Bring me carbs, fats and falafel &mdash Im dieting

I have started a diet even though I have no need to lose weight. That is, of course, if I put one leg on the scale and support myself on the wall with the opposite hand — then I weigh the same as I did on the day of my release from the army.

I started the diet for health reasons. I have been experiencing shortness of breath recently, especially when I try to button my pants. As soon as I finish the diet I am going to make millions. I am going to open a men’s clothing store where all the pants are marked “size 32” — no matter how big they are.

I am sorry I went off topic. I have been doing that a lot lately, suffering from a lack of concentration. While I am writing this column, for example, I am really thinking about fresh rolls. Nothing complicated — a large roll, sprinkled on top with sesame seeds, and inside, soft butter and thick slices of cheese topped with thinly sliced tomato.

There is really no problem with me eating the roll.

Millions of people in the world eat rolls like this every day and stay as thin as they were before. They like to tell people like me that they “burn a lot of energy,” which tells me that in their eyes I am not only fat, I am also lazy.

I’m not mad at them. Quite the contrary. It’s not their fault that they were born with the gene for thinness, just as it isn’t their fault they were born stupid.

Scientifically though, they are right. Thin people have what is referred to in the medical jargon as “high metabolism.” While they are chewing their food, their body is rapidly breaking it down into starches, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and acids.

My body breaks food down with the speed of a chair.

“Hey,” the food whispers to itself going down, “here’s his waistline. Why don’t we park here for 20 or 30 years?”

I am not jealous of thin people. It’s just too bad they will never understand my struggle.

If, for example, I actually eat that sesame seed roll mentioned earlier, the one I know is sitting in the breadbox in the kitchen underneath the camouflage of yellow napkins placed there by my partner, may she live a long life, I will gain three pounds exactly.

The reason I know this is that in the last week I have shed exactly three pounds. That is how much a week’s worth of self-denial and rice cakes is worth: Five minutes of nighttime bingeing, hoping no one will wake up.

That I am afraid of getting caught is the outcome of the first week of dieting, when I made the classic mistake — I told everyone.

“No, thank you,” I replied in a slightly superior tone when offered a piece of the chocolate cake, “I am on a diet. You know how I am — when I decide something, that’s it, I can’t be moved, not even by a tractor.”

Tractors, by the way, are used to harvest wheat in the fields, and from that wheat they make sesame seed rolls …

Where was I? Oh, I was in my study but for some reason I am standing in the kitchen, in dangerous proximity to the breadbox. Quick, back to the study!

In order to enable my family to bypass me without a motorized vehicle, my dietician gave me an amazingly varied menu the first week, consisting of green

veggies and a lot of lowfat white cheese spread.

I went home with a sour face but I followed his orders. I lost three pounds in a week. “You look great,” said my partner, may she live long, in a feeble voice. “Truly, I see a difference.”

Of course no one can see a difference. How can anyone see a loss of three pounds on the average Israeli guy with the rank of staff sergeant?

Actually, all the way home I wondered how much weight I would gain if I stopped for a small shwarma. Mathematically, if the shwarma weighs 10 ounces, how could I gain more than that?

I can. The shwarma only looks like a shwarma. It’s concealing the tehina, two pitas (because the first one ripped) and the small, halvah-filled pastry I grabbed on my way home in order to alleviate all concern of a serious dip in my blood sugar levels.

In other words, a diet is something that works wonderfully until the day you stop it.

The pounds, in the meantime, sit on my back porch and ridicule me. As soon as they get the sign, they quickly attack you and bring along their friends.

The second week of a diet is the true test. That’s when one can take it easier. So I begin an intensive aerobic exercise program of shouting at everyone who passes by.

It’s not that I was aggravated; I just was low in serotonin. For our tiny-waisted readers, I will explain that serotonin is the hormone secreted by the brain that controls our moods.

A lack of it leads to depression, fits of anger and recurring nightmares of the Pillsbury doughboy chasing and trying to trample me. There is only one natural source of serotonin: carbohydrates.

For those who do not know how to differentiate among the vitamins and minerals, Rabbi Yehuda would say: Carbohydrates are tasty; everything else is not.

The dieticians tend to explain to their miserable clients that the human race was not meant to eat processed food.

Our forefathers ate only meat and fruits and vegetables. Because of their diet they remained svelte until they died at the ripe old age of 25.

“You know what,” May She Live Long said after finding me in the kitchen sniffing the sesame roll with great pleasure, “you can eat normally at the Passover seder.”

So at the seder I ate like a normal human being, in fact like two or three — and now you can start to read this column from the beginning.

Yair Lapid is an Israeli journalist and columnist for, where this article previously appeared.