Two of my friends are avid dieters. Each time I meet them they are either following a diet or discussing the merits and demerits of one. Name the diet, and they most likely have followed it, or are the ones who have coined it. Both are regular, healthy people and I fail to understand why diets and dieting are such an obsession with them. My opinion on the topic of diets by no means matches theirs, as for me the word diet translates to eating right – the right food, in the right quantity, and at the right time.
When I met my friends for lunch a while ago, they announced they were on yet another diet – The Rainbow Diet. And proudly informed me they had devised it themselves. On seeing my puzzled expression they enthusiastically began explaining how this particular diet worked. To follow The Rainbow Diet, they had chosen a colour of the rainbow for each day of the week, and strictly ate and drank food and drinks of only that particular colour. When the puzzled expression still refused to leave my face they decided to practically demonstrate, by ordering two enormous wedges of mango cheesecake each, as “yellow” was the colour chosen for the day. At the sight of cheesecake slices, a horrified look replaced the puzzled expression on my face. For, who had heard of eating cheesecake while on a diet, that too a mango flavoured one, and not one but two generous slices of it!
I was curious to know what they consumed when “blue” was the colour chosen and they triumphantly answered, “Blue Curacao!” in unison, enlightening me that they boldly “experimented” by adding the flavoured liqueur to a wide variety of foods and drinks. And, added a little extra helping of it when “indigo” was the colour of the day, even though they never really got the desired colour results, they rued. Cheesecake? Liqueur? On a diet? By now, I was way too flummoxed to ask them to explain any further and had just enough of my sanity left intact to silently thank God, or whoever was the mastermind behind it, that he/she had the foresight to not include black as a rainbow colour.
But as I have already mentioned before, my opinion on and about diets by no means matches theirs.
I wondered why this diet surprised me because it wasn’t the first, and will definitely not be the last that these two will follow, though I have to admit to it being the craziest one so far!
A little after filling their life with colour, their favourite movie star “inspired” these two friends of mine to aim to be like her – a size zero. Little knowledge is dangerous and none of it is lethal, and without any correct knowledge or professional dietary guidance, they began blindly following all that they heard about her diet on airwaves and read in the papers and magazines. They decided they would survive only on orange juice, just like their favourite actress reportedly was.
They started with drinking copious amounts of orange juice along with water through out the day, and only agreed to meet me in places where there was a toilet within easy reach.
The kilos dropped off them with alarming alacrity at first, thrilling them to bits. But it was soon followed by dry skin, brittle hair and nails, which they shrugged off nonchalantly as they quaffed still more juice and water.
It was only when the continuous absence of the required amounts of nutrition, extremely important for a human body to function well, caused their normally glowing skin to sag giving them a hollowed wraith like appearance [And just between you and me, people their age had started referring to them as “aunty”] Constant starvation caused their breath to smell so awful that people from neighbouring houses began complaining. Along with hunger-fuelled temper tantrums, which were so terrible that for once even they disagreed with each other on the topic of diets, did they finally realise that they should put a stop to this crazy “Film star” diet.
I met my friends again, at a park this time, because meeting them over meals is too traumatic an experience for my psyche. And I was pleasantly surprised to see them snacking on diced watermelon bits. They are eating healthily at last, I thought happily. Till they informed me they were on a mono-diet that allows them to eat only one food for a period of time.