Seems like there are two times of the year when we make the decision to try to lose some weight...New Years; because we are supposed to make resolutions that will change our lives and the beginning of summer; because we look like whales in our bathing suits.
Although New Years spawns diets, they tend to be more sensible and many times are tied to health club memberships and that sort of thing such that weight loss is more gradual and healthy. Of course most of these efforts fail which leads to “The Summer Crash Diet Imperative”, a panic caused by the need to go from whale-like to Jennifer Anniston-like in a very short period of time.
This annual rite of summer has spurned some bizarre diet schemes ranging from the ingestion of drug laced candy, to the use of fat burning soaps, a partnership with parasites and even a drug induced weight shedding coma. A wonderful history of some of these complete with step by step instructions is available courtesy of Elle Magazine, a purveyor of unattainable female body role models for over 50 years.
A few of my favorites include the "Candy Diet", which was driven by “Ayds Reducing Plan Chocolate Candy”. In this 70’s diet, you hammered chocolate fudge all day long which had been laced with an appetite suppressant called PPA that was later found to cause strokes in young women.
When I was a kid, Ayds was “the desert of last resort” when the Oreos and Twinkies had run out. My mother kept her Ayds stash on top of the fridge where the box would accumulate a layer of really nasty dust. In a desert panic, I would quaff a couple of these drug-laced chocolately treats and then go chase cars with the dog...which would have been a good way to lose weight if I was fifty...not five.
The AIDs epidemic ended the long running candy diet because people evidently confused unsafe sex with massive chocolate consumption, (no kidding) and Ayds drug candy went away.
Another diet of last resort required the symbiotic partnership between man and parasitic flatworms. The so called “Tapeworm Diet” was popular in the 1920’s among race horse jockeys where they would pop a pill containing a live tapeworm egg. Maria Callas, the famous opera singer was the poster child for this diet. She lost 60 pounds with the help of her pet worm but she blamed her love for raw liver as the cause instead of a purposeful ingestion of tapeworm eggs. Whatever.
Of course you can’t talk about anything crazy involving eating, gaining and losing weight, and drugs without mentioning Elvis. He spent most of his last years either ballooning 50 pounds on the bacon cheeseburger diet or crash dieting using the “Sleeping Beauty Diet”. The theory here is that if you are heavily sedated for days and never leave the bed, then you will not eat and you’ll “sleep off” the weight. There is a question as to whether Elvis actually knew about this diet or just inadvertently practiced it.
Elvis and Maria Callas are just a few of the celebrities who are known for wacked out weight lose schemes. Reese Witherspoon, (The Baby Food Diet), Guy Richie (The Cookie Diet), Beyonce, (The Master Cleanse) and Sarah Michelle Gellar, (The Cabbage Soup Diet) are just a few luminaries whose hot bodies are attributed to upside down nutrition.
Speaking of luminaries, Kitty Kinnin has her own diet scheme that my wife and I tried with some success. It’s called “Kitty’s Head Banging Rock and Roll Diet” and its based on the mostly healthy idea that losing weight should involve both draconian dietary restrictions and some exercise. And like most things “Kitty”, the diet should be fun and increase ratings.
Nutritionally the diet consists of thick, black “Bad Kitty Blend” coffee and unglazed donuts (from the donut shop of your choice). You just turn on her radio show at 100.7 The River, crank the volume and start hammering coffee and donuts in tandem. She will be playing head banging rock and roll (Boston, Journey, Aerosmith, etc.) in 15 minute increments. Stand in front of the speakers (so that you can get the best stereo effect) and play air guitar vigorously while simultaneously moving your head and upper torso up and down in the “head banging” mode.
Do this until she goes to commercial when you can rest and write down the name and address of all her sponsors. Repeat the process when she goes back to the ear splitting music. I am told by Kitty’s personal chiropractor and herbalist that if you do this diet every morning its good for your lutes, glutes and poots and you WILL lose weight.
Remember, tapeworms are nasty (they actually have six rows of teeth) and sleeping to lose weight denies you some great television. If you have to lose weight in a hurry, do something sensible and healthy.