Enjoy an Excerpt from Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir
Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, we are shedding our winter coats and heavy sweaters and some of us are trying to shed a few pounds. I am always doing whatever I can to lose some weight and I love to hear that I'm not alone. The following is an excerpt from Tracy Beckerman's new book, Lost in Suburbia: A Memoir, and as you will see, she has also tried her share of diets. Go ahead and laugh, it burns calories, right?
Having been down this diet road a couple hundred times before, I was familiar with just about every weight-loss gimmick out there. Although my sensible husband suggested I make changes that I could stick with for life, I instead preferred to try one of the Hollywood diets that the celebs do after they have a baby so they can drop the baby weight a week after giving birth. While it occurred to me that living on a concoction of maple syrup and lemon juice for two weeks might not be the healthiest way to lose a few pounds, I was pretty much willing to do anything that would allow me to get thin quick in the hope that I would lose too much weight and be able to eat my way back up. Unfortunately this diet worked about as well for me as the condom my husband wore when I got pregnant. I would only be on the diet for a day or two before I got massive cravings from the smell of the maple syrup and gorged myself on pancakes and waffles.
After failing the maple syrup diet, I decided to give one of the high-protein diets a try. A lot of my friends had done these and the weight seemed to melt right off. Having existed on large quantities of sloppy joes and cheeseburgers when I was pregnant and in the throes of massive meat cravings, I thought this might be the perfect diet for me. I did actually manage to lose six pounds the first month and was prepared to ride the bacon wave all the way to the skinny beach until I checked back in with my doctor and found out that my cholesterol had skyrocketed one hundred points in four weeks.
"You need to do a different diet," he told me over the phone when the results came back.
"But this one is working for me," I protested. "I just bought new skinny jeans!"
"That's great," he responded. "But no one will see you in them if you have a stroke."
"I could wear them in rehab," I murmured. "Go do Weight Watchers," he suggested. "Ugh. I hate that," I said. "It's like AA for fat people. Everyone sits around and talks about their dysfunctional food relationships. Then they all join hands, sing 'Kumbaya,' and count how many points they have left to eat that day. No, thanks. I'd rather have a stroke."
"I think you need some support." "That's why I wear Spanx," I commented. "No, I mean people support. Like a group or a friend." Although his plan was good in theory, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be welcomed to any group. The one time I did do a group diet class and they asked us to picture ourselves thin, I nearly started a riot when I said that the only thing I could picture right then was digging into a warm chocolate lava cake.
"I don't really need the support. What I need is someone just to tell me what to eat so I don't have to think about it," I said to my doctor. "Left to my own devices, I will eat a pepperoni pizza and justify it by saying it was a healthy choice because it featured the four major food groups."
"It is a good choice . . . if you eat one slice," he responded. "Not if you eat the whole pie."
Having been my physician since we got to the burbs, my doctor knew my MO. He had seen me at my thinnest and my heaviest, from mom jeans to skinny jeans and back again. He didn't care if I looked cool or frumpy, as long as I was healthy. And twenty-five pounds overweight with a cholesterol level of 315 was definitely not healthy.
"Okay, fine," I conceded. "I'll call Jenny Craig."
"Good. Give her my regards."
Tracy began writing after she moved with two young children from New York City to the New Jersey suburbs as a way to find herself and share a few laughs about the endless sea of "mom bob" haircuts, minivans, and coordinated tennis outfits. What started out as a single column for a local NJ paper a few years ago turned into a hit and is now nationally syndicated to over 400 newspapers, 250 websites and reaches nearly 10 million readers in 25 states. Check out more here.