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Live, From My Sickbed

May 9, 2012

Trigger warning: Brief discussion of people gushing over illness-induced weight loss.

I bet you thought I couldn’t throw myself out of bed and claw my way over to the glowing laptop screen across the room to post for No Diet Week. Well, my friend, you underestimate me and my sheer force of will.

Of course, it helped immeasurably that the three pink piggies and the talking minotaur who have kept me company during my bouts with a staggeringly high fever had bolstered my confidence with words of encouragement each time my nearly lifeless body inched closer to the computer.

Ahem. Anyway….

So, it’s No Diet Week and I was racking my already fever-addled brain so that I could creatively and effectively incorporate a personal story of inspirational triumph over the sad and desperate cycle of restricted food intake. Obviously, I don’t have any such story so I’m just going to go with what I got.

Many years ago, a group of inebriate friends and I returned home after a particularly robust evening of drink and frivolity to watch late night infomercials. We became mesmerized by claims of hair smoothers, wrinkle reducers and plans to shed pounds with little or no effort (It all seems so simple when you’re drunk).

Just as we were about to turn in for the evening, we were drawn back to the television by the bold and commanding voice of one Tony Robbins. It was like being summoned by the Thor of Positive Thinking, and we plunked back down to endure what seemed like hours of hammer blows from his Mallet of Righteousness. What the hell WERE we doing with our lives? WHY hadn’t we tapped into this personal power before? WE NEEDED TO TAKE THE TORCH AND RUN!!!

Long story short: we ordered the self-improvement tapes, went to bed and forgot about it.

When they finally arrived, everyone looked around accusingly and ran to check their credit card statements. Me? I whipped out the tapes and started listening. Yes, I did.

I’ve got to say that I actually enjoyed walking around with what effectively amounted to a Lilliputian version of the self-mastery giant on my shoulder. Someone would do something in stark contrast to what Tony was telling me and he’d jump up and flail around near my ear and yell “Sabotage!” before doing that weird thing where he looks like he’s about to shotput a small man into space.

Eventually I got to the section where he deals with body and weight, and I’d like to tell you that I had a huge epiphany, wrote him a moving letter, got a response and changed the way the world thinks… but that never happened. Before I got a chance to listen to that disc, I was felled by the second worst case of strep throat that has ever been recorded in  history — the number one case having been acquired while I was away visiting my boyfriend years later, but that’s a story for another day.

I went down like a bag of granite tossed into the churning sea. There was no eating, just long fever-soaked fits of sleep and heavy doses of antibiotic chased by tiny sips of water. It was the stuff of nightmares.

When I emerged on the other side alive, I looked horrific. I’d shed close to fifteen pounds, I was weak and feeble and I’d completely lost my appetite. My mother summed it up bluntly by telling me “My god, you look like shit. You’re going to die.”

Thanks mom!

Anyway, I noticed a strange new phenomenon after my ordeal was over. People were loving my new look!

“Hey, did you lose weight? You look AMAZING!”

“Wow, girl! Get me the name of that diet”

Little did they know my diet’s name was “near death” and he’d be more than happy to take on willing customers.

Never mind that I was still pale and drawn, or that my hair hung dull and lifeless around my nearly skeletal face, or that I had to summon the energy from my deepest reserves to complete everyday tasks. My skinny ass was totally worth it.

So, I’d like to tell you that Lilliputian Tony Robbins and I came to an understanding about how life doesn’t begin when you reach your goal weight — that it’s already going on — but we didn’t.

I got my strength back and I thanked my lucky stars that I was alive and well enough to sit down at a dinner table to eat with my Nana and enjoy her pasta. The kind of table where if you said shit like “No thanks, I’m on a diet” you got hit in the freaking head with a shoe.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Duckie Graham permalink
    May 9, 2012 1:26 pm

    I think I would be good friends with your Nana.

  2. vesta44 permalink
    May 9, 2012 1:29 pm

    I think I love your Nana 🙂

  3. May 9, 2012 1:45 pm

    I hear you on the nana thing! The one good thing I’ve ever had in the diet struggle is my grandmother. My mom worries about how I might sabotage my job prospects (and man prospects) by staying fat, but my grandmother, G-d love her, is every old Jewish lady you’ve ever seen. “Feh. Have some more kugel.”

  4. May 9, 2012 4:57 pm

    I like the sound of your nana!

  5. May 11, 2012 5:19 am

    This reminds me of a joke in Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion where one of the girls says, “Oh my God, the Flu is like, totally the best way to lose weight!”

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