Let’s just live-it, instead of di-et

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Southern Yankee – Sue Ellen Ross

If there is one thing in this world that has been perpetuated through the decades, it is the topic of our food intake.

Diets, to be exact.

Making sense of it all can consume many of your waking hours. When I first became aware of so-called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, I was a chubby teenager trying to shed a few pounds. That was my introduction to the world of diet obsession. My girlfriend and I tried the ‘grapefruit’ diet.

It didn’t work.

Years later, after the birth of my children, the D-work again appeared in my life. Along with other young mothers, I tried the ‘skim milk and bananas’ food plan. That’s also the time when the pre-packaged meals for a certain diet program came on the scene.

All my friends were trying these, so I went along.

They didn’t work.

In the ensuing years that have brought me to middle age, I have tried the low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar, low-carb, and every other low-type diet you can think of.

None of them worked.

I have come to the conclusion that I have seen it all, heard it all, and done it all (well, almost.) And, as with every other type of behavior change, I found that gearing our life in order to keep our weight under control is not something that can be done with a ‘miracle’ pill, liquid or plan.

“Eat less, exercise more,” were those famous words uttered by my doctor many years ago when I asked him which diet was the best. These four words have been echoed by almost every doctor I have met in my life.

Since the diet industry is estimated to reap in billions of dollars each year, it seems like no one is listening to the doctors. Many people, like myself, have ignored this sage advice.

In my new-found wisdom, I decided to finally listen to my former family doctor.

Thirty-five pounds later, I want to call and thank him. His words never went away from my memory bank, they just got buried. Those attractive advertisements, new fad diets and friends pressing me to do it all was the shovel.

But I can’t blame outside factors, I was the one who made the final decision to try or not to try.

Some old-fashioned advice really does make sense. Especially when you want to fit into that new bathing suit before you go on vacation.

Sue Ellen Ross is a staff writer for the L’Observateur and can reached at lobnews@bellsouth.net