Read an Excerpt
Bridget Jones had nothing on me.
I got up and weighed myself
in the middle of the night more times than I care to remember. I
kept meticulous records of my meals and intake of calories, fat, protein,
fiber and carbohydratesùexcept for the things I ate standing
up, in the car or very late at night. Grapefruit diet, juice diet, egg
diet, 4-Day Diet, no-carb diet, all-carb diet, no-meat diet, steak
diet, cabbage soup diet, broth diet, tea diet, fasting . . . I tried them
all. At any given time, along with a friend or two, I was trying out
a new diet. I bought every diet supplement on the market as long
as it had a "guaranteed or your money back" promise.
IÆd spend hours in the grocery store filling my cart with endless
combinations of foods that were going to do it for me "this time."
After IÆd reach the checkout, the process would start all over again,
as I would grab and throw into my cart each and every magazine
that even hinted of diet secrets that I was missing out on. Each time
a new "miracle" was discovered, alas, the foods I had just stocked up
on were not the right ones. "Okay," IÆd say. "Eat these and just start
this new strategy next week."
And on and on it went.
My obsession did not begin and end with food, however. I hired
personal trainers, I ran, I walked, I stretched, I huffed and puffed,
and I exhausted not only myself, but also everyone around me. I
joined gyms and bought exercise equipment. I wore out a treadmill
and kept an extra set of free weights in my car trunk for overnight
stays. I joined contests and had before and after photos takenùor
maybe I should say before and before photos. I once even tore a
photo out of a family reunion scrapbook because I was too fat that
year. I jumped on trampolines, ran up steps, stretched rubber
bands, wrapped my thighs in plastic, suffered in steam rooms and
walked across pools with ankle weights on. I had a collection of ab
rollers, thigh masters and sauna suits.
I even associated major events in my life with whatever was or
was not going into my mouth at the time. First wedding? Oh yes, I
was on the champagne-only diet. (The champagne diet also served
as a good excuse for that first-wedding fiasco.) Graduation from law
school? Sure I look happy in the photoùnot only had I just gotten
my law degree, I had spent the last two weeks on cabbage soup and
had entered that blissful euphoria I imagine people must experience
just before starving to death. First divorce? The 4-Day Dietù
almost longer than my marriage.
ItÆs true that misery loves company. I pulled and dragged along
anyone I could on these diet adventures. My friend Marty and I
would go to a juice-fasting spa in Key West. We never experienced
the joy of a cheeseburger in paradise; however, we can tell you all
about happy hours with potato water and sneaking into the spaÆs
kitchen late at night for a morsel of solid food in the form of a
grapefruit section. There was my mother, who sent me a refrigerator
magnet that said "Square Meals Make Round People" and
convinced me the key to dieting was in drinking apple cider vinegar
first thing each morning. Bobi, my best friend, and I would
live on coffee for days, often because we had no money for anything
else, but that is another story. Julie and I gorged on fat-free
foods; my sister and I lived for weeks on Alba 77 milkshakes.
Season and I experienced a nearly illegal high eating bacon, eggs,
"real" mayonnaise and cheeseburgers without buns.
And so it went until a little dog taught me some big lessons
about life. I met her one sunny Saturday when, during a crazy
period of my life, I cruised up to our local PetSmart in my pristine
Mercedes convertible. Now, understand, this is a car I have never
even let one person drink a clear liquid in, yet in a matter of less
than an hour I found myself tooling back down the highway with
a dog kennel on the backseat. In that kennel was a little black and
tan dog that I had promised to take care of for "one night."
I eventually named her Sadie, and she not only became my best
friend, she ended my crazy quest for the ultimate diet secret. With
Sadie I lost the weight I had lost over and over again for many years
. . . and this time I lost it for good. With Sadie I let go of the obsession
for perfection and started enjoying my life in the most unexpected
ways. Sadie pulled me from a bleak depression, lightened up
my mind and my body as well.
So, if you are like I was, youÆre probably wondering, "But what
did you do? What should I eat?" While this book will have some
food suggestions, it goes way beyond these. You will see how to rev
up your metabolism and slow down your life. I will show you how
Sadie taught me to find joy in simple things, and in doing so, I
found out that I was not a number on a scale, a perfectly balanced
meal or a five-mile run. I hope my experience of saving a small dog,
who in turn saved me, will inspire you, encourage you and most of
all make you laughùat yourself!