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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 11, 2005 / 6 Av, 5765

A Puritan's path to weight loss and eternal happiness

By Garrison Keillor


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My plan to become slender and willowy and alluring is not working out and the reason seems to be that though I go for days and days eating only celery and RyKrisp and a soup made from birch twigs and lichen, I black out occasionally and when I regain consciousness I am crouched over the half-eaten carcass of a gazelle and my hands and face are red and sticky and I'm disgusted, of course, and yet very rare gazelle does taste good when you're hungry, and the exertion of chasing one and bringing it down does make a person ravenous.

When I tell people I want to lose weight, I wish they'd look at me in slack-jawed amazement and cry, "You? Lose weight? Are you mad? You are the very picture of slim-hipped elegance." But people don't, they say, "Have you heard about the North Shore diet?" or "I was reading something about losing weight while you sleep." So there seems to be a perception out there that less of me might be a Good Thing.

The North Shore diet involves herring and boiled potatoes and butter but it also involves rowing a 14-foot boat for hours a day in heavy swells and I don't have the time.

The sleep method uses a metabolism-enhancing drug that raises your heartbeat rate to that of an adolescent hummingbird, but it's only available by mail order from a P.O. Box in Juarez.

There are weight-loss groups one could join, such as Men Coming to Terms with Their Bodies, in which hefty fellows sit in a circle of folding chairs and drink coffee from Styrofoam cups and talk about how happy it made Mom to see her boy grow big and strong and so they ate like farmhands for 30 years and now they're not strong, just big, and before they can start becoming smaller, they need to face the risk of Mom's disappointment. There is weeping that goes on in these groups, and I am all for men weeping so long as it's other men doing it.

There is, of course, surgery. A surgeon can trim off all the wobbly parts and the scarring is minimal, nothing that can't be concealed by a turtleneck and a poncho. But strange things can happen in the O.R. I know nurses and they talk. Your bellybutton might wind up in your armpit. Your butt could come out lopsided and you'd have to wear orthopedic pants so you wouldn't list to starboard.

Probably there are legal medications that would help me lose weight easily and also make me giddy with happiness, and if I worked in a drugstore and had a long weekend when I didn't have to operate a motor vehicle, I could experiment with a few drugs and find the one that's right for me, but I don't want to be on meds, I want to rely on Strength of Character.

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That is the only way to lose weight: to look in the mirror and decide that weight must be lost and declare a white alert — no more white food — and put a zero-dessert policy into effect and rule out any food that had eyes. Mainly, you skip all the food you like. It's the end of BBQ, the beginning of BBC (braised bok choy).

There is so much that can be done with lentils! But the time to start is now. Otherwise I should plan on becoming an attraction in the carnival, lying in a tent under the sign "PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE FAT MAN. NO PHOTOGRAPHS. POSTCARDS ARE ON SALE IN SOUVENIR SHOP."

"But, good sir," you say, "food is one of life's beautiful rewards — the standing rib roast, the chocolate truffles soaked in bourbon — anticipation of the evening repast is all that keeps us going through the endless dreary afternoon on the corporate treadmill. How shall you find the strength to persevere, knowing that your supper will be bok choy?"

How shall I find the strength? Through the power of self-righteousness, that's how. I will sit with my celery consommé and undressed salad of bitter greens and look across the table at your gazelle au jus and think, "I used to be a helpless glutton like these pitiful idiots and thank you, L-rd, for lifting my feet from the miry clay and pointing me to the heights that I currently occupy." Pure airtight self-righteousness is a powerful engine. There is a bony blue-nosed bullet-eyed Puritan inside each one of us and I intend to find mine and put him to work.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Garrison Keillor’s "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country. Comment by clicking here.

08/04/05: Answering the call of the chattering classes
07/28/05: The inexorable ascent of a Harvard man
07/15/05: Reining in the dog days of summer
07/01/05: The Land of the Free and the Home of the Berries

© 2005 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.

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