.: Sobbed quietly in the washroom.
6 p.m.: Raced home, setting new record. Chewed all five pieces of sugarless gum left in the package, while shifting gears.
7 p.m.: Ate salad of spinach, romaine, tomato, 1 egg, 1-ounce low-fat cheese, no dressing, while family munched leftover lasagna and trifle.
8 p.m.: Yelled at the kids for talking.
9 p.m.: Looked for snack. Surely thin people have a snack before bed? All that Easter chocolate hanging around. What would a thin person eat? Probably just one piece, and it would be dark chocolate for sure. I broke off a small piece of bunny and swilled it down with skim milk.
2 a.m.: Dreamt about food. Glorious food. Roast beef with Yorkshire, macaroni and cheese, cocktail parties with canapé. Dianne was stuffing her face with Brie.
4 a.m.: Got up and ate the rest of the chocolate bunny.
I’ve learned two things from my day of eating like a thin person.
I will never be tall and blonde and thin.
When you’re starving, toothpaste can be a food group.
Tomorrow is a new day and I am trying a new approach: eat like two thin people.
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