Between the ages of 12 and 16, my friends and I use to hunt down 18 year old boys in the mall. And not because we wanted their AOL screen names. We needed someone with I.D. to buy us diet pills.
I suppose eighteen year old boys like prepubescent girls, because we scored plenty of pills. In all fairness, I got my first period by age 10, so by 13, I easily looked 45.
me, aged 13
..Those poor chumps probably thought they were helping out some nice MILF or widow.
Specifically, I recall:
- Stacker II’s; and
- Slim Quick (aka “slim death.”)
The ingredient I sought most = ephedra. Especially when stacked with caffeine.
Even at that age, we knew that most diet pills were BS. We had experience, and we had the beginnings of the internet.
“No snake oil pills for me, my friend. I have dial-up.”
Stacker II (with ephedra) was my jam. It was the only real pill. You could tell by the involuntary hand tremors and headaches. And also by how quickly it was pulled of the market.
…No worries – you could still score travel size bottles of the original formula at unscrupulous news stands for about a year after it was pulled.
At some point during this time…
I’m in the car with my mom on a warm Spring day. We’re driving past the recreation center, and I’m telling her about these new chips I bought at CVS. They’re called Lays WOW! Chips and they have so few calories that I’ll probably eat a few bags.
Mom tries one. They DO taste good. “Can you get me these if you see them at Sam’s Club?” I ask.
Lays Wow! Chips contained a magical ingredient called Olestra (aka Olean). Olestra is a fat substitute that adds zero calories to foods. Zero ! ZERO !!!!!!
90’s Kids – do you remember these chips?
You might recognize them from the warning on the bag..
In exchange for zero calories, Olestra blocks essential vitamins and minerals from entering you. Essentially, eating these chips will give you malabsorption.
For optimists, this is excellent news. Why wait 30+ years to develop IBS, Chrohns, or bowel cancer? ..You can experience painful bloody stool within hours, no strings attached. In related news, here are Lays Wow! Chips topping off a list of Five Foods that Cause Anal Leakage. Arguably, this is not a list that any major food product should aspire to…
Let’s not miss the silver linings here. Low calories = good. Fatty taste = awesome. And while anal leakage sucks, it might contribute to even more weight loss!
A Diet Pill State of Mind
Why have I shared these two anecdotes together in one post?
Well, riddle me this…
..In the epic quest for weight loss, does it really MATTER whether you rely on death pills as opposed to POTATO CHIPS THAT OPENLY MAKE YOUR ASS BLEED?!
Really, these two stories are the same. They illustrate the 26 years I spent searching for a magical weight loss solution. And yet all of that time, beautiful, delicious, colorful whole foods were right under my nose.
The Diet Pill Mindset
These stories reflect what I call the “Diet Pill State of Mind.”
..And in my experience, it’s not a helpful mindset to have.
Does this mean that you absolutely MUST take a 100% whole foods based approach to weight loss? No! …It doesn’t mean anything.
I think you can lose weight fast, OR you can lose weight slow. You can lose weight:
- doing paleo
- doing weight watchers
- drinking slim fast shakes
- eating nothing but pickles
- drinking your own urine
- doing isogenix
- eating nothing but three pretzels all day long for 17 days straight
I don’t know what the right thing is for you. Because:
- I don’t know where you are starting,
- I don’t know HOW you became overweight in the first place; AND
- I don’t know what your goals are
I also believe that weight loss is very different from weight maintenance.
When it comes to weight loss, I say do what works for you. Who cares how crazy or stupid it is, provided that:
- it doesn’t give you nutritional deficiencies; and
- it doesn’t give you an electrolyte imbalance ; and
- it doesn’t kill you
BUT! When it comes to maintenance, you MUST get onto whole foods. You can’t waste your beautiful life dieting. You need to (mostly) eat foods that come from the earth.
Another Thing I know
As you can see, I don’t know much. But what I DO know is this: a diet pill state of mind was NOT helpful for me.
..I needed to get on to whole foods in order to experience what I believe humans beings are meant to experience when it comes to food and satiety.
Slowly ridding myself of processed foods was the ONLY thing that worked for me. And I hope you find what works for you.
Here are a few articles that might help:
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