Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

September 16, 2010

Little Rant/ Big Question

Filed under: Food,The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 2:28 pm

Do you know what I love about this blog?

I mean other than the money and free stuff and all you crazy wonderful dames? I love that this is a space where you don’t have to hate yourself.

Because you know what? I am thirty-one damn years old and Mama is TIRED of being told I’m supposed to hate myself because I’m too something and not something else enough. I don’t, okay? Never did. Sorry! And you probably don’t either and even if you DID feel that way I am here to tell you right here, right now, in front of God, Gaultier and everybody else, that you officially can stop feeling bad about the way you look because I like you just fine the way you are and I am pretty much always right when it comes to people I’m not going to sleep with and although I love you, I don’t, you know, love you.

It might sound strange coming from someone who is for all intents and purposes a Professional Fat Chick, but I really don’t care about fat. I barely stop to think about mine so you can be darn sure I don’t think about yours.

What I DO care about is connecting with people who have been told their whole lives that they had to change the way they look to be accepted, popular and loved.

Because that? Is horsehockey. Big, stinky, steaming, gelatinous, horsehockey, with flies and worms and all other gross things I can’t really think too much about because I just ate lunch.

Woo! Okay enough of that rant.

Let’s have some fun, shall we? Tomorrow I’ve got some fab fall clothes I’m really excited about, so today let’s do a Big Question:

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What is the most ridiculous fad diet you have tried or been forced to try?

I think my mother bought every snake oil on the planet and tried it on me. She also tried to wax my fourth-grade moustachio using PARAFFIN, because it’s wax, right? blessherheart, which is neither here nor there except to remind you that if you do screwed up things to your kid, be prepared for her to get at least semi-famous and tell her thousands and thousands of awesome fans alllll about it. ANYHOODLE, I know I was subjected to various shakes and puddings and unnatural things to do with cabbage, but the one that sticks out in my memory was when I was about in fourth grade, and she brought home this little spray. From what I remember now it was bitter grapefruit oil and you were supposed to spray it directly on your tongue every time you were hungry so it would suppress your appetite. Anyone want to guess the end results? That’s right, I found it delicious and to this day bitter, almost mentholated grapefruit, is one of my favorite flavors on earth.


  1. Anything involving not eating carbs.

    Because, y’know, one day you just sit down with a loaf of bread and get comfy, and it allllllllllll comes back.

    Really, any diet that involves cutting out an entire food group is just bad news, and you always pay for it later.

    Comment by Sarah — September 16, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  2. “I am pretty much always right when it comes to people I’m not going to sleep with ”

    You give us so many little gems like that, I can’t stop reading! I’m so glad you’re feeling better. Take care and be well. :)

    Comment by wildflower — September 16, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

  3. There were two. One involved ‘cellulose wafers’ which were supposed to swell up in your stomach after you’d eaten two (they were the size of graham crackers as I recall and tasted like exactly what you’d think, given that they were cellulose) and drunk two glasses of water. My memory of those was that they tasted horrible and gave me the runs. The other one were these little cubes of chocolate flavored garbage that were terms a ‘diet aid’ and were supposed to suppress your appetite – totally worthless on me.

    Comment by Toby Wollin — September 16, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  4. I ate popcorn for lunch for most of high school. Was it any wonder that I chowed down on junk food after school? Why I needed to make it appear that I wasn’t hungry I’ll never know. Oh and I didn’t eat breakfast either…

    Comment by Julie — September 16, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  5. I was on an 800 calorie diet (doctor approved) when I was nine years old. And the list goes on….

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — September 16, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  6. Correction–1000 calories. Is that enough for a

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — September 16, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

  7. Toby, were those the unfortunately-named “Ayds” diet candies of the 1970s? Because you know what’s embarrassing? Opening your lunchbox and discovering diet “candy” in there, where everyone can see it. Third grade, I was in.

    8th grade was the Cambridge Diet: chocolate powder shakes instead of meals, as often as you can stand it. The Cambridge shakes “worked”: I learned how to go hungry all day, lost the “baby fat” and thence spent the rest of high school not eating until dinner time. Such a healthy lifestyle, yeah?

    My only consolation is that my mother went on all these ridiculous diets, and many many more, and only inflicted a few of them on me.

    Comment by Jezebella — September 16, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  8. ‘Limmits’ meal replacement (ha!) crackers. 4 crackers, each about 2″ square, glass of water. That was supposed to be supper. I was 8.

    Hey, anyone wonder why I’ve been overweight since I was 9?

    Comment by Madame Suggia — September 16, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

  9. The very expensive Metobolic Doctors’ diets. It was the fad of our burbs ten years ago. Then I decided to go healthy and did another very very expensive Microbiotic diet. Had a chef making the food but geez…how much kudzu and sea weed can a person eat. Godbless those who can eat that way.

    My very worst was when mom decided in ninth grade that I would miss dinner. Nice.

    Comment by Peaches — September 16, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  10. I tried “Fibre-trim” once in the late eighties. It’s some cellulose thing that’s supposed to fill you up and melt off pounds. It caused me to spend much time in the bathroom with a painful stomach (TMI).

    During most of high school through college, and then practicing law, I didn’t eat all day except the odd chocolate bar or coffee. It seemed too inconvenient. Being at work was too stressful for food. I thought you could be thin by eating one meal a day–I had an amped up metabolism. Pretty dumb for some one with a graduate degree!

    Comment by Debs — September 16, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  11. Well, I watched my mother drink the slim fast shakes in the 80s (and listened to her complain about how much they upset her stomach) and do the cabbage soup diet back in the 90s (and smelled the farts. Ugh.). Watching that prevented me from ever giving into those crazy urges to try the latest fad. While my mother passed along plenty of not so fun food related issues, she did at least show much the ickiness of weirdo diets.

    And thank you for this post Plumcake. It’s been a week, not in a good way, and it’s nice to have someone remind me that it is up to me to take care of myself and hating myself or apologizing for things I cannot change about myself is certainly not helping.

    Also, this gem?: “I am pretty much always right when it comes to people I’m not going to sleep with.” I need to tattoo this on my frickin’ forehead. It is always mind blowing to me that I can be so good at friendship and picking friends and yet so unbelievably stupid when it comes to romantic partners.

    Comment by Kate K — September 16, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  12. I don’t think I ever went on a fad diet. My mother is pretty picky about what we eat, and while it’s not particularly “healthy” it’s not “unhealthy” food either, and she has no interest in changing, whether we want to diet or not. I think that was good for me, in some ways. Even if I didn’t want to, I always had delicious food to tempt me away from starving myself.

    However, over the past year or so, I’ve had a lot of stomach pain after I eat, and I’ve tried some things to fix that. One time I decided that I was going to be a vegan. There were signs that this was a bad idea since I don’t like vegetables, I drink milk like I’ll die if I don’t, and bread makes up a massive amount of what I eat. Soooo, basically, I ate a bunch of fruit, dry cereal, and a little bit of vegetables for three days straight, then I just about passed out on the fourth since I was eating 400 calories or so because I just didn’t like enough of the foods I had on hand that fit my plan. There were obviously multiple problems to what I did. I didn’t slowly ease myself into it, I wasn’t adequately prepared and knowledgeable about the fod I’d need, and I was following a “diet book” rather than anything actually about being a vegan. *rolls eyes* In all, that was bad. And it was the last time in my life I’ve ever dieted. I’ll never do it again.

    Comment by Courtney — September 16, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  13. “…she did at least show much the ickiness of weirdo diets.” What? What was I even trying to say? Let’s rephrase: she did at least show *me* the ickiness of weirdo diets.

    Comment by Kate K — September 16, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  14. UGH! Just reading about the little chocolate cubes of crud brought back the taste of Ayds for me. Even an emergency piece of good dark chocolate hasn’t deleted the memory from my mouth. I must have eaten pounds of Ayds. It never did a thing for me with regard to my weight, but it was marginally better than the other tasteless sugar-free hard candy that was available at the time.

    My favorite ridiculous diet was the steak and salad diet. Kind of like the no-carb diets of today except for, well, steak and salad. You could ONLY eat steak and salad — not steak and broccoli, not roast beast and salad, no no nothing else. As much steak and salad as you want. Fortunately, my favorite foods were steak and salad (and ice cream, but therein lurked the devil fat). Unfortunately, I was capable of eating enough steak and salad to gain weight.

    Comment by Sue — September 16, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  15. Not to concern-troll or anything, but Courtney, have you ever explored going off gluten for a few days?

    And I remember the years of metallic-tasting Slimfast…it’s pretty much why I can’t even tolerate full-fat, full-ice cream chocolate shakes. The look of it alone is enough to make me taste metal in my mouth. Ahh, those teenage memories.

