Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Pet-Lovers Diet

It seems like everyone nowadays is worried about their weight. And capitalizing on that, everyone else is making a fortune selling diet plans and books specialized according to everything from your body shape to blood type to astrological sign.

I figured hey, I could stand to lose some weight---AND earn some money---why not come up with a diet plan for people like me?

So here's why my diet plan is the best plan ever:

You don't need to change what you eat. You don't need to change how you exercise. It's all about portion control---and you don't even need your own willpower to take care of that.

You just need to enlist the help of my highly trained four-legged diet consultants, available to you for a reasonable monthly fee. For best results, you need approximately one cat or dog per 10 lbs. you need to lose. If more than one family member needs to lose weight, they need to hire their own additional diet consultants.

Here's how it goes:

You sit down in front of the TV with a big, heaping plate of fried chicken or lasagna or prime rib, or whatever other high-fat, caloric nightmare is responsible for inflating your waistline. You turn on the TV. You pick up your fork.

But before you can take your first, delicious, calorie-laden bite, your four-legged coaches appear as if by magic to remind you about the importance of portion control.

A fluffy red Pomeranian hops up beside you, puts her paws on your leg, and tilts her head in an adorable, heart-melting pose. You can't help yourself. You give her a bite of your food. SNARF! It vanishes, never to add a single point to your BMI.

You pick up your fork again. A large, gray Maine Coon cat appears on the arm of the couch, purring loudly. As you lift your food toward your mouth, he reaches out one large, fuzzy paw and pats you gently on the shoulder.

You can't disappoint a creature full of such pleased self-confidence, so you hand over another bite of your food. As positive reinforcement for your good behavior, the purring in your ear increases by a few decibels.

Determined to finally taste some of your own dinner, you pick up that fork one more time. Just as the food is about to enter your open mouth, a brown tabby cat perched on the couch back bats at your hand. With five razor-sharp claws.

While you're examining your hand to determine whether you need stitches, your team of four-legged coaches spring into action to ensure your continued dedication to portion control.

The tabby cat leaps down beside you and parades back and forth, dragging his generously furred, plume-like tail across your plate. You push him away just as the gray cat sneezes in your direction. You can feel the spray on your hand---who knows where else it's landed?

Fed up (and yet underfed!), you chase the cats out of the room, only to return and discover the Pomeranian energetically licking your plate. Sure, they say a dog's saliva is actually cleaner than a human's, but her breath smells suspiciously like horse manure.

See how easy it is to lose (er---I mean, "control") your appetite, when you have the right team of highly trained diet coaches? It doesn't take any willpower at all.

Before long, you'll be abandoning the high-cholesterol evils of fried chicken and filling your plate with waistline-friendly broccoli, celery, and lettuce, just to be able to eat something that is not immediately confiscated by your pests (umm, I mean, "consultants").

Of course, there is a catch.

Scientific study (by which I mean, several months of testing by Ken and myself) has proven that---like most of the other diet gurus' plans---the Pet Lover's Diet doesn't really work in the long run.

Sad to say, but the inborn human desire for greasy, unhealthy foods outweighs (pun intended) the ingenuity of the cleverest diet guru. Pet Lovers find it easy to stick to this diet, but gradually compensate for the calories confiscated by the "coaches" by simply over-inflating the serving sizes at the beginning of the meal and learning to joke about the health benefits of a little extra "fiber" added to each meal in the form of cat hair.

Then again, the fact that their plans don't actually work never stopped any of the other diet gurus from making a fortune. All it would take would be for my plan to become trendy, and I could be rich and famous. Face it, if you're going to be overweight either way, at least my plan is more fun than theirs!

Now I just have to come up with a diet plan for overweight, overfed PETS!


Meggie said...

Nancy: I eat most of my meals standing up...I don't have the eye contact with the critters that way. And, I can ignore their stares better while standing.

Nancy Chase said...

There, you see? Yet another way that human ingenuity defeats the best efforts of the diet guru! :-)