Yes, I succumbed to the barrage of TV ads. As a younger retiree, I found myself addicted to The Price is Right like so many people today. It has a cult following. It also has millions of viewers like myself who tend to sit around all day and eat whatever they like. And then there was Marie: “Take control of your life!” all day, every day. It was like she was talking directly to me. Here is how Marie Osmond saved my life:
First, a little about weight issues: Type II diabetes is the biggest concern with obesity. Some people never develop it. Comedian Ralphie May, weighing in at just over 300 pounds, brags on stage, “I don’t got it, I don’t want it, I ain’t never gonna get it.” Adult diabetes is a lot like alcoholism. The drunk says, “One drink is too many, and a thousand is not enough!” It’s true, in a sense, for weight and diabetes. The fat person starts out meaning well. A few pounds here, a few there, and a plateau or “set weight” is achieved. This is akin to riding a skateboard. Momentum and balance keep you somewhere just between a noticeable spare tire, and complete blimpism. You fall into the old, “I’ll lose it someday, right now I just like to eat whatever I like.”
But then, just like a skateboard, that time comes when it slips away from you. Like the lush’s lust for drink, your cravings for food go haywire. You cannot eat enough. You are constantly hungry, and then your mouth becomes a shovel shute of perpetual food intake. You are on your way to Goodyear town. That’s when I listened to Marie. Sure, I had tried crash diets before, all based around “shakes and a sensible meal.” But the Lean 13 plan from Nutrisystem sounded different. Plus, it was only around $350 for a full months’ worth of meals. I spend more than that on regular groceries. Plus, you cut alcohol which saves you a ton of money.
So, the meals came in the mail, with little boxes easily marked breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack; and all I had to do was follow along with the little booklet. With a fresh battery in my bathroom scale, and a sense of boot camp discipline and resolve, I began: Yes, I was hungry at first. The first 48 hours are hard, I won’t lie. But then, something remarkable happens. You start to see 1 or 2 pounds come off in a day, and that gets your motor running. The guarantee of losing 13 pounds in your first 2 weeks is totally achievable. I lost 6 pounds my first week, but I had gotten over the munchies by day 3. Even if you have to cheat and eat a “snack” before bedtime like me, you are only looking at an extra 150 calories. No deal breaker.
Here’s why: 1) Your body learns to eat nutritious foods in small quantities. This is a metabolic shift. 2) Eating smaller portions shrinks your stomach. You start to feel fuller with less food intake; and most amazingly, 3) The satisfied feeling that we all crave from food starts to come from your stomach stretch receptors associating the healthy smaller portions with satisfaction, instead of big slathered burgers and nachos. In fact, the very thought of eating big piles of greasy food starts to turn you off. Your stomach just does not want that bulk anymore.
Yes, Marie, you got me! Call it brainwashing, but Nutrisystem’s meteoric stock price rise does not lie. The stuff works. When I can eat a chocolate chip granola bar that fills me up for hours with only 130 calories, as opposed to the same one in the store with 250 calories, I am all for it. And that is what it comes down to, realizing that diet science has caught up with modern science. It’s not rabbit food anymore. I am on my way to losing 40 pounds, and feeling great. Thanks, Marie Osmond, you saved my life!