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November 13, 2003 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-13

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine


Hello there, kind sir or madam. I
see you have a flyer in your
hand. What can I do for you?
You want me to vote for your friend for
MSA representative? Your up-and-
coming band is playing a free show this
Friday? Jesus loves me, and you want
me to come to heaven with you?
Thanks. I appreciate it. No, really, I do.

But you better just hang onto that.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I think
people should get to know each other
before they give one another flyers.
It all goes back to the "don't take
candy from strangers" mantra that was
etched into my brain at a young age. It's
a defense mechanism, really. I'm natu-
rally distrusting of strange people who

try to hand me things - even things as
seemingly harmless as candy and flyers.
At least that's how it started. Now,
it's turned into a game. Walking to
and from classes is such an unexciting
and uninspiring experience that I'll do
just about anything to make it more
interesting, and dodging flyers is cer-
tainly one way to do it.

The Gifts of Improv
8:30pm, FREE!
d Nakfd
iRackiam Auditornum
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Mass Destrucion Forum
7:00 pm, Hussey Room, FREE!

Most flyers are easy to avoid. The
majority of flyer distributors don't
have their hearts in it, anyway. A sim-
ple scoff or a "no, thank you"
(depending on your mood) will dis-
miss them. Others have more engag-
ing salesperson-personality types and
will try to appeal to you with a smile
and a slick delivery. Spot these people
and avoid them, or if they're directly
in your path, sneak behind them.
In my years here at the University, I've
gotten pretty good at dodging flyers. In
fact, only one person has ever gotten me.
I remember it vividly. It was Sept. 21,
2000, a chilly fall afternoon. I was walk-
ing on East Liberty Street. As I
approached the Michigan Theater, where
Green Party presidential candidate Ralph
Nader was speaking that day, I saw a
gentleman handing out Nader flyers.
No problem, I thought. I'll just sneak
aro nd him. Little did I know that the
man before me was a master flyer dis-
tributor. I attempted to walk behind him
as a crowd of people passed on the
other side. I thought I was in the clear
when my rival spun quickly and deliv-
ered a flyer right into my hands.

It was truly awe inspiring. I was
devastated. I went home and spent the
rest of the day crying in my bedroom.
It almost made me want to vote for
Ralph Nader. Almost.
Discussing this topic earlier this
week, my friend Scott told me that I
should take each bit of paper offered
to me from each strange person who
offers it. He said that as one of the
enlightened few, I should take it upon
myself to rid the world of flyers by
taking every one that I can. The soon-
er the flyer distributor runs out, the
sooner he or she is off the street.
But in the end, it's a matter of trust.
You never know what that person wav-
ing the flyer at you has on his or her
mind. What's in it for this person to get
her friend elected to MSA? Exactly how
bad is this guy's up-and-coming band?
Does Jesus really love me, and what's
heaven actually like? Sometimes I get
curious, but I never have the guts to find
out. It's simply not worth the risk.
- You should feel honored if Joel
takes one ofyour flyers. That means he
likes you and trusts you. He can be
reached atj.ho@umich.edu.

The Sou
Beach Di
can improi



thought I had made
a new best friend,
but the relationship
just didn't work out.
For almost two weeks

