Smile Politely

Cabbage Soup: Go On and Dig In

First Sniff

You’ll forgive me if I seem more than a little wracked in the brain, please. After all, it’s officially March Madness, and if you are one of the 16–47 people who read the Big Ten Basketball Report each week, you know that I am:

     A. A die-hard Purdue fan
     B. Fairly spiteful of Illinois sports
     C. Obsessed by the NCAA Tournament

So, after screaming at a High-Def TV screen in a random sports bar last Friday while the good guys in Orange upset not one, not two, but three Big Ten teams (including Purdue) en route to almost winning a Big Ten Championship, I am more than a little parched.

So parched in fact, that I found myself craving nothing but cabbage soup, evidently.

It’s a Fad, Man…

I started thinking to myself while in Austin for SXSW. I started this thinking after absolutely devouring seven ribs, a half-pound of smoked sausage, a half-pound of beef brisket and a couple of glasses of Coca-Cola Classic at Salt Lick Barbecue. I started thinking about what I wrote last week.

How to lose weight. It’s a common thought in the majority of American minds. After all, we’re the fattest and most gluttonous nation in the world. Our levels of obesity have increased by over 35% since 1980 and despite the fact that we have all the evidence in the world to combat the trend, we’re not going to. In fact, I would expect that number to rise until we finally reach a critical mass of intake. At that time, if I may project, we’ll probably be in such a state of famine that we won’t want to eat. We’ll just want to die.

But that’s Junior’s problem and not mine. Mine is taking off these pounds. And that is what I intend to do.

It’s For Research. I Promise.

The Cabbage Soup Diet. I had heard of this before, and probably nary a thought crossed my mind in the potentially hundreds of times that I did. For whatever reason, however, my future wife mentioned it to me after she heard me belch as I undid my proverbial belt buckle at the Salt Lick. And while she was saying it facetiously, I got to thinking about fad diets and how they have permeated our culture with promises of pounds being shed in one day, one week, one month. Take these pills, and drink this mix. Cleanse with this root and diffuse with another. It’s all too much if you are really paying attention.

But the Cabbage Soup Diet—I don’t know—I guess it had a ring to it. Plus, I happen absolutely to love cabbage. And that’s no lie.

The Second Day was the Worst

When I went to the store, I weighed 202 lbs according to the scale at the Refinery. Here is the deal, in a nutshell.

Seven days, and as much cabbage soup as you wish. Each day, there is a set of specific foods that you can eat, and if you adhere to it, the promise is 10 lbs in seven days.

Day one was easy. Eat as much fruit as I like as well as the soup. No problem. Since I love both, it wasn’t anything more than what I might have on any given day. Day two seemed a bit more difficult, but I wasn’t sweating it: eat only vegetables, cooked or raw, as well as the soup. As a reward, you can have a baked potato, with butter, for dinner.

Let’s just say that by day’s end, I was craving anything but cabbage soup and vegetables.

It’s purely psychological. What was once an enjoyable meal had become an unfathomable sentence. I went to bed, having eaten the potato out of sheer will power to adhere to the rules, unsatisfied and on the border of being angry.

Some Relief

Fortunately, on Day Three, the one in which I am writing, I could go back to eating fruits again. And so I did. Blueberries and blackberries and raspberries and kiwi and apples and oranges and tangelos. All of them. I devoured them. You can also eat vegetables, and to balance it out, I had asparagus with herbs de provence, and a little olive oil.

I now weigh 198 lbs.

I swear that I am looking damn good.

Final Whiff

I plan on making it through. Despite having to skip out on Easter dinner, I am going to do it. Starting tomorrow, I have to eat nothing but bananas and skim milk, and the soup, of course. On days Five and Six, I get to eat steak or fish. And the soup. Day Seven is back to the vile weeds: vegetables and some brown rice, to add insult, I assume.

And don’t forget the soup.

If anything, I will finish out the diet as a means to report back next week.

But I also want to see if what I have read is true, too. Every report states the same thing: The weight comes back as soon as you stop the diet.

I guess I’ll let you know.

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