Diet Spa

 

In Frasier’s 8th season, Daphne Moon, struggling with issues related to emotional eating, becomes “overweight” (FYI, she was pregnant). To help her lose weight, she goes off to a spa (maternity leave). She returns a few episodes later, back to her thin self.

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While actual diet “spas” are probably horrible places, it got me thinking about a magical place I could go to diet, which is actually really difficult to do properly when you’re busy and have a life. My dream diet spa would be something like this:

You arrive at the diet spa, a lovely place off in nature somewhere. You’re immediately given hot shorts and other cute outfits that look great and fit properly. You put them on and join a group of women of various body types. They’re also rocking hot shorts, in an environment where they’re not shamed about their bodies. For the first week or so, you just hang out with these people over drinks and good food. You start to notice how beautiful your new friends are, and it dawns on you that maybe you look pretty good too. At this point, you might decide to leave the diet spa and go on with your life, finally ready to embrace and celebrate your body.

If you decide to stay, that’s fine too. The new routine begins. Every morning, you wake up and have some scrambled eggs (tossed salads are later in the day) and toast or whatever. Fruit maybe? I don’t know. Healthy things, real food. Someone from Café Nervosa can make you a nice coffee too.

Then you go down to the dog area. There, you’ll find a pack of dogs (at least 10) to accompany you on a nice long walk in the forest. Eddie is there, and so is my dog Runner. You can run if you want to, but nobody’s forcing you into any boot-camp type of situation. Also, you don’t have to pick up the dogs’ shit. Someone else does that. Because exercise is obviously beneficial, it is encouraged, and other activities are available if you decide.

For lunch, you are given the tossed salad of your dreams. You know those build-your-own salad bars that have all those great toppings and it’s so good? I love those. So, it’s kind of like that.

You spend the afternoon reading or hanging out with your new friends. Dr. Frasier Crane and Dr. Niles Crane are both there, along with several excellent female psychiatrists, if you’d like to do some therapy. There are nutritionists to talk to if needed. You can also go for a swim. Maybe the spa is by an ocean?

For dinner, fantastic cooks can make you delicious, healthful foods, like a raw tuna and salmon bowl with rice and vegetables (I’m thinking of a specific menu item at a Montreal restaurant called Kazu, if any of my zero readers ever make it to town). The cooks can also teach you how to make these things for yourself. Dinner selections include carbs, gluten, full-fat foods, sugars, etcetera, all within the calorie range you’ve chosen for your diet. Then you have dessert and a small glass of sherry if you want.

After you’ve reached your goal weight, you go home, feeling good and ready to continue the healthy new habits you’ve adopted. You can go back any time for a short visit. Oh, and it’s all free, paid for by the capitalist patriarchy.

What would your dream diet spa be like? Please share in the comments below. I’m listening.

 

Fan Fiction

By now, I was hoping at least a few people would have commented on my blog to start a discussion. Since that hasn’t happened, here is a fictional transcript of a conversation between Dr. Frasier Crane and Pam, a caller to his show.

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Frasier: Roz, who do we have on the line?

Roz: We have Pam from Marysville on line four.

Frasier: Hello, Pam! This is Dr. Frasier Crane. I’m listening.

Pam: Hi, Dr. Crane! Thanks for taking my call.

Frasier: Yes. What can I help you with today?

Pam: I’m calling because I’m trying to lose weight, but nothing I do seems to work! It’s very frustrating. Help me, Dr. Crane!

Frasier: Ah, yes. Well, Pam, this is a very common problem that a lot of people struggle with. Weight loss is actually a relatively simple science. It all comes down to consuming less calories than you expend, but that does require a commitment. One approach people often use is counting calories. While it may seem quite time consuming and complicated at first, eventually, you gain a sense of what’s in the food you eat and it does get easier. If you do it long enough, it becomes a habit.

Pam: I’ve tried counting calories! I’ll stick to my diet all day, but then I get home from work and snack all evening after dinner.

Frasier: I see. In that case, maybe you should examine why exactly you do this. Is it boredom? Fatigue? Stress? If it’s the former, you might benefit from a new hobby or activity. Take on a new project like starting a blog. Even a simple activity like taking evening walks can certainly help with your goal. If you’re tired or stressed out, focusing on getting more sleep or tackling the issues causing your stress might help. Getting at the root of why you overeat is important on any weight-loss journey.

Also, it’s important to set realistic goals and acknowledge your habits and lifestyle. If you do tend to eat more in the evening, try to consume fewer calories during the day. You want to work with your habits, not against them.

Pam: I guess I just get bored at night, and keep heading to the fridge.

Frasier: Well, if you just can’t resist snacking, you might try keeping less unhealthy snack foods in the house. If you stock your fridge with fruits and veggies or foods that require preparation, you’re less likely to be tempted. And if you do give in and eat, say, an apple, that’s not so bad.

Pam: I guess that’s true. Thanks, Dr. Crane! I’ll try that.

Frasier: You’re welcome. Best of luck to you, Pam! Well, that’s all the time we have for today. You’ve been listening to Dr. Frasier Crane, KACL 780.

Roz: (raises eyebrows and says something sassy)

Frasier: (grumbles)

 

Any real-life person struggling to lose weight? Please respond in the comments below. I’m listening.

Morning

“Let us get something clear: I am not a morning person. I have to ease into my day slowly. First, I have my coffee, sans eggshells or anything else one tends to pick out of the garbage. Then I have a low-fat, high-fibre breakfast. Finally, I sit down and read a crisp, new newspaper. If I am robbed of the richness of my morning routine, I cannot function. ( … ) I’m sorry if this may sound priggish, but I have grown comfortable with this part of myself. It is the magic that is me.”

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The magic that is me needs a latte and a cup of coconut Greek yogurt with berries every morning.

Lunch is usually a spinach salad with whole-grain toast and cream cheese, and dinner is where I mix it up a bit.

Like Frasier, I am a creature of habit. I find sticking to my routine makes weight loss so much easier. I don’t have to think about it too much. I eat breakfast, pack my lunch, which takes a second to throw together, and go.

My sister told me about a study recently, which said that when people are asked in advance what they would eat the next day, they make healthy choices. When they’re asked what they want to eat right now, they make less healthy choices. So, packing lunches and planning meals is a great way to go if your goal is weight loss. That’s easier said than done for a lot of people though.

Just like Frasier eases into his morning, you have to ease into a new routine. Trying to change too much at once often doesn’t work. My routine was a gradual thing. It started with just being conscious of the food I was eating. Then a commitment to packing a lunch just a few days a week. Then I started counting calories to get an idea of how much I was actually eating. Then I started counting calories with the specific goal of weight loss, and so on.

My co-worker looks at my lunch and says she couldn’t eat the same thing every day. It does get boring, but I find dieting kind of boring anyway. And when I don’t feel like my usual salad, I get something else. Done.

What is the magic that is you? Please share in the comments. I’m listening.