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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Palate
by LEE GERSTEIN
2003-11-12

This article shared 2330 times since Wed Nov 12, 2003
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I first met Suzanne Somers at the same time everybody else did. I was a teen, I was horny, there was this new show on TV that threw the most sniggering and infantile sex jokes at me, and I was in heaven. Suzanne was only on Three's Company for a short time, but that's all it took to solidify her dopey blond persona into mainstream popular culture.

She resurfaced years later as a punch line for late-night comics as a spokesperson for the Thighmaster, but the joke seemed to be on all of us, when it became apparent that someone was buying all those Thighmasters, and, didn't Somers look remarkably good?

Sure, she had another sitcom with Patrick Duffy, but, these days, Somers is known mostly for her health products. Her most recent is a new diet plan, Somersize. While the Somersize name sounds like a melding between the spokesperson's name and some fitness regimen like jazzercise or aerobicize, the size portion of the program must refer to your clothing size, since no physical workout is included as mandatory in Somersize.

Now I have your attention. True, physical activity is not required, but it is certainly not discouraged. The requirements are strictly based on diet, in an amalgam of the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, and others.

Like those plans, Somersize limits carbohydrates, but is freer with them. For example, white bread, white rice, white potatoes, and, well, anything white is forever banished. However, complex carbs can be allowed, if you time it out right. Somersize demands that, if you do, indeed, enjoy complex carbs ( brown rice, whole wheat pastas and breads ) , you do so in a meal devoid of fats. That means no cheese on your pasta and no chicken in the stir-fry on top of your brown rice.

If you want to indulge your taste for fats, go for it, but just make sure there are no carbs nearby. That means you can eat your bacon ( and ham and sausage links ) for breakfast, but you'll be skipping cereal and toast.

To make the plan just a bit more difficult to follow, sugars are mostly out. No cakes and pies, but fruit is OK ( on an empty stomach ) . Sugar-free treats are OK, like the increasingly popular sugar-free ice creams that use sorbitols to sweeten their products, but beware that a small percentage experience an upset stomach from the use of sorbitols.

So, the real question is, C'mon, Somersize? For God's sake, aren't there enough diet plans around—by certified doctors and nutritionists, I might add—without the need for a TV spokesperson to thrust her own ideas on us?

No, I'm not talking about Marilu Henner, although she is also the queen of best-selling books on the subject. Can Suzanne Somers really have the key to good health?

I never thought so, but that's before I saw Dani. I first met Dani my freshman year of college. She was funny and knew how to get high like a pro and had a purple coat that resembled the hide of a psychedelic poodle. Dani was unhappy with her weight, but she really didn't have much to lose. Over the years, we stayed close, and Dani stopped getting high. She finally gave up her great purple coat ( it was time ) , and slowly gained weight. Occasionally, she might try a new diet or she would join a gym, but she steadily got bigger. Once she moved to the suburbs, we saw each other less frequently, although we were still in constant contact.

It would take some planning to get together, and we finally did seven months ago. Then, last month, we got together again, and Dani was half her size. She told me all about Somersize, and I mocked the program, but how could I not be swayed? This was the first program Dani had ever followed that allowed her not only to lose her unwanted weight, but also still feel like she wasn't on a diet.

'On a regular diet,' she explains, 'I was always hungry. All I would think about was portion size and when I could eat next. With this, I'm never hungry.'

Dani does miss a few things, like rice with Chinese food, and sushi, but says that those are easy to give up when she has everything else.

She has been on the Somersize program for five months, and has no plans to go off of it. Dani still hopes to lose 25 more pounds, but is now smaller than she was when I first met her in college. She also says she has a place in her heart for Three's Company.

For more information on the Somersize program or to order Somersize products ( flourless chocolate brownies, drink mixes, books, peppermint truffles, super oxygenated water ) , visit www.suzannesomers.com/Home/ .


This article shared 2330 times since Wed Nov 12, 2003
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