Tracy Beckerman is the author of a wildly popular syndicated humor column called LOST IN SUBURBIA and a hilarious new book “Rebel without a Minivan”. It's all about the funny side of kids, dogs, husbands, and life in the 'burbs!

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April Showers Bring May Diets©

April Showers Bring May Diets©

by Tracy Beckerman

I don’t know what all the hoopla is about spring finally arriving. Not that I’m a big fan of the winter and weather so cold that your nostrils stick together when you inhale, but at least in winter, nobody can tell if you gained any weight because you’re covered up in thick sweaters and bulky jackets. But then spring rolls around and suddenly its panic time because you know that summer is just around the corner and you’ll have to put on a bathing suit and the truth will come out that you did not spend every breathing minute at the gym as you said you did and did not survive on protein bars but instead ate more than your fair share of Krispy Kremes for about six months running.

Of course I know I’m not alone in this, so at least there is comfort in numbers. I have one friend who’s gained and lost enough weight every year to make a whole other person. She thinks that sensible eating is the key to weight loss… for other people. She’s tried every new diet known to woman. She’s done the Bloomingdales Diet, Scarsdale and Sugarbusters. She’s eaten only beets for one week and only lima beans for the next. Actually, I think that one was called the Disgusting Vegetables Diet. She’s taken these mystery herbal pills that she ordered on-line that have since been banned in this country after two dozen people grew something like an extra liver from taking them. She owns a Thigh Master, a Butt Buster, and this stuff that looks like cellophane that she wraps around her thighs with this special cream underneath that’s supposed to melt away the cellulite. Not only didn’t it melt the fat, it actually increased the hair growth on her upper thighs. So now, each summer she has to diet as well as have her legs waxed daily. Bummer.

Currently, she’s on a combination of Atkins and South Beach, eats nothing but steak and eggs and has a cholesterol count so high that Lipitor wants to pay HER to take their drugs. Anyway, whenever spring rolls around and I tell her I need to lose weight, she tries to recruit me into her Fad Diet Cult. However, I’d rather stay inside for the summer, than subject myself to a season of lima beans and hairy thighs, so I politely decline.

Still, there’s no denying that something needs to be done. Of course the smart thing would have been to get started the day the groundhog poked his head out of the dirt. But there was still Valentine’s Day chocolate yet to be eaten and it seemed premature to get hysterical when there was a foot of snow on the ground. Now, however, everywhere I looked, people were practically screaming at me to get my soon-to-be-tankini-covered-bottom in gear while I still can. As I passed my health club on the way to the supermarket, I noticed big bold writing on the windows: “Only six more weeks until summer!” This may not officially be true, but it was scary enough to have me dump a couple of gallons of Slim Fast into my supermarket shopping cart.

Later that night as I tried on last year’s bathing suit I said to my husband, “Do I look like I gained weight since last summer?”

He looked up at me over the top of his Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine. “Has any husband ever in the history of the world been stupid enough to answer that question?” he replied.

“Do I?” I asked again, ignoring his first response.

“Honey, you always look beautiful to me,” he replied lovingly.

“You’re not answering my question.”

“Hmm, I think it looks like rain,” he said looking out the window.

“Hmmmph!” I stomped out of the room and downstairs to where the kids were watching TV. I know kids are always brutally honest so I decided to model my suit for them.

“Hey guys, how do you like this bathing suit?”

My daughter glanced over. “Your butts hanging out the back,” she said definitively and turned back to the TV.

Without batting an eye, I picked up the phone and called my diet friend.

“Exactly how much thigh hair are we talking about, really?”


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