Saturday, June 01, 2013

Die die must diet

While the rest of the world is obsessing about falling employment, rising inflation, deflation, stagflation, collapsing economies and devalued currencies, in the little flat I share with Saffy and Amanda, all anyone can talk about is the new crazy assed diet that Amanda has gotten us on.
             As I told my sister over the phone, given that half the world’s population is undernourished or starving, it’s astonishing that some of us are even contemplating a diet.
            “It’s a First World problem!” Michelle said with firm authority, completely ignoring the fact that she has been on just about every single diet ever invented.
            “And I’m not even fat!” I said.
            “Fat has nothing to do with it,” said Amanda in the kind of tone you normally associate with Moses delivering the Third Commandment. “It’s about living a clean, healthy and responsible lifestyle!”
            From the dining table, Saffy looked up from her lunch and piped, “Exactly!”
            There was a brief moment of silence as Amanda and I stared at our flatmate.
            “Saf,” I said eventually, “you’re literally eating your third packet of mee goreng.”
            “Shut up!” Saffy mumbled through a mouthful of noodles. “This is my cheat day. I can eat anything I want.”
            “But you’ve already eaten, like, a thousand calories in half an hour!”
            “That’s the beauty of this diet!”
            During one of her regular trawlings through the diet section of the Internet, Amanda had come across an article that said that you can lose an unusual amount of weight if, for two days of the week, you only consume 600 calories, and you can eat whatever you want for the other five days.
            Demonstrating once again the mental agility that got her through a Harvard law degree, Amanda worked out that if she went on this diet for a month, she’d drop a dress size just in time for the wedding of her Best Enemy Forever, Francine Seow.
            And because no one likes to diet alone, she recruited Saffy and me into the campaign.
            “But we’re not even invited to the wedding,” Saffy had protested at first. “What’s in it for us?”
            “You’ll be able to fit into all my Dolce & Gabbana dresses!” Amanda said brightly.
            Saffy looked doubtful. “Well, only if I had a breast reduction. Your bustiers have absolutely no give!”
            I said firmly that I was not going on the diet. “Do you even know what 600 calories is?”
            Amanda paused. “Uhm…an apple and an egg white?”
            “No, I’m really asking. I really have no idea. But it doesn’t sound like a lot! You know what happens when I get hungry. I get cranky and my migraines start acting up!”
            Amanda sniffed. “Oh, you’ll be fine! Besides, according to the article, modern society consumes too much calories. Apparently, we only need about half the amount because we’re no longer doing any hard manual labour like our ancestors used to!”
            This time, it was Saffy’s turn to stare. “Seriously,” she said finally, “you sound like Richard Attenborough in some ass-numbing documentary about farm animals!”
As it turns out, 600 calories is the equivalent of two pints of semi-skimmed milk, four portions of vegetables, one portion of fruit, two pints of water, and a multivitamin pill.
            “Hah? Really, ah?” Sharyn pronounced when she heard about it. “That’s like my breakfast!”
            “You know, you could lose some weight, Sharyn,” Saffy said after casting a critical eye over her best friend.
            “Where got? I am 53 kay gee, OK!”
            Saffy was impressed. “Really? You eat all that fatty hawker food and you’re only 53?”
            “Abaden?” If Sharyn had been blessed with pneumatic breasts, they would have inflated at this stage.
            Of course, what no one can understand is how you could lose any weight if you starve for two days and then eat your normal diet of char kway teow and bah kut teh for the rest of the week.
            “Sure cannot work one, lah!” Sharyn said with a sneer etched over her face. “And then, hor, I tell you, people who go on diet are always unhappy! Confirm, one!”
            After eating normally all week, Saffy strategically commenced her two 600 calorie days on the weekend. By Sunday, she had turned into a raving lunatic whose hand has just been chewed off by a dog with gangrene and rabies.
“I am starving!” she screamed at Nigella Lawson on TV.
“Sip more water,” I advised from the safe distance of my bedroom door. Saffy stared at me with hungry malevolence. I sent a text to Amanda who, at that very moment, was enjoying a diet-free day with a Sunday brunch of Eggs Benedict: “It’s been nice knowing you.”

No comments: