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Rose Richard

I have gotten desperate enough to try a fad diet. My friend Andrea told me she lost 10 pounds in three weeks on this particular plan. All I had to do was buy a book, some thermogenic pills and protein shake mix.

That set me back $58. And I went to the discount health food store. I don?t know why they call them health food stores. There is nothing that resembles food in these places. There is just row upon row of big plastic jugs full of powdered protein drinks. As long as you can tolerate dairy products, there are a whole host of flavors for you to choose from, tropical to chocolate. If you can?t have dairy, there is one brand for you to choose from. It comes in two flavors, vanilla and chocolate. .

I bought something ominously called Phen Free. The woman who was helping me told me it was the least noxious of the thermogenics. Thermogenics contain stimulants and stimulants make me a towering bitch if I’m not careful.

.The people who worked at the store were interesting, too. They were, without exception, well muscled. The kind of muscle you see on ESPN Bodybuilding Champions – even the women. It?s kind of gross. .

But they are really high on life. They are excited about exercise. They don?t care if you (i.e. flabby and out of shape) don?t look like them, as long as you too are willing to take up the barbell for a better body. She asked me what plan I was on, and I told her I was trying Body for Life, a very popular exercise and diet plan by some guy named Bill Phillips, but I think a guy named Michael D’Orso made the book somewhat readable. More on that later. .

She was really excited for me. She told me I’d feel great. She told me I wouldn’t experience glucose withdrawals as bad as some other exercise and diet plans. She almost sounded like a drug dealer. .

I went to buy Mr. Phillip’s book. I went to the Barnes & Noble in Tigard (Powell’s didn?t have it). I couldn’t find the book, so I asked the guy at the counter if he could help me.”Oh, do you work at Adidas?”

Do I look like I work at Adidas?? I wear all black and my physique could never be mistaken for a person who works for a company that promotes sports and fitness.

“Oh. Well, a whole division at Adidas came and bought that book the other day.”

Mental note: never, ever work at Adidas.

So he got a morbidly obese woman to help me find the book. This made me feel really crappy, like I was criticizing her or something. I don?t care what she looks like; I care what I?m going to look like in a damn blue bridesmaid?s dress. She found the book and we made jokes about not wanting to work at Adidas.

That was a week ago. I started reading Mr. Phillip’s book, in between work and school and homework. First I looked at the before and after pictures and decided that there was no way in hell that I would take a before picture. The idea of what I look like in a bikini right now is simply too horrifying a subject for the general public. I know what I look like nekkid.

Then, I started reading the book. It is amusing and disturbing at the same time. Here?s one of my favorite lines. ?When people let go of their bodies, it is, quite simply, the beginning of the end.? I rolled on the floor laughing and burning calories when I read that.

I’m up to page 68, and he has just (on that very page) begun to describe the fitness plan. The first 67 pages were devoted to customer testimonials, “I was a fatass and really unhappy. Now I exercise and have become successful in all endeavors I undertake.” We all know that’s the gospel truth! .

He rambles on about his blood red Lamborghini Diablo and some dumb contest he sponsored but I got bored and stopped reading about his damn $200,000 sports car. Yeah, he even told us the price, because when you are skinny, you too can afford a Lamborghini or two. .

I don’t know if I’ll start this diet. It’s not the healthiest way to lose weight. Losing 10 pounds in three weeks is not doctor recommended. Nor are thermogenics and protein powders. But, I did already spend almost $60, and I kind of need to weigh less than I do now. Perhaps, I’ll give it the American try, or I’ll be like my other Americans who are well on their way to heart disease and cancer. The choice should be simple, but it never is.