Please Don't Pass the Rice

"When I graduated from college, I decided to stay at home and be lazy. I had just spent the last 24 years of my life laboring away in schools and doing odd jobs during my spare time. I thought I deserved some self-imposed house arrest, except if I were to go out purely to have some fun.

“So for more than six months, I was basically at home and the most rigorous task I did was cleaning the house. I rediscovered my mom's mouth-watering dishes and desserts, and did not think of ever getting some form of exercise. I would also go out with my friends on trips to the mall that would usually end up in a hamburger place or an ice cream parlor that didn't help my case. Before I knew it, I had gained 20 lbs in three months.

“My body type always leaned towards average, I was never skinny or fat, but this was absolutely the heaviest I had been. So I thought of going to the bookstore to find something to help me lose the extra poundage. Among all the books I found in the shelves, one caught my eye. It was a small and relatively thin paperback, and if I remember right it didn't cost me more than $10. But it was the title that really stood out. On large bold letters across the front cover, I read Please Don't Pass The Rice. Coming from an Asian family that considers rice a staple food in the house (and even when dining out), I realized this is exactly what I needed! So I whipped up some additional art supplies, and paid for my purchases including this diet book with the interesting title.

“I thought the book would be perfect for me, and I was right. It was designed for people who eat rice on a regular basis. Rice, as we all know, shouts carbo like no other. And from there we get the extra insulation, the stored fat that we all abhor. Its main thought was dieting in such a way that you prevent yourself from eating what you have grown accustomed to eating. And that will of course prevent you from eating too much, as you don't attack your meals with your usual enthusiasm.

“The thing is that's all it really stresses. Eliminate rice. I could still eat bread, although I don't really eat as much of that as I did with rice. Eliminate that which regularly composes your meals. It changes your entire attitude towards your meals, and it doesn't starve you to death. It was very hard to do, yes, but my family helped me with the process all throughout. They would keep the rice placed on the other side of the table, way out of my reach. Sometimes I would not eat together with them on meals, and opted to eat alone so I don't salivate over their food.

“At first I did the diet alone, but after a couple of weeks I began to see some tiny changes in the way I fit my clothes (I was practically bursting from my jean seams at one point), and I figured why not do some exercise as well, so I don't end up with hanging skin on my arms, legs, and tummy. So I would walk and jog around the three-block radius of our neighborhood in the late afternoons. I found that I liked doing it in the afternoons as opposed to mornings when I had a very hard time of even getting out of bed.

“After six weeks on the no-rice diet and my walking-jogging trips, I was back to my original weight. I have since moved to another city for a job, and now live on my own. I don't eat as much rice now as when I was living at home, but I use the same principle whenever I feel the need to curb my food intake and prevent myself from gaining weight, or lose some pounds I recently put on. Eliminate that which regularly composes your meals. It is such a simple and basic scheme, but it is brilliant."

— Yuppy in Alhambra, CA

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