Goodbye Belly Fat

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2003

That’s written in giant red letters at the top of page two in a Prevention magazine that somehow slips into my home on a regular basis via the mailbox. It also pointed me to page 43, and disciplined as I am, I followed instructions. There, on page 42, running directly at me was this gorgeous redhead, well tanned, perfectly proportioned female with, as is the fashion nowadays, her belly button exposed. Belly buttons are the ladies’ rage nowadays, those and pumped up fronts and white teeth. This picture reeked of good health and if I could look like her I’d opt for a sex change. On page 43 was her secret. Well almost, if you want to see the top belly flatteners that take you from flab to fab you have to buy a book. I was tempted; the book price was fair enough but the shipping and handling cost made it prohibitive. So I will pass up a drum tight, sculpted midsection and live with the one that prevents me from seeing my feet in the shower.

As I leafed through the rest of the magazine I came across a few sentences that really grabbed my attention: &uot;A luscious chocolate cake recipe that will help you lose weight. I lost 100 pounds and got back into my little black dress.&uot; They showed her both ways, the usual elephantine before and the diminutive after; but no black dress. Apparently they didn’t want to show the rips and tears resulting from attempts to fight her way into it. Another lady lost 45 pounds and kept it off for five and a half years. Swell, what then, could they use the before picture again? One sweetheart claimed she dropped 55 pounds and five dress sizes. But they showed only one picture so we don’t know if it was the before or after photo and who cares?

I’m tempted to buy the book on how to program my body to burn up to 20 times more calories at rest. I do a lot of resting and my only worry is that at that rate I may disappear altogether. Another seemed even easier and less risky, &uot;Why setting small goals can lead to absolutely stunning weight loss.&uot; I’m very good at setting small goals and if I started to lose too much I could just quit setting them. But would I balloon right back up? You see, these people love to sell those books but they never provide a warranty of so many years or so many miles. Can you really believe this statement? &uot;How to lose weight fast – using the world’s easiest exercise. And the results are astounding. Virginian Sally Speir tried it and lost 46 pounds just walking to her car.&uot; I’ll bet that car was parked in Denver.

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Of course there is a book on garlic. Not only does it lower your bad cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, lower your heart attack risk, it also lowers your chances of genuine intimacy. The lady neurologist I visit must eat it with every meal. When I am due for a checkup I pick up a few mints at the 7/11 and offer them to her when she pops in the little room behind a cloud of garlic that would knock a horse down. I’m lucky that the reason I see her is a problem with my foot. When I leave, I stand in the wind for a few minutes so I won’t drag it into my car.

Suppose I told you that only two tablespoons of a certain plant extract could cancer-proof your body…erase your arthritis pain…block heart disease…end PMS…even defeat depression. Would you be interested? Not me, it’s far too late, I have experienced all of them but PMS and, hopefully, my body has built up immunity. I believe my blood could be sold as a vaccine for all those potential health problems. If I knew what it was, maybe I’ve had PMS. I hear women talking about it all the time but they never get specific. If it’s anything like shingles I’ve had that too.

They do keep you wondering about all those free reports you can get by merely detaching a postcard addressed to them. &uot;No obligation to buy a thing ever. But you must act today. You may never see this special offer ever again.&uot; That’s motivating. Subjects like &uot;Cholesterol Busters,&uot; Outsmart diabetes,&uot; &uot;The miracle of flax,&uot; &uot;You can beat high blood pressure,&uot; &uot;The wonderful peanut butter diet,&uot; and, &uot;The miracle berry.&uot; I figured what the hell, it’s free, and then I realized someone had already detached the postcard.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail at