"The only way to discover the limits of the possible
is to go beyond them into the impossible."
— Arthur C. Clark
Some days I just donít have it in me to be a cheerleader. Most of the time, I
make a concerted effort to answer questions about the way I eat in a helpful
and informative fashion. I sincerely want to educate the world about all the
benefits of following a low carb lifestyle. I try to motivate people with
inspirational thoughts and encouraging words.
Unfortunately, I am human.
Once in a while, I wish I were Flip Wilson so that I cold claim ďthe devil
made me do it!Ē On those days, I am overwhelmed with the need to respond to
obviously foolish questions with equally obvious sarcastic answers. In the
event that you are confronted with these same absurd inquiries, I have provided
some stock answers for an easy response.
A word of caution: please be certain the person asking is not carrying any weapons!
ďSo, how are you doing on that diet?Ē
If I had a dollar for every time Iíve heard
this question, I could quit my day job! Please pardon my irritability, but I may
just rip the heart out of the next person that asks me this question and show it
to him before he dies. Why do people find it necessary to wield insults thinly
veiled as innocent questions? I know that this person is really asking: ďI canít
see any difference, have you actually lost any weight?í Perhaps he or she really
canít tell that I have lost 30 pounds and over 2 sizes. Never mind that even Stevie
Wonder could tell the difference. One of these times, I may not be able to resist
the urge to ask in return: ďso, how did that Lasik surgery work out for you?í
"How much longer are you going to be on that diet?"
Iím thinking of having new
business cards printed; in place of my title, they will say ďItís a way of life,
Stupid!Ē Honestly, I donít mind so much the first time someone asks. After all,
we are a ďdietĒ oriented society and most people donít know any better. But, for
heavenís sake, when I have explained to you umpteen different times that I am NOT
on a DIET and that I have PERMANENTLY changed the way I eat, why must you still
ask me this inane question?
"How can you live without sugar?"
Well, it is far easier than living without a
brain, which apparently, you are managing to do! Since when is sugar a required
nutrient? Iíve read the Old Testament; some of those people lived for hundreds
of years without consuming a single chocolate chip cookie! Cocoa wasnít even
sweetened until the 16th century. I suppose it is nothing short of a miracle
that man survived thousands of years without Hershey bars!
"Won't that diet cause your kidneys to shut down?"
Yes, it might cause my kidneys
to shut down. I also might get attacked by a great white shark, be struck by
lightening, or win the lottery, but based on the odds; none of them is likely
to happen. Conversely, developing diabetes from eating a diet high in sugar and
processed carbs is very likely to cause kidney disease. Why donít we conduct an
unofficial study? You keep eating your way, Iíll keep eating my way, and weíll
compare kidneys in 20 years?
"Isn't that the diet where you can't eat anything white?"
Oh yes, thatís it;
thatís the diet Iím on. I do not consume any white foods; no cauliflower, whipped
cream, or cream cheese for me! In fact, just to be safe, I avoid yellow food too.
I never touch lemon meringue pie, corn, or yellow snow either.
"Isn't it dangerous to stay on Atkins longer than six weeks?"
Gee, I hadnít
thought of that. You are probably right there! Eating nothing but fruit, vegetables
and meat could be very dangerous to do for more than a few weeks. I know hundreds of
people who have been on a controlled carb diet for years. Clearly, they are living
on borrowed time. Iíll send them all cookie bouquets immediately so they wonít die.
"Doesn't it get expensive eating steak and bacon with every meal?"
Absolutely! I have
triple mortgaged my house, pawned all my jewelry, and sold my children to support my
Atkins habit. For breakfast, I have eggs with steak and bacon. For lunch, I usually
have tuna salad on a bed of greens with steak and bacon. For dinner, I have steak
and bacon with a side of steak and bacon. Iíll probably be turning to a life of
crime any day now to support my steak and bacon habit!
"Won't you gain back all the weight when you go off that diet?"
Well, yes you
will. Then again, youíll gain back all the weight if you go off any diet. Pretty
much anything in life requires you to continue doing it for it to keep working. As
in, if Iím driving a car and stop steering, I will run off the road. If I stop
showering, Iíll smell really bad. And, as a fellow low carber, Peecaboo says, if
Iím in the middle of the ocean and stop swimming, Iíll drown.
"Doesn't that diet cause memory loss and brain damage?"
Iím not sure; Iíll have to
check into that. Certainly, cutting out processed, nutrient deficient foods could
have some negative health effects, but, uh, what was that question again? Have we
"But isn't it just water weight that you lose?"
Actually, that depends on the
individual. If you are overweight from water retention, then you will only lose
water; not fat. One woman I know actually lost over 300 pounds of water. Poor thing,
all those years she thought she was fat and it turns out, she was merely retaining
water! It is amazing that she could have been a size 6 all along if only she had
taken a diuretic.
It was drilled into my head early on that there is no such thing as a stupid question.
I believed this until I embraced a low carb lifestyle. After enduring months of questions
like those above, I have concluded that there is indeed, an abundance of stupid questions.
And each and every one of these feeble-minded inquiries deserves a fitting response. Any
(A note to my readers: donít worry, my kinder alter-ego will return in the next issue.
Hopefully, the medication will have begun to work by then!)
Jo Cordi Sica, SPHR
Copyright © October 2003 Jo Cordi Sica and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2003 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
Title accent graphic Copyright © 2003 Scott Adams and United Features Syndicate
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