The skinniest of my friends calls me this morning and informs me that she wants to lose 5 pounds by next weekend! I let out a whooping belly laugh. I begged for ringside seats to this event, because I don’t think her body will part with its last spare 5 pounds without a hell of a fight! But what do you say to an intelligent young woman who knows full well the formula for a healthy weight (portion control and regular exercise) but still opts for a fad diet? Her BMI probably warns that she’s underweight but her ears peak whenever there is news of a faster, better, more convenient, technologically- advanced, celebrity- endorsed way to drop those LBs. Here are ten of the craziest diets she has tried or at the very least contemplated.
1) The Three day diet (Starve three days, then pig out. Then do it all over again)
2) The Cookie Diet (It’s nothing like Cookie Monster’s plan)
3) God’s Diet (Eat nothing manmade. If it’s made by a woman does it count?)
4) Blood Type Diet
5) Grapefruit Diet (It’s been around forever!)
6) Cabbage Soap Diet
7) Juice Diet
8) Gum Diet (Ouch, my jaw hurts )
9) Maple Syrup Diet (Helped Beyonce become a dream girl)
10) Diet Coke Plus Diet
Thank God, she has never tried the Amputation Diet (Yes, this is a real diet!). This would warrant an intervention, not a fanciful blog entry.
Have you ever been so desperate that you gave some thought to any of those fad diets?
I Ponder These
Call me idle but I do wonder…
– How did the people waaaay back then figure out which herbs etc were poisonous or not? How many had to die first?
– How does the world look through a man’s eyes?
– Why do some buy at Courts in December what they can’t afford to pay in January?
– Are Taxi/Maxi/Bus drivers born or made?
– Why do healthy foods taste so bland and highly calorific ones so delightful?
– We scold our kids for breaking their toys but we’ve been depleting the ozone layer.
– Does it make sense for Fat Joe to lose weight?
– What goes on in a baby’s mind when we are engaging in ‘baby talk’?
– What it’s like to be a fly on the wall at a Phillip Morris strategy meeting.
– If you’re in the Peace Corp, shouldn’t you try to maintain the peace? WHY TRY to rock the boat??
Caribbean people never pass up a chance to fete and so the small crowd gathered on the city for the annual Emancipation Day celebrations, was telling. The festivities were slated to begin at 3 pm when the unforgiving sun was still perched high in the sky. Most patrons reacted to this by huddling in the dappled shade of the huge trees, a distance away from the crudely constructed stage. Others proudly opened their parasols, as I imagined the ex-slaves had flourished their manumission papers, proclaiming: ‘No more hot sun! Slavery done!’ The rift between the Rastafarian and Baldhead camps, on that August afternoon, was as obvious as the disorganization onstage. The young ones alone seemed unfettered, as they cavorted on the well-manicured lawns of the city square.
The Rastafarians, the Vanguard of Emancipation (the epithet used by the Cultural Director, to the chagrin of the non-Rastafarians) were well represented. Most were spiffed up in their colourful robes and had literally, though not figuratively, let their hair down. Their attention belonged to the stage when the members of their fraternity began singing, chanting and drumming, supposedly in an effort to invoke the spirits of the ancestors. A segment of their performance was devoted to Ethiopia during which the entire Rastafarian population raptured amid a cloud of smoke emanating from the chicken being barbecued outside the square.
Boredom and confusion were clearly etched into the faces of the Baldheads who failed to understand Ethiopia’s place in the festivities, or the drivel about the Rastafarians being the defenders of freedom. That camp, in the name of retaliation or desecration, refused to give due regard to the performances so they chatted, laughed, ate and ambled around the square at that time. The Baldheads now carried new brands, emblazoned on their clothes not on their skin but their yokes and shackles, were ever-present, though intangible. They felt as much a part of the struggle as any black person on that square. “Just because I doh want to go back to Africa, doh make me a traitor,” a Baldhead dared to voice the sentiments of his group. But in the Rastafarians’ eyes, he would never overstand and consequently be forever enslaved by the Babylon system.
As the sun was bowing out to the evening, the Rastafarians finished their presentation and made a swift exit, clutching on to their Ethiopian flags and their pride. The tension dissipated. The remaining patrons moved closer to the stage in anticipation. Some amateur models were thrust onstage to display printed, tie-dyed and crocheted outfits, labelled designer African wear. But that was not what the crowd was waiting for. The wait came to an end when Calypsonians took to the stage with songs reminiscent of the tales of the griots of slavery days. The crowd was coaxed into swaying, then dancing and singing along. A different kind of celebration of emancipation ensued. Yet the songs of freedom rang hollow. On emancipation day, when the focus should have been on the triumph over enslavement, divisiveness and intolerance had reigned.
When the show came to a close, the organizers proclaimed it a resounding success. Government ministers claimed that they had been impressed. But as the people headed home, most were merely grateful that August 1st was a day off from work.
Nowadays, it seems that behind every successful man is a sex scandal; and subsequently, a press conference where a supportive wife stands by quietly, holding her husband’s hand, while he tearfully apologizes for being caught. Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant, Kwame Kilpatrick and the likes, were lucky men to have their wives at their sides; and the viewership was happy for the opportunity to scrutinize the women who had been overshadowed by the high priced hooker, street walker, intern or coworker. I don’t know if I could be that good wife, standing teary- eyed next to a guilty man while he reads his well-rehearsed speech. I would probably be at home, viewing the press conference – like everyone else — while my lawyer took notes. I would be packing either my husband’s stuff or mine and putting my plan B into action immediately, all the while mentally compiling my lessons learned file, for future reference. I would be unable to control the tears, the pain, his actions, and public reaction but self-respect would be mine.
For the Love of animals
I am not an animal lover. You won’t find them in my arms, in my house, on my couch, in my car. I won’t kiss them, dress them, pet them, bathe them, call them my babies, rush home to ensure that they’re ok. But don’t get me wrong, I am not cruel to animals either. With that established…. I saw an ad recently, requesting monthly gifts to care for animals—to give them good homes, medication, food, love. The ad did remind me of the ones which requested the same for children and the disadvantaged in far-flung corners of the world, when I was growing up. I automatically thought that maybe we had eradicated poverty; that medication and medical attention had become accessible to all; that we had no homeless human beings to see about; that all the stomachs once swollen from malnutrition were now rounded with well balanced meals.
Animal lovers would obviously disagree with my perspective – and that’s ok, my aim is not consensus— but I can’t see myself taking from a hungry child’s mouth to feed an animal. I can’t see me choosing to shelter a dog when a mother and kids have nowhere to go. I can’t see myself, choosing to support animal rights over human rights.
But we do have to be grateful for a world of diversity – it creates the necessary balance on this earth.