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Jewish World Review Jan. 11, 2002 / 27 Teves, 5762

Bob Greene

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Consumer Reports

If your latest diet plan has gone to pot . . . -- FEELING a little hefty?

Is the scale telling you that you're 10 or 15 or 20 pounds in the wrong direction -- and is your mirror telling you the same thing?

Help is on the way. Right here. Today.

The diet industry is one of the largest in the United States. Books, clinics, medication, audio and video tapes -- millions upon millions of dollars are spent each year by people seeking help in trying to take off pounds.

As often as not, it doesn't work. The money gets spent--the pounds stay on.

But today, absolutely free -- unless you count the cost of this newspaper -- I will present to you the most brilliant and foolproof diet ever devised. It works -- it really does.

There is no purchase of a book involved, no visit to a physician, no pills or shots or inspirational tapes. All you have to do is read this column -- and be willing to invest a little willpower.

The diet is the Regine Schottenstein Diet.

Don't search your memory trying to recall the name. You've never heard it before -- the Regine Schottenstein Diet has never been featured on a TV talk show, never been printed between hard covers, never been recommended by a celebrity.

Regine Schottenstein was a wife and mother in the town where I grew up. Wife of Harold, mom of Jimmy and Terri and Eddie. Lived on Roosevelt Avenue, at the corner of Plymouth.

I'm not certain whether she invented the Regine Schottenstein Diet, but she popularized it among the women of the town, and some of the men. They thought it was a stroke of genius, because it was.

Ready? Do you really want to lose that weight?

All right. Here we go.

Step 1: Go to the grocery store. Buy anything you want -- including all the snacks that appeal to you.

Cookies, potato chips, cupcakes, cheese, ice cream, sugared soft drinks, candy bars, onion dip, muffins . . . the more the better. Load your shopping cart with it.

Got that? All right, take all the food home and put it on your kitchen shelves and in the refrigerator. You are now ready for . . .

Step 2: Take the biggest pot you have in your kitchen, and place it on top of the stove. No need to turn the stove on.

Step 3: Throughout the day and evening, any time you feel the urge for a snack, grab one of the calorie-laden items you have bought at the grocery.

Throw it into the pot.

That's correct -- just toss it into that big pot on your stove.

Keep doing this, all day and all evening. Before you go to bed, look into the pot.

See all that food? That's what would have been in your stomach, had you not tried the Regine Schottenstein Diet. You wonder why you can't lose any weight? Just stare into that pot. Look at all of that. And it would have been inside of you.

Makes you kind of sick, doesn't it? That's a lot of junk, isn't it? Don't you feel good -- seeing it in the pot, instead of feeling it in your gut?

This requires willpower for the first two or three days -- those are the days when it is most difficult not to eat the food. But after that, a sense of pride kicks in -- you grab the food when you have a craving for it, you throw it into the pot instead of into yourself, and you feel great satisfaction every time you glance at the pot -- brimming with Oreos, melting ice cream, soggy muffins, quarts of soda pop, gobs of cheddar, islands of crackers . . . all of which would have been bloating you.

Had it not been for the creativity of Regine Schottenstein.

Is this expensive? Yes, the food costs money -- but not as much as a professional diet program. Is it wasteful? Theoretically, yes -- in a world with too much hunger, there is something a little discordant about throwing food away. But come on . . . you weren't going to donate that food to the needy, anyway. You were going to gorge yourself with it. Better the pot than you.

So there it is. It's the easiest diet plan in existence, and -- if you stick with it -- the most effective. That overflowing, disgusting pot becomes your coach -- every time you look at it is a pat on the back. By the end of each day -- staring at that garbage that would have gone into you -- you feel like a champion.

See you on the skinny side. Don't thank me. Thank Regine.

JWR contributor Bob Greene is a novelist and columnist. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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