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I Lost 15 Pounds on the Liz Taylor Diet

by Zaphra Reskakis

              In the '50s or '60s Tom, an OR nurse I worked with in the hospital, said ”Wow that Elizabeth Taylor, man, she had the most beautiful eyes, they were purple or violet, whatever, never saw anything like that before but, man was that some crazy gal.”

               I looked up from the order I was filling for his OR cart  and asked, ”Why?”

“Well whenever she gained a few pounds she flew here to NY and got admitted to our VIP ward, and they put her to under for a few days. She had 24 hour RNs monitoring her in her suite. They slept and ate gourmet meals, and they set up an  IV with Dextrose and nutrients.”

Now I admit, Tom was a great storyteller but whether that could be done, well, my answer about those days and medicine is: yes. Too often, all you needed was the right connections and the money. Regulations were not as strict then.

Case in point, until he was arrested and after making tons of money, Dr. Feelgood was the darling of the entertainment world. He would come to the house or hotel  and give injections of his “vitamin stimulant” so the entertainer could stay energized all night until early morning. Then, as needed, Dr. Feelgood would come back and give his “vitamin sleep” injection. 

Since both Tom and Liz are gone and I wasn’t there, I can’t vouch for the veracity of Tom’s assertion about the actress, but I did lose 15 pounds during twelve months of the pandemic.I call it the Liz Taylor diet or method because I slept.

During the pandemic, because of my age, I have stayed home; no work, no church, no shopping, an occasional doctor’s visit by taxi. I have been sedentary and very lazy, but I have also been sleeping and sleeping. By the time I wake up and get myself together, it is afternoon and I eat a late brunch, usually a piece of toast with cheese or lox and a cup of coffee. By the time I get my mail, check email and Facebook and check in with family by phone, I need another cup of coffee.

It is also time to prepare dinner: chicken, beef, lamb, or pork and potato, rice, bread or pasta and a salad. It is now between 8 and 10, depending on the complexity of my dinner. Since I am doing nothing all day, the portions are much smaller than I was used to. I eat, and I get sleepy. But, in an hour or so, I have my second wind, I have a piece of fruit, a slice of brioche or not and another cup of coffee. I watch TV, read or write. I look at the clock and am surprised that is past midnight, sometimes even as late as three. I go to bed, fall asleep but am up every 2 or3 hours because I have to go to the bathroom. In nine to eleven hours, I wake up and get back on the same proverbial wheel.

I would not patent my method but, it has worked for me. And it beats the snake oil methods for losing weight as cited in the book “Nostrums and Quackeries.” Prior to the FDA ,they sold lye to be used in the bath to melt fat and tapeworm larva capsules so that you could “eat all you want and still lose weight”.

Editor's note: Thanks for sharing this, Zaph. I know that many of us are on odd diets, but I don't know of anyone who admits losing weight them. All of us little old ladies don't go out much, and have the oddest sleep habits. We're not bragging or complaining, it's just what is happening. I will be interested to investigate what happens to us when we are once again allowed the roam freely. I'm betting that we just might have grown accustomed to this new kind of lazy but cozy life.

Between us, I don't miss a lot of the outings, restaurant breakfasts and lunches, coffees, shopping trips, all that stuff. I'm quite happy at home.                            

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