Thursday, February 13, 2014


I am not overweight but I am a very experienced dieter. Like a doctor, I keep track of everything that has to do with my health -- (blood pressure, height, weight, exercise, elimination, and worrisome little aches and pains  that come and go) -- more often than not, I advise my doctor who advises me, and when I see him for my annual checkup, Dr. Em tells the doctor what to prescribe for me. 

As a dancer, I kept my weight about 10 pounds under what my body craved. Movie stars do the same thing -- often they carve off more than 10 pounds because the camera adds 10 pounds. Dancers and actresses, like models, are doing what they have to do in order to succeed in their chosen profession.

I was NOT a ballerina and I didn't wear tutus. Though my body was comfortable and right looking at 116 pounds, I wanted to be 110. In tights, leotard tops, body suits, or transparent chiffon costumes, a slender body looks better.

Dr. Sanford Siegel quite often appears on various television shows and touts his famous diet plan -- a six-cookies-a-day, limited calorie diet that thousands of women and men have used since 1975. The cookies look like chocolate chip cookies, but they're nutrient packed biscuits. (I ate one -- they're not very tasty.)

Siegel's cookies are still current, competing with Jennie Craig, Atkins, Nutrisystem, South Beach, Raw Food, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, Green Coffee, and Dr. Oz's latest super diet, Garcinia Cambogia (hard to pronounce but Oz and thousands of his followers swear it works).

In the sixties, a popular diet was one AYDS candy before each meal, or the "Sleeping Beauty" diet of 1966 -- with sedation, you didn't eat, you just slept for 10 days. Rumors  said that Elvis was on it.

In 1972, Robert Atkins, published his "Diet Revolution" -- eat all you want of high carbohydrate foods, and use ketostix. You pee on it -- if the stick turns purple, you're losing weight because you are in ketosis. (The body metabolizes body fat for energy, instead of glucose from carbohydrates, when you're in Ketosis.)

I tried the diet -- delighting in my purple sticks lost five pounds, but I lost energy -- found it hard to rehearse and prepare for my five performances a week touring schedule.

Robert Atkins was my doctor and personal friend for more than a year. He had a fabulous office, collected paintings, and famous patients, (or semi famous like I was, at the time). Because he liked the leggy dancer look of me, he took me off his diet, put me on a modified regimen of 1500 to 1800 calories a day; and 22 special vitamins.

Atkins is gone now. I no longer earn a living as a dancer. I still take the 22 vitamins, but I don't count carbs, or calories. I eat what I want and need; my weight is around 103, and yay -- I still have that slender leggy-dancer look because I still use my body like a dancer.

Going to the gym, bicycling, running, Yoga, Pilates -- all those things make you feel much better, but exercise doesn't make you lose weight. I do a 10 minute warm up and dance to music for 10 minutes every single day.

Okay, my dancer background motivates me. If you want to lose weight, motivation is the key.

You have to figure out why you want to be thinner. Is it your health? Is it envy? You want to be more attractive? Get a notebook; write in it: "I want to lose weight because ..." ( Include all the reasons, even if they seem silly, superfluous.)

Read what you have put down in your notebook every day for seven days.
If you get bored, annoyed, or skip reading it, don't go on the diet. If you agree with what you wrote, try Dr. Em's "EAT LESS" diet.

Just eat less.
Tell no one.
Pick a realistic goal.
Weigh yourself before you begin.
Thereafter, weigh yourself every two weeks, always at the same time.
Eat small portions; five to seven times a day is helpful.
Avoid (for two months) dinner parties and luncheons.
If asked to taste something, say, "I'm just not hungry right now."
Pray for will power, or say "will power!" loudly to yourself.

If you fall off the diet, re-read your "Why I want to lose weight" for four days. If it makes sense, try my EAT LESS diet again.

If you still want to lose weight, but what you wrote in the notebook doesn't make sense, I recommend that you read my novel, "Circle of Ivy" ($2.99, Amazon). It's about a person who almost lost her life from dieting, and learned what you need to learn -- be who you are -- be what you are.


Carola said...

I agree with the "Eat Less" rule. When we are eating out, my husband and I "listen to our feelings of fullness" and get a box for at least half of the food we were served. It makes a good lunch.

Anonymous said...

Yours is the one that works. I was always trying to diet when I was younger with varying degrees of success but it was only, when older, that I became comfortable in my own skin and my body became the weight and shape it wanted to be. The only exercise I can do know without pain is swimming so I stick to that!

Unknown said...

I have to agree EM. Just started my dieting plan. I try not to deny myself but I make choices about if I really am hungry or just bored. Lost 5 pounds so far. Water helps too.