Pic: Yaki Assaig

I’m dieting

Yair Lapid ponders those pre and post Passover pounds

I have started a diet even though I have no need to lose weight. That is of course if I put one leg on the scale and support myself on the wall with the opposite hand, then I weigh the same as I did on the day of my release from the army.


I started the diet for health reasons. I have been experiencing shortness of breath recently especially when I try to button my pants. As soon as I finish the diet I am going to make millions. I am going to open a men’s clothing store where all the pants are marked ‘size 32’ no matter how big they are.


I am sorry I went off the track. I have been doing that a lot lately, suffering from a lack of concentration. While I am writing this column for example, I am really thinking about fresh rolls. Nothing complicated, a large roll, sprinkled on top with sesame seeds, inside, soft butter, thick slices of kashkaval cheese topped with thinly sliced tomato.


There is really no problem with me eating the roll. Millions of people in the world eat rolls like this every day and stay as thin as they were before. They like to tell people like me that they “burn a lot of energy” which tells me that in their eyes I am not only fat, I am also lazy. I’m not mad at them, quite the contrary. It’s not their fault that they were born with the gene for thinness just as it isn’t their fault they were born stupid.


Scientifically though, they are right. Thin people have what is referred to in the medical jargon as ‘high metabolism’. While they are chewing their food, their body is breaking it down into starches, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and acids rapidly converting them into a menu of deserts. However, my body breaks food down with the speed of a chair.


“Hey,” the food whispers to itself going down, “here’s his waistline, why don’t we park here for 20 or 30 years?”


No jealousy

I am not jealous of thin people. It’s just too bad they will never understand my struggle. If for example I actually eat that sesame seed roll mentioned earlier, the one I know is sitting in the breadbox in the kitchen, underneath a camouflage of a pile of yellow napkins placed there by my partner, may she live a long life, I will gain 1.5 kilos exactly.


The reason I know this is that in the last week I have shed exactly 1.5 kilos. That is how much a week’s worth of self denial and rice cakes is worth: Five minutes of night time bingeing in the hope that no one will wake up.


The fact that I am afraid of getting caught is the outcome of the first week of dieting when I made the classic mistake – I told everyone. “No thank you,” I replied in a slightly superior tone when offered a piece of the chocolate cake, “I am on a diet. You know how I am, when I decide something, that’s it, I can’t be moved, not even by a tractor.”


Tractors, by the way, are used to harvest wheat in the fields, and from that wheat they make sesame seed rolls… oh, never mind.


Do the math

My dietician, the praiseworthy Dr. ‘Ch’ says that the reason it gets harder to lose weight as we get older is that the body struggles to return to its natural weight. He even presented me with a formula for calculating my natural weight: height of over a meter, less seven kilos, plus two kilos for every decade of age. That is to say, I am 1.74, so my ideal weight is 75+(4X2) + 74-7. I am sure that this is my natural weight if I was still in third grade.


Where was I? Oh, I was in my study but for some reason I am standing in the kitchen, in dangerous proximity to the breadbox. Quick, back to the study!


In order to enable my family to bypass me without a motorized vehicle, Dr. Ch gave me an amazingly varied menu in the first week consisting of green veggies and a lot of low fat white cheese spread. “No tomatoes,” he decreed. “We have to lower the acidity in your system.”


I went home with a sour face but I followed his orders. I lost 1.2 kilos in a week. “You look great,” said my partner, may she live long, in a feeble voice. “Truly, I see a difference.”


Of course no one can see a difference. How can anyone see a loss of 1.2 kilos on the average Israeli guy with the rank of staff sergeant? Actually, all the way home I wondered how much weight would I gain if I stop for a small shwarma. Mathematically, if the shwarma weighs 300 grams how could I gain more than that?


I can. The shwarma only looks like a shwarma. It’s concealing the tehina, the grape juice, two pitas because the first one ripped and the small halva filled pastry I grabbed on my way home in order to alleviate all concern of a serious dip in my blood sugar levels.


In other words, a diet is something that works wonderfully until the day that you stop it. The kilograms in the meantime sit on my back-porch and ridicule me. As soon as they get the sign they quickly attack you and bring along their friends.


“Of course,” said Dr. Ch logically. “The body senses that you are trying to starve it so it begins to save up fats.” For those interested in economics, he means a savings scheme with one of the best returns in the market.


The true test

The second week of a diet is the true test. That’s the week that one can take it easier. So I begin an intensive aerobic exercise program shouting at everyone who passes by. It’s not that I was aggravated; I just was low in serotonin. For our tiny waisted readers I will explain that serotonin is the hormone secreted by the brain that controls our moods. A lack of it always leads to depression, fits of anger and recurring nightmares of the Pillsbury doughboy chasing and trying to trample me. There is only one natural source of serotonin: carbohydrates


For those who do not know how to differentiate among the vitamins and minerals, Rabbi Yehuda would say: carbohydrates are tasty, everything else is not. The dieticians tend to explain to their miserable clients that the human race was not meant to eat processed food. Our forefathers ate only meat and fruits and vegetables. Because of their diet they remained thin and svelte until they died at the ripe old age of 25.


“You know what,” may she live long said after finding me in the kitchen sniffing the sesame roll with great pleasure, “you can eat normally at the Passover seder.” So at the Seder I ate like a normal human being, in fact like two or three, and now you can start to read this column from the beginning.


פרסום ראשון: 04.12.07, 17:20
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