Monday, October 10, 2005

You've come a long way, baby!


Here's an ad that marked a change in the way things were marketed - when in it's campaign, Virginia Slims asked women to smoke for themselves, to celebrate their own success in climbing up the social ladder.

Of course, increasing one's lung cancer risk is not quite the way to mark the femiminist leap of the '60s. Nevertheless, it's better than choking up to please some thoughtful male with undoubtedly lecherous thoughts on a billboard. But that's a different story. And my thoughts today centre not around the smoking, but dieting.

Coz dieting too has come a long way. Goodbye cabbage soup. So long, starvation diets. Hello, Eating. And by eating I do not mean throw up after eating, but just good old eating, even hogging.

Atkins, South Beach diet, and now The Warrior are littering the landscape with glimmers of hope for meatloaf lovers. And Meatloaf lovers - 'I would do anything for love, but I won't do THAT'. THAT, with all its contempt for exercise. and all the love for skinniness.

I know, I know - all of these diets do not just recommend eating, but also exercise. and sternly too. Dr Atkins demands a work-out along with all those stakes, and stakes, and uhm, some more stakes. But I am not very sure as to how many of those who follow his mantra follow the whole of it. Do they run and weight-train as religiously as they stuff their mouth with, er, the stakes?

Now before anyone gets high-strung and leaves testimonials on this page with 'before' and 'after' snaps (not that I am stopping you guys), let me clarify, I am not trying to discredit these increasingly bizarre eating recommendations. In fact, I have been sufficiently enticed to try to try them out myself. After I witnessed a Discovery channel documentary that took up Dr Atkins work quite seriously (yes, I was jobless and there were hardly any other channels worth watching on TV) I did try out meat - meal after meal for two whole days. May sound a paltry achievement to you, these two days, but that's all my Indian, vegetable-centric palette could stomach.

Which brings me to why I am writing this column at all... any nutritionists looking for a new avenue in the semmingly over-congested dieting market? I would be glad to hear an eat-all-you-want version plan with curries and vegetables. And am sure some Mexican somewhere is looking for jalapeno and salsa laden meals. While an irishman or many are looking for Guinness-full menus. There are many more untrodden paths ahead. So Help!

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