The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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Wheat belly, part 1: I'm beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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Sandra Tsing Loh loves the name of her new book.

What did YOU get for Christmas, or any other end-of-the-year holiday involving gifts?

I got something that was as exciting as getting a Tonka truck set.

It was the Number One New York Times best-selling book - which, granted, I bought for myself in the bookstore - called...

Wheat Belly.

Wheat Belly!  Isn't that a great title?   Wheat Belly!

I was elated to find it, and here's why.

End of the year, I knew I'd been kind of lazy about my eating, as a distracted working parent - I mean, the Orange Chicken the KIDS love, probably not a good idea - Half of their onion rings, after that show - ?  Barbeque Kettle Chips, end of bag - We frequent dieters KNOW what we're supposed to avoid, but one gets bored of learning the same lesson over and over again - "Can't eat bread, can't eat bread - "

So, you wake up one morning and think, "Perhaps the Bread Gods have ALSO gotten so tired of this routine they've gone on break, so perhaps today is the day when - just for laughs - I CAN eat bread!  Look at all this bread here on the counter, for my kids' sandwiches - And here, lazy me, in between driving them to school and servicing the car and keeping up with my email and handling LIFE, I forgot to go to three different specialty grocery stores to stock up on turkey and avocados and omega-three-rich proteins and - and FLAX SEED, whatever that is.  And, here I am quite hungry and... Toooast.  Yumm."

It's not that I'm TRYING to get fat.  It's just that I was busy - So, I made my daily run a little longer, to offset that piece of whole wheat toast - !

But then, one laundry day, I reach for my "fat" jeans and -

Not only can I not button them, it's like there's no connectivity between the two poles of the pants - No magnetic attraction - No hope of closure -

A totally new phenomenon, I can now take my own love handles into my hands, like folds of dough, and literally knead them -

It's almost cause for wonderment!

I think back to Anchorman ONE, when Ron Burgundy says to his dog Baxter: "You pooped in the refrigerator?  And you ate a whole wheel of cheese?  How'd you do that?  I'm not even mad... that's amazing."

One's massive jiggling torso IS such an astounding and mystifying natural phenomenon, how satisfying to know not only does it merit a name, it's a national phenomenon, and Number One bestseller!

Next week: Two slices of wheat bread are worse than two tablespoons of pure sugar.  Word!