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Mon, July 22

Tyree: Intuitive eating: Eat your heart out, diet industry!

I'm seldom late to supper, but I am sometimes late to a topic.

Right after I encountered several news items about the growing phenomenon of "intuitive eating," I stumbled across the fact that someone (hi, Darrell!) had suggested this subject to me way back in 2006! Guess I have egg on my face. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

In case you're grasping for a definition of intuitive eating, SKEPTICS would characterize it as non-svelte quitters who just want to surrender and pack on the pounds; but my understanding is that it is really a non-dieting means of escape from the self-defeating cycle of experiencing big swings of elation or guilt every time one loses or gains six ounces.

If I've whetted your appetite, Google "10 Principles of Intuitive Eating" to learn more. You'll find that sincere adherents to intuitive eating ask deep questions such as "Aren't most diet claims too good to be true? How can I make peace with my body? What are the signals that my body is no longer hungry? How can I solve issues without food as a crutch? How can I stay active without obsessing over burning calories?"

Fans of traditional dieting, on the other hand, find themselves relegated to pondering uncomfortable questions along the lines of "I wonder where those altruistic purveyors of protein shakes, workout videos and dieting books find enough marina space for all their yachts?" or "How many delicious frozen entrees can dance on the head of a pin?"

I weighed 165 pounds when I graduated high school. I no longer do. And yet I survive without (temporarily) regaining that lanky youthful physique just so I can rush to plaster it all over Instagram. That would be about as useful as other age-defying posts such as "Still can't climb this gym rope," "Get a load of this zit" and "An upperclassman kindly yanked these BVDs up for me!"

Followers of intuitive eating are confident that with a little gentle nudging, most people can come to grips with their inner demons and genetic predispositions and gradually make LONG-TERM progress. Dieting zealots, however, don't credit you with having enough sense to walk and chew gum at the same time! (And be sure to drop and give the Food Police 5,000 sit-ups to counteract the calories from that gum, maggot!)

Bless your heart if I'm stepping on your infinitesimally-smaller-than-yesterday toes, but people who go crazy over the latest fad diet make me want to paraphrase John Cleese's defensive remark about messiahs in "Monty Python's Life of Brian." ("I know a Groundbreaking Diet to Beat All Diets when I see one. And I should know. I've followed a few!")

Can we straighten out our priorities? The world has faced menaces including Nazi Germany, Soviet expansion, terrorism, the Bubonic Plague, genocide and polio -- but we're supposed to believe that the nefarious mastermind behind all human suffering is CARBS???

Pardon me, but I just can't imagine Winston Churchill inspiring a nation with a rousing declaration of "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the cereal aisle ..."

Or MLK shouting, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the six-packness of their abs!"

Danny welcomes email responses at tyreetyrades@aol.com and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades."

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