My whirlwind affair with the South I
By Rebecca Ramsey Daily Weekend Edito

ABG Communication
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(two!), I had a solid union with the South Beach
Diet. Yes, I admit it - I got involved with a fad
The basic concept of a fad diet has always
intrigued me. The sheer logic that a trendy way of
eating (or not eating) can set individuals en route
to quickly morphing into lithe beings is simply
beguiling, but these diets are not fixations that I
would normally subscribe to.
As shallow as it may seem, our perception of
body size has come to reflect what others think of
us. People draw connections between shape and
personality and, as a result, our shapes uncon-
sciously influence the way we define ourselves.
For example, someone who may be on the larger
size would probably, and unfortunately, be deemed
lazy more so than someone smaller in size.
Put simply, I have never really felt the necessity
to embark on a diet craze. Inheriting a small size
from my parents and maintaining an active
lifestyle are factors that have kept me relatively
tiny. And due to a severe and seriously schizo-
phrenic stomach condition, I have been on doctor's
orders to avoid foods that trigger my irritability:
breads, cereals, pastas and other wheat and gluten-
laced foods (foods that carbophobes on the Atkins
diet keep a 20-foot distance from).
However, when I heard about the eponymous
status of renowned cardiologist Arthur Agatson's
South Beach Diet, my eyebrows perked up. In his
book, aptly titled "The South Beach Diet,"
Agatson proposes a three-phase diet that virtual-
ly anyone can stick to for the rest of his or her
Based on the bikini hot-spot, the diet immediate-
ly rose to fame due to its magical promise: During
the first phase, you can lose eight to 13 pounds,
and most of the weight melts off of your stomach!
So, with that guarantee in mind, I said "why
not" and jumped onto the fad-diet bandwagon to
begin Phase 1.
During this two-week phase, I was to subsist on
three decent-sized meals of vegetables, chicken,
cheese and nuts. This seemed easy, since I was
already accustomed to a similar diet. I said good-
bye to fruit - a major staple in my diet - sugars
(damn!) and starches (no prob). My future looked

have no problem reac
Beach Diet ing Phase 2, the pha
inwhich you reintr
r duce fruit and who
grains into your di
(and lose one to two pounds a week), and then eve
on to Phase 3, the life-long maintenance phase.
But there's a catch: Alcohol is strictly forbid
den during the first phase. This means no sip, r
taste and while it's pathetic to admit, no fun at th
bar for two whole weekends.
Such a decree exists since alcohol has a hig
glycemic index (i.e., cocktails are easily conver
ed into sugar, but don't worry. Red wine is late
encouraged for its cardiovascular benefits) an
often leads to the dreaded beer-belly endemic.
Still, with a svelte stomach and no fear <
developing a gut, I figured that I could have
couple of drinks and not be physically affected
Therein lies the root of my eventual demise.
"One beauty of the three-phase structure of th
South Beach Diet is that you can move easily fror
one stage to another," Agatson explains in his boo
This exemplifies how the diet really can be
loyal friend: when you cheat on it and play wit
new and more entertaining friends, it will take yc
back when you come crawling on your knees.
won't judge you for your mistakes. I was able b
move back and forth between phases, and I wi
gladly tell you that I restarted Phase 1 twice -
after each weekend during my tryst the first phas
In the chapter devoted to the reasons people fa
on the South Beach Diet, Agatson describes th
dieters begin to improvise on their own. This hal
pens when people start to lose weight and the
think they can begin to cheat a little, so they hav
a cookie after dinner. This triggers the mind int
remembering that baked goods tasted great, an
dieters often fall into a daily dessert trap. I'
vouch for that - on the day I decided to resta
the diet for the second time, I indulged myse
with an oatmeal cookie, and I couldn't stop think
ing about it for the rest of the week.
In the end, my attachment to the South Beac
Diet had failed. There are many, many Agatso
devotees, which explains why his book has staye
hot on The New York Times' bestseller list for 3
weeks. However, the whole fad diet charade ju:
wasn't for me. I suppose it was because the die
has the potential to be such a good companion
but that I was not a compatible match. After al
you always crave the thrill of straying from thos
who will wait around for you.

The fad diet posed itself to be merely the mak-
ings of a good story, but as I got into the diet, I
really became devoted. I was assigned a job -
and I was going to follow it. Agatson tells his fol-
lowers "to eat so that your hunger is satisfied," so
I listened, and I ate.
He is almost completely right about Phase 1.
Not only did I agree with his claim that this phase
is "shockingly painless," but I also did not miss
the sweets. Instead, I enjoyed my newfound
"healthy" way of eating. The premise of this diet
is exactly that: If you alter the way you eat, and
thus dramatically change your blood chemistry,
you will lose weight.
After a mere four days of cashews, tuna, chicken
breast salads from Greeks,' sugar-free Jello-O and
a few soy lattes, my jeans were already feeling
loose around my waist. I was obsessed. My abs
looked more defined and I couldn't have been hap-
pier when I looked in the mirror. I thought I would



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