Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

Weight a Minute, Don’t Lie to Me or You Will Die-t!

I’m not really into junk food. I eat healthy, home cooked food, mostly organic. My morning toast is made with whole grain high fiber organic bread that costs seven bucks a loaf and sometimes tastes like a brick. I eat fruits and vegetables too, and drink organic coffee and tea and lots of untreated well water. But I do supplement my healthy diet with an occasional doughnut binge. I can’t help myself. I was raised in Dunkin Donuts land, or Connecticut as it’s more commonly known. Everybody there is strung out on doughnuts and coffee.

And l hate diets. Because I like to eat. And they are always so disappointing. Three weeks of eating low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar, high fiber mini-meals and I’ve lost a whopping one pound. Oh wow, look, I think my cheek is a millimeter thinner on the right side of my face. The side I chew on.

It’s not that I don’t know HOW to diet. I studied nutrition when I was earning re-certification credits as an aerobics instructor, something I did for a decade and a half. I read about nutrition and dieting all the time–in magazines, on-line and in books. I’ve read piles and piles of diet books. I made a hobby of it for awhile. I would check out stacks of them at a time from the library and go home and read them. I burned more calories lugging the books home than following anything I ever read in one. On occasion I would even purchase a diet book so I could have it with me. Always.

If I counted up all the diet books I’ve studied from the first one I bought at the tender age of sixteen, I’m sure it would be well over a hundred books. That first one was entitled “The Save Your Life Diet” and it extolled the benefits of a high fiber diet. It got me off the wonder bread habit permanently, for which I am grateful, and earned me a new family nick name–The Fiber Queen. HA! They laughed at me then, but I was the only one in the family with a whistling clean colon when I had my first colonoscopy decades later! As the old SNL Colon Blow routine taught us: Fiber–It’s nature’s broom.

I’ve read books that promoted ancient diets, low-carb diets, low fat, low cholesterol, high fiber, red meat, no meat, no fruit, no yeast, no sugar, no diet diets. I even bought a diet book once that claimed drinking water with sugar or oil in it will make you skinny! And all of these diet books start out explaining that they are gonna tell you exactly what you have to do to finally lose weight, simply and easily, without giving up your favorite foods and without being hungry. Then they give you case studies of people who had tried every diet in the book and even had their jaws wired shut for six months or locked themselves in an empty meat locker for a year and still couldn’t lose weight, who miraculously and effortlessly lost weight on the diet they are about to so graciously share with you because they care about you and want you to have the healthy, sexy, admirable body you deserve. And you just won’t believe how easy it’s going to be!

Then they get all spooky pseudo-scientific about the theory behind their particular diet plan and why it’s the ONLY diet that really works and aren’t you the lucky one to have this highly scientific and well studied and documented diet tome in your chubby little hands. Trust me. There’s a formula to these books. I could write one, I’m sure, if I had any credentials. If you have credentials and would like to write one but need a ghost writer, call me. We’ll work out a deal.

By now you’re feeling pretty good about things. This sounds great! I am gonna do it this time! I’m gonna look so good and get so thin, people won’t recognize me at all and their jaws will drop when they hear my voice coming out of my slender little face and they realize it’s me! I am soooo excited!

So you read on. And realize the first few chapters were a crock of shit. You cannot eat  your favorite foods because your favorite foods are pizza and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy and cinnamon donuts. No, sorry, you cant eat THOSE favorite foods. You have to find other favorite foods to eat–like tomatoes, without salt, olive oil or fresh mozzarella of course, BUT…you can have basil and vinegar on em–all you can eat! And cucumbers! By the pound. Lettuce leaves! Eat away, just don’t drizzle them with any dressing so they actually taste like something, too much fat, and you can eat eggs but only the whites, throw the evil golden yellow yolks down the drain, and that egg white omelette can’t be fried in butter or oil, just maybe half teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a non stick coated pan. It will taste so scrumptious when you sprinkle on a few herbs and black pepper, but no salt, what are you an idiot? And ketchup is full of sugar so forget about it. Try mustard. And then choke it all down with some vile tasting herbal tea with no sweetener, not even a dab of honey, but I promise you you’re gonna love it and it will rev up your metabolism like a super charged 750 horse power big block Chevy. And never, ever, ever, eat a banana. They make you fat. It’s such bullshit.

So basically I have a head full of diet knowledge and no practical experience at dieting. Because the books lie to me and make me feel all warm and fuzzy about the upcoming dieting experience they promise me is gonna be a piece of cake, literally, and which, of course, is more like a lemon water and piece of romaine experience, which is freaking boring and gets old fast.

But I’m twenty pounds heavier than I was when I was teaching aerobics, and I need to lose the weight. My no diet or die lifestyle isn’t working so well. It’s gotten bad. I’m to the point that I feel righteous and sit around wondering why I’m not losing weight because I haven’t had a doughnut in three weeks.  Thank God no one is making tasty organic doughnuts out there, or I would be forced to consider that jaw wiring diet I mentioned earlier. As it is, I can usually talk myself out of them because they are full of sugar and evil GMO flour and oil and other crap I don’t want to consume, at least on a regular basis. That makes it a little less agonizing.

But I’m still hemming and hawing about the diet. I know I have to do this. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I actually have the head knowledge to create a very healthy, sane and not so terrible to eat diet plan that will work for me, over time, if I commit myself to it. I think I have a mental block, from years and years of reading about diets and never really dieting. It’s like being an arm chair traveler as opposed to a real one. There’s lots less stress, less hassle and less expense watching Rick Steve’s in Europe on PBS than actually getting on a plane and flying somewhere. It’s comfortable and safe and warm here in my chair, and I can take naps. And dream about organic doughnuts and a world where eating all my favorite foods really does make me thin. Maybe when I wake up, I’ll eat a banana. I’m that bad.


©2016 Ilona Elliott All Rights Reserved

Me and Cosmo




  1. As you know, I’ve been on the Girl Scout Thin Mint diet… I wonder how long somebody would live if the ONLY ate Thin Mints? Hmmm…. It’s so much harder as you get older. Exercise and cutting back on portions and just making healthier choices have really helped me. No diet really. And having snacks at home that are semi-healthy. I still have the occasional spluge, but try to make up for it the next day or two. This is working of me! I know you are probably sick of hearing this, but it really is a life style change, NOT a diet. Hang in there Ilona! You’ll figure out what works for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so much better than me AGMA. I can’t even imagine dumping my doughnut in the garbage disposal! Thanks for the encouragement though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve struggled with food for most of my adult life and physical activity has always been the great equalizer for me. Now that I’m getting to be older and things are falling apart and I’m doing more stuff like shuffleboard, bingo and trimming my ear hair- increasingly I’m confronted with the cold, hard nutritional reality of things I put in my body. Especially of their quantity. I’m forty-some years old but I have the appetite of a teenager. It’s not pretty. Please advise me.

    It’s interesting to me that you were an aerobics instructor. What kind of settings did you teach in? Health clubs? Community centers?

    Liked by 2 people

    • TF The one thing that does seem to work for me is filling up on apples, salads, and fruits and vegetables–not that I do that enough. Avoiding burn out helps. Yesterday we worked on the house all day and had no food around so ate left over chick pea soup and found a box of brownies that we whipped up. So while the soup was healthy, the brownies were a bad choice. I find that aging requires adapting our diets constantly. Smaller portions, healthier choices. We need to keep moving as much as possible.
      I taught aerobics at Tacoma Community College and at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church. It was a great job. Lots of incentive to stay fit and the friendships I formed with my students was fun. I miss it. My boss from those days still teaches, and she is in her mid 60’s.
      I’ll see if the old man has any advice on the ear hair thing…


  3. The Oracle Jasmine Kyle

    I like your thought process through this eating thing. I just realized I lived 3 houses down from a 7 11 and for some reason didn’t think that was why I loved junk food soooooOOOO MUCH! LOL So It’s good to reflect. So many people live with so much mindlessness and just unconsciousness it’s nice to see someone else working through this fight against industry and habits. Thank You!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes things become so habitual, you really don’t think about it. Yesterday the old man and I were a little depressed so took a ride and stopped in a little bakery for a doughnut and coffee. It was a place we used to frequent a lot, but have avoided pretty successfully lately. The coffee is bad and the doughnuts have that titanium dioxide texture so common to commercial baked goods. Oh Yum! It was all bad, but we ate them as if there might be some comfort in them. Then we took a mile walk along the river. Should have just walked the river and skipped the bakery. You used the key word in your comment–mindfulness! Thanks for commenting and reaffirming the importance of being mindful. We all struggle with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Oracle Jasmine Kyle

        I think the more devices they make to save time keep us away from regular life WORKING because now we can work ANYWHERE! Not FAIR!!! I’m sorry for the doughnut I have had food guilt ALL my life so I get it! KUDOS!

        Liked by 1 person

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