What Would Saviour Onassis Eat?
I need some helping saving my own ass--from irresistibly tasty treats! The holiday season has arrived, with its circuit of parties. Already I have been to two, and at each there were tables laden with desserts like cheesecake, fudge and pecan pie, as well as savory goodies like artichoke dip, meatballs, potato salad, and lots and lots of cheese. Then there's the beverages: seems we're all supposed to get good and tipsy at these functions. I'm not saying it's not fun, but I am saying I want to make it through the next three or four weeks without turning into Kirstie Allie.
I understand from a post on While You're On Your Knees that you lost quite a bit of weight with a diet based on the question, "What Would Bowie Eat?" Could you tell us more about it? I would be most grateful for any nutrition and lifestyle tips you care to offer.
Thank you for your interest in my WWBE? "lifestyle" plan. I don't like to think of it as a diet; rather, it's a whole new way of looking at consumption and the consequences. It was actually so easy to lose weight that I am tempted to gain it back just to do it again--the attention my skinny ass is getting now is well worth it.
By the way, I lost about 45 pounds. I was approximately 45 pounds overweight. So, this plan is for the slightly pudgy.
The first thing I did was look at my body and assess the damage. Then I imagined the type of body I would like to have. Of course, I picked David Bowie, even though I know I have a different body type and he has been that thin his whole life. This did not matter. What did matter was that I firmly lodged the ideal body type in my mind and stuck with it. I knew there was a skinny me in there somewhere; after all, I wore size 32 jeans in high school. Now, I wear them well in my mid-thirties.
Once you have an ideal in mind, the rest is simple: Ask yourself "What would ________ eat?" Do this with everything you consume. Now, I can't imagine Bowie eating much of anything, so in order to avoid starving, I did some math. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Everything has a price and since I am so cheap and lazy, it was easy to shed excess pounds.
BD: That sounds fabulous! But how do you choose your ideal? I mean, I find both Catherine Zeta Jones and Nicole Kidman extremely attractive and would be thrilled to look like either one. How do I choose between them?
Very interesting ladies, both very well composed, articulate and beautiful. However, they have subtle differences, for instance, in their genes. My instincts are telling me that Catherine Zeta Jones works out and Nicole, not so much. For you I would suggest the Kidman plan; it's all about "intelligent design." Nic left her loser hubby, while Cat is still married to that old guy. Also, the Kidman plan allows you to have mainstream comic appeal and be the book-smart wonder that you are.
BD: There are lots of different famous Kates, with different body types: Kate Winslet, Kate Cruise, Kate Beckinsale, even Cate Blanchett. Any comments on a "What would all the Kates eat?" diet?
The Kates are slightly more complicated, because of their various shapes and sizes. Personally, I find Winslet the sexiest of the bunch and Cruise last on the list. So, it depends on what you are going for. The "all the Kates" plan will not work for most people. Try to keep it simple.
BD: Paris Hilton is awfully skinny. How does the WWBE diet differ from the "What Would Paris Hilton Eat" diet?
Paris is thirteen and Bowie is like, 105. She will get hers in the end (literally), so don't worry.
BD: Does age matter, then? I also really like both Scarlet Johansson and Claire Danes. Would they make good role models?
Try to pick an icon with some mileage. Might I suggest Madonna, Sharon Stone or Melanie Griffith?
BD: Oh, I get it: someone who has remained attractive for a while, instead of just coasting by for a decade or two on a youthfully high metabolism. Someone who has created, as you pointed out, a lifestyle worth imitating--and done it with style.
You're cathing on.
BD: There are some specific foods I would like to ask about.
By all means, ask.
BD: How does pasta fit into the Saviour Onassis guide to good eating?
It doesn't. Pasta is one of the most expensive foods in my book. I am not willing to work off the carbs, so I just don't eat it. Also, I imagine the hell that my body goes through trying to digest paste, thick white gooey paste. Eew!
BD: I'm really hoping you'll say that although chocolate is very expensive, it's worth it, at least occasionally. Please tell me I can eat chocolate. For that matter, please tell me that from time to time, you eat chocolate too.
I do eat chocolate, but only the good stuff and only occasionally. Small amounts of a nice dark chocolate bar can do wonders for your soul. Whereas, a whole bag of M&M's will probably do more damage to your hips. Moderation is key. Also, being a snob about chocolate like I am about coffee.
BD: You mentioned knowing that there was a skinny Saviour Onassis inside you somewhere, because you were skinny in high school. In high school I was a painfully thin anorexic who occasionally swallowed ipecac syrup to induce vomiting after I ate too much ice cream. How do you avoid pulling a Lindsey Lohan and getting so skinny people make fun of you? In other words, how do you stick with David Bowie and avoid turning into Karen Carpenter?
Eating disorders are a nasty business. I admit that this plan only works if you can objectively assess your body image and see what really has to happen. Bowie works for me, in part, because I am built in a different way. Though I may never achieve "Thin White Duke" status, I can rest assured that this plan will keep me from ballooning again. I still ravenously devour large amounts of food, but now it's salad instead of nachos, so I don't feel the guilt. So often, I remember thinking: I have already blown it on cheese so I might as well eat this container of ice cream. I found that there is a line, a point of no return, triggers to my overeating-- by all means, you must identify these things for yourself and avoid them.
BD: I quite admire Johnny Depp's manly figure, which he managed to maintain even while eating all that chocolate in Chocolat and drinking all that rum in Pirates of the Carribean. What would you advise for someone wanting to try the "What Would Johnny Depp Eat" diet?
If you watch his performance in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," you will notice that he never eats one bite of candy, which I find very interesting. As for the alcohol, he was "acting" and I suspect that alcohol is only fattening if you beieve it to be so. How else can you explain all the skin and bones drunkards at the local pub? If you find yourself in an establishment that sells consumables, take a look at your fellow patrons. McDonald's is not where you spot people like Johnny Depp. I would advise anyone on the "Depp Plan" to consider the amount of calories he burns making babies with his hot French wife, Vanessa Paradis, not to mention chasing the kids around and being an international superstar. Does that resemble your daily routine?
BD: Um, not at the moment, though I'm working on it. But since you brought it up, I guess I should ask: What about exercise? I can't say I'm really fond of it. How important is it to maintaining your trim and healthy physique?
Like I said, I am cheap and lazy. If I am unwilling to exercise enough to rid my body of things like pasta, bread, cheese and baked goods, I cannot partake. It's a vicious cycle. You eat it, you become it. I can proudly say that vegetables occupy the place in my heart where donuts used to live.
Just replace things with better things. I used to love those high-calorie coffee drinks that are so popular, but now I drink tea. Around the holidays, it does get harder to be strong and we all experience temptations. Be aware of what you consume and go for a walk or do some yoga poses. I find yoga a great way to keep in touch with my body and its needs, plus I now have my ribs to admire as well as all sorts of sexy contures that have emerged from my once rotund physique. I can't say enough about awareness of what you are consuming and the reasons WHY. I was medicating psychic wounds with food. Bad move. Especially since every cell in our body is an addict. The book Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine by Candace Pert was incredibly helpful to me in my journey.
This plan is about self control, self awareness and common sense. Educating myself about metabolic processes and emotional intelligence made a huge difference. I have come to a place where I see meat-lovers pizza the same way I see a syringe full of dirty smack. Are you gonna put that in your BODY?!?! Not me. Not Bowie. Not anymore. Good luck!
BD: Thanks so much, Saviour, for sharing this specific philosophy and your wisdom in general! We all have so much to learn from you. It's a very great privilege to see you become healthier, hotter and more enlightened. I hope all three attributes continue to rub off on the rest of us.