    Comment by fatlazyceliac — September 16, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

  16. I don’t know if it had an official name but I remember trying this three day diet as a teen in the mid 80s, it had this very specific set of meals you had to eat for three days, and you were supposed to lose 10 pounds through some magical metabolic process – and if you needed to lose more you could eat “normally” for a few days and then repeat the 3 days as many times as you wanted.

    Meals were stuff like:
    1 cup of beets, 2 hot dogs (no buns or condiments) and a cup of vanilla ice cream. And you could have black coffee or tea to drink.

    Ugh, I just googled it and sad to say, 30 years later it’s still out there. The plain tuna and toast – it all comes back to me now…

    Comment by izzygal — September 16, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

  17. I was counting calories and doing “exchanges” from about age 9. Indeed, I discovered I was fat when I announced proudly, in the way kids do, that I weighed 100 pounds, and my mom responded “You better not.” (My mom was thin until she had kids and has always hated being fat, so she did not handle it well when it became clear I was going to be a fat person.)

    I think Slim-Fast was the second most stupid thing I tried (nasty!). But the worst was taking those Metabolife pills when they were still all ephedra. Fortunately, like most people, I was too miserable from the side effects to stay on it very long. But it still horrifies me that I ever got near that stuff.

    Comment by Mifty — September 16, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  18. Well, there was Atkins, that seemed to “work” for a while but 1.the color of my pee freaked me out and 2. I lurve me some bread and pasta.

    The worst actual diet I remember, though, was some beans-only thing my parents did. It probably wasn’t actually that bad for you, but I was not a fan of beans in the first place and the recipes were awful. I’m just now starting to get over some of my bean phobia.

    The worst “solution” was the Metabolife pills my parents bought into. I was totally into them until my heart started racing scarily. I decided being fat was better than having a heart attack before graduating high school.

    Comment by Catrina — September 16, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

  19. Can I just say that this entire post was a breath of fresh air after listening to this horsehockey of a podcast this morning? Short, but big on offensive:

    Comment by moiraeknittoo — September 16, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

  20. Ayds! YUP! I was given those and got deathly ill (as in collapsing in my little 4th grade chair with chest pains). When it was revealed to the doctor that my mother had given me these things, he went off her (I was actually perfectly normal-sized, but she was obsessed with my being fat despite his repeated warnings that I was fine).

    She was SO furious with me for getting sick on them. Clearly all part of my great fat-girl conspiracy to ruin her image. Ah, narcissism.

    Comment by Lisa from SoCal — September 16, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

  21. I’m 52 years old. When I was a kid my mom told me, “Girls with hips don’t wear hip huggers.” Scarred for life? A bit.

    My mom was an Ayds addict (those faux-chocolate appetite-suppression cubes). She kept them under the sink in her bathroom (mom & dad had separate bathrooms, yet we only had 2 bathrooms in the house and the kids were allowed to use either).

    I as a big kid. I was in junior sizes in elementary school. Mom said those clothes were “too mature” for me, so I learned to sew so that I had clothes like the other kids. (Trust me the late 60s were…well, different for kids… we weren’t expected to dress like ‘hippies’.)

    I lost my ‘baby fat’ in high school…but, apparently, gained it back in college. On the other hand, my female relatives all have big hips & thighs. We’re classic pears.

    I’ve always worked hard to find fashionable clothes. And, seriously, you kids are SO lucky! (sorry, that was my old lady voice…and here comes a rant) The problem is there are lots of junior plus clothing options…and not so many chic CLASSY options for those of us of a certain age.

    Don’t get me wrong: there’s a ton of old lady clothes. You know: elasto-pants, t-shirts with appliques, floral camp shirts….oy! The alternative is Lafayette 148 which is expensive and has at least 2 items each season that aren’t so boxy that they don’t make you look like a bad cartoon robot.

    Wait, this was supposed to be about diets. OK…. mom never subjected me to any (thank god…and mom).

    I did one of those pre-packaged diets when I was in my mid-20s after I gained some weight after a car accident. I lost a lot of weight and gained it back in 2 years.

    When I hit 40-something, I decided that the sleep apnea and knee problems would be benefited by getting healthier and losing some weight. I went from 300 then to 250 now. I’ve maintained the weight loss for about 8 years now. I did it by exercising and watching what I ate. But, that only got me to 250. And I’m fine with that.

    Today I’m healthier. That’s all I care about. I no longer have sleep apnea problems. I care about that ALOT.

    So, for me, 250ish is good. And I thank the HEAVENS that I was never tortured by my parents/relatives with stupid diet plans.

    Comment by that redhead — September 16, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

  22. I never did any fad diets, but all this is reminding me of the time in high school when my mom was feeding me Carnation shakes for breakfast– not as a weight loss thing but because I was sleeping in so late that there was no other way to get breakfast in me rather than have me drink it in the car.

    Comment by daisyj — September 17, 2010 @ 1:13 am

  23. I tried those fiber tablets that were supposed to fill your stomach so you wouldn’t eat – they were made out of algae or something. Or rather, I wanted to try them. We lived out in the country and the mice got them before I did. They gnawed through the box and the foil to get at them. I bet we had the sleekest mice in the county!

    The best and weirdest 3-day-miracle diet I ever tried was one involving a slice of cheese and a small glass or dry sherry for every meal. It didn’t work, but since you were slightly sozzled most of the time, it was FUN! I’ve loved sherry ever since (I loved cheese before that and still do).

    Comment by dinazad — September 17, 2010 @ 4:24 am

  24. I never did any fad diet. But I feel it’s my duty to comment that the mentholated grapefruit stuff could probably be used to replace bitters to Plummify more traditional drink recipes.

    Comment by megaera — September 17, 2010 @ 4:48 am

  25. I was twice put on a diet of 500 calories a day. The first time I was on it for 8 months; the second time, I was on it for over a year and eventually started to gain weight eating just that small amount. I’d lost about 100 pounds at that point (about 30 too many) but I simply didn’t want to eat more because of a fear of gaining it all back, since the whole idea behind that kind of a diet was that weight was gained because of overeating. If you lost that kind of weight and then put it back on, it was all your fault, your fault, your fault.

    Oh, yes, the diet included weekly “B12” shots that I now know could not possibly have been just B12.

    All of this was “doctor approved” and supervised. So now I always take what doctors know about nutrition, fat, and health with an appropriately ocean-sized side order of salt.

    I can completely understand falling in love with that bitter grapefruit stuff–grapefruit makes you feel happy! At least it does, for me.

    Comment by ChaChaheels — September 17, 2010 @ 6:59 am

  26. I did a fruit juice fast once. You could only drink 8oz of fruit juice 3 times a day – and all the water you could handle. It was only for 3 days – and it was amazing how much energy you’d have after the juice and then how hard you would crash when all the sugars left the bloodstream. I felt quite cleansed afterward.

    Would I do it again.. probably not. I don’t know that I will ever have 3 days where I can get away with only having energy for about 3 hours a day.

    Comment by sam — September 17, 2010 @ 7:25 am

  27. When I was in 7th grade, my mother put me on a diet of no salt and no water. Seriously. I did not have water for 2 days, then snuck some. This was in the middle of summer.

    Comment by Talbot — September 17, 2010 @ 10:05 am

  28. The craziest thing I have prob ever tried was the ”Hollywood Miracle Diet” . It was this HORRIBLE juice/diet crap filler drink concoction that you mixed with water and for THREE DAYS thats ALL you were supposed to consume and like magic you’d lose 10 pounds . Um ….not so much . I did lose 3 pounds , but that had nothing to do with this magical elixir and everything to do with starving myself for THREE DAMN DAYS and by the end of the 1st day , the smell of that horrid drink made me gag . Drinking it was a whole other story . It was horrible and just plain STUPID . Why on earth would anyone do something like that . I look back on that now and wonder what the HELL I was thinking . Of course at 17 and thinking that I was just totally abnormal , not to mention that the day b4 I started it , after mentioning that I was hot , my boss’s husband told me ”if you didt have all that padding , you wouldn’t be hot” , I guess stupid was more like desperate at the time . Im so glad I learned to love my body as is , its so much less ….painful . lol

    Comment by Dawn — September 17, 2010 @ 11:44 am

  29. @Sarah: I lost a ton of weight when I got dumped and decided to do South Beach just because my life was so miserable I didn’t deserve carbs. And then I had a bagel and jam and it came right back.

    @Wildflower: It’s funny ’cause it’s true. Although I’m usually pretty right about the other folks too. Thanks for the warm welcome back!

    @Toby Wollin: Cellulose wafers? How delicious!

    Comment by Plumcake — September 17, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  30. @Julie: were we twins in high school? I skipped breakfast and didn’t eat lunch unless my boyfriend shared his with me. It took me a loooong time to understand that healthy eating habits actually involve, you know, eating.

    @SurferGirl: According to doctor google, a 9 year old girl needs about 2000 calories. 800 calories is a starvation diet, and 1000 isn’t much better. Yikes.

    @Jezebella: Wow, Ayds? That IS an unfortunate name. Plus you can join Julie and me in our Unhealthy Food Habits High School Band

    Comment by Plumcake — September 17, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

  31. Amen, sister. A. Men.

    Comment by Becca — September 17, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

  32. Besides Atkins and Nutrisystem? Oh, the polar opposite. Saltines and fruit for lunch every day, and then a normal/light dinner. It worked! I lost fifteen pounds! Eighty pounds ago, that is.

    Comment by Karen — September 18, 2010 @ 12:11 am

  33. The original Atkins where you tested your pee with these little sticks to make sure you were on the right track. Oh yeah, I lost weight but god knows what my breath smelled like.

    Prior to that were the diet pills. Off and on from the age of 10 to about 17. I “sped” my way through senior year of high school.

    Comment by Constance — September 18, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

  34. Despite being quite thin as a teen, I was put on numerous diets by my mother. Hell, if you can’t control your own weigh, might as well control someone else’s, right?

    I’ve been racking my brains for days trying to remember the diet bars I ate in the 70s, and I finally did: anyone else remember Figurines?

    Comment by Harri P. — September 19, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  35. Figurines does a lady proud
    It’s the diet lunch that you can crunch out loud

    Comment by Harri P. — September 19, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  36. megaera is a smart cookie. You could blast a shot of that grapefruit spray into a pitcher, add some Hendrick’s (or Booth’s) and ice and there you go.

    I never dieted per se until a couple of years ago, although when I turned 13 I replaced chips and cookies with oranges and lost about 30 lbs. And I LOVE oranges.

    When I had a raw vegan chef living with me, I did go on his crazy Four Day Smoothie Cleanse Colon Blasting Starvation Chlorophyll Diet. Let’s just say that did not end well.

    Earlier this year I decided to Do Something About Myself, so I went on a very restrictive diet: no sugar, no salt, no flour, no booze. That was four months of hell. I mean, essentially you eat vegetables and meat, period, which means that the last 3000 years of food progress have been for naught.

    Oh, and once I was on that stupid cabbage soup diet (you eat cabbage soup. Period) for about three days. I think you lose weight on that not because of the calorie deficit involved, but because the gas in your intestines makes you float.

    I want to buy a copy of the Drinking Man’s Diet. I’m not a man, but other than that it sounds like JUST my kind of thing.

    Comment by raincoaster — September 19, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  37. @Harri P.: I remember Figurines! I actually tried them once, but got so famished I ate the entire box in about an hour. Then I wanted real cookies, so I made a batch of chocolate chip ones. Funnily enough, once I ate one real chocolate chip cookie, I was sated. The rest of the family enjoyed the cookies, though, so they didn’t go to waste.

    Comment by Twistie — September 19, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

  38. My grandmother had me on diets from the time I was five years old. By the time I was 16, I had been on Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Deal a Meal (a Richard Simmons production), Atkins, an all-carb diet, an all-protein diet, a no-fat diet, a no-solid food diet. Big shock: by the time I was 23 I weighed 87 pounds, was hellaciously anorexic, and was on the verge of heart failue. And dear sweet Gran thought I looked FAN. FREAKING. TASTIC. After much therapification and nutritionisting, I’m doing just great. Healthy, athletic, and unabashedly fertile. But the very WORD diet makes me want to punch a wall.

    Comment by Anon — September 19, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  39. Oh, wow. I had the Ayds candy too. Ugh, bad flashback….that stuff went along with the under-1000 clorie diet. Gross gross gross…

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — September 19, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

  40. There was(is?) something called optifast that my sister tried. No food just this powder mixed with water. There were also injections involved. There were also restrictions on what kind of toothpaste and lotions one could use because of sugar in toothpaste and oils in lotion.

    Comment by Elizabeth — September 21, 2010 @ 3:06 am

  41. I have been on Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins and all sorts of my own calorie restrictive diets with very low arbitrary calorie limits. But I think the strangest thing I ever heard and witnessed was my host mother (while living abroad in France during college) who was on the “bath diet”. Seriously; she took an insane amount of long baths each day and had other dietary restrictions that involved us all eating tomato tarts a lot. Very strange…

    Comment by April D — September 21, 2010 @ 9:40 am

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