A can of Slim-Fast. The image is like a cow brand on my brand and memory. From my earliest memories I can vividly see the logo, smell the contents and feel the smooth label. No, I wasn’t drinking it but I was observing the one I admired most consuming the product of promises.
My grandma LOVED Slim-Fast. Cans of powder filled the pantry. Cold chilled cans sparkled as they lined the refrigerator door like tiny weight-loss soldiers. Bars wrapped in crinkly bold colored wrappers stuck in purse and coat pockets. Trendy, that was my grandma! She knew all the latest fashions, makeup and diet crazes. I truly believe that if blogs were a thing back in the day that she’d be storming the internet and blowing up Facebook and Instagram. When she jumped on the Slim-Fast train, it wasn’t a surprise. I wanted to be just like her ( I now see my own daughter with that same glimmer in her eye for my mom). I stole those sips of Slim-Fast like a 12 year-old boy flipping the pages of a Playboy. How good it tasted. That admiration, candy like taste along with fun-promising advertisements I was HOOKED.
As soon as I was old enough, I fell in “adult love” with Slim-Fast too. Loving it so much that during my senior year of high school it became my food of choice. The thick vanilla shake replaced my breakfast and lunch. The crunchy nougat bar goodness became the go to snack. How clever! How brilliant! I could eat shakes and candy bars that promised to make me look like a model, thin with big boobs a tight butt and bouncy hair. Bring the fake chocolate and vanilla goodness on! Why waste my time eating real food and possibly looking like a troll? At 17, it didn’t matter the grades and the accomplishments that I achieved. What did matter is that I got noticed for my appearance. >>> If only I could go back in my time machine and yank that can out of my hand while slapping some sense into my brainwashed teen mind.
My friend, Slim-Fast followed me to college. What a loyal companion. Always there when I needed her, full of only good fortunes and promises of delight. Sometimes we would fight, sometimes we would break up, but every winter, spring and summer break I ran back with open arms. Completely enthralled with the idea that Slim-Fast would make me perfect. Slim-Fast would make all my dreams come true. Slim-Fast did make me lose weight, but it was also tearing my insides a part with it’s list of foreign ingredients, not to mention causing a perfect canvas for the start of a really bad relationship with food.
During my love affair with Slim-Fast I cheated, falling into lust with calorie counting. I found it thrilling to track and control those little numbers that filled the pages of notebook after notebook. I felt on top of the world when I was able to consume less calories than the day before. I got a high when I was able to see that number dip lower and lower. But with my new found lover, my infatuation with Slim-Fast was ended. My long time companion was standing in my way. My old flame had the same amount of calories each time I picked up that can. Slim-Fast was failing me. Slim-Fast had to get out, we had to break-up. Why even drink a form of liquid calories when there were so many other things that had little to no calories??? Why not just drink coffee or suck on Life-Savers or Gobstoppers at 5 calories a pop? Why eat at all?
And so it began, a windy twisty road of self destruction and negative self-talk. All started from a brightly colored red and white can full of broken promises marketed in the perfect way.
I hate you Slim-Fast. Thanks for nothin’.