When Your Sliding Into Home and Your Pants Are Filled With Foam

Typically, I eschew processed food, not that I always eat healthy or don't indulge, I just prefer my food to be, well you know, food. Still, every now and then, I will completely go off track and eat something that I know has no business being in my body.

For instance, though we eat vegetarian in our household, when I was pregnant and past the morning sickness phase, I ate at least two McDonald's Sausage McMuffins every week, much to the chagrin of my husband who hates McDonald's and all that they represent. I don't know what it was but I couldn't stay away from them, I blame it on the bebe. You couldn't pay me to eat one now.

So yesterday, once again, I delved into the realm of questionable “food” and came home with a couple of real winners. My lunch consisted of reduced-fat Pringles with low-fat french onion dip. Just what a girl needs as her hormones shift into high gear, loads of salt and food that's slogan should be better living through chemistry. I know, not a lunch that's designed to provide me with all the fuel I need to run around after three kids. I probably shouldn't even call it lunch, more like one of the Seven Deadly Sins of Snacking.

I grab a stack of Pringles and the dip and chomp, chomp, chomp as I read the can. On closer inspection, I realize that the Pringles are lowfat because they contain Olestra. Remember Olestra? Remember any of the nifty side effects that go with Olestra? Anal leakage, fecal urgency, sharts(you know, you initially think it's just a fart, and well, it's not.) I start thinking that the Olestra side effects sound eerily similar to the new over the counter diet pill Alli.

So off I go perusing the web trying to find out if the base ingredient is the same because Pringles are way cheaper at a buck a can than the Alli starter pack which will set you back fifty bucks. Maybe the people buying Alli for weight loss can just get a couple of cans of Pringles instead. I get to the Alli website and all I can say is I don't even have to exaggerate it because it's awful all on it's own.

According to Allie's official website,

“The active ingredient in Alli attaches to some of the natural enzymes in the digestive system, preventing them from breaking down about a quarter of the fat you eat. Undigested fat cannot be absorbed and passes through the body naturally. The excess fat is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a

First, I try not to recognize anything in my toilet or anyone else's. I'm a read, go, wipe, flush, wash hands, done kind of girl. I don't spend much, well, any time peering in the bowl afterwards testing my innate pattern recognition capabilities looking for something or someone familiar.

Second, it would not please me at all to see what looks like a mini version of the Exxon Valdez spill in my pristine white bowl. Third, and this is a request to all companies, if you are referring to fecal matter of any kind in any form, don't ever, ever, under any circumstances try and favourably compare poop to food. Telling me my crap is going to look like something that floats on top of a slice of pizza brings me no comfort. Frankly, it makes me nauseated and I don't need one more thing to sully that toilet bowl of mine.

The folks at Alli™ are also kind enough to inform us about what to expect when you take this wondrous diet drug.

“The (non absorbed)fat passes out of your body, so you may have bowel changes, known as treatment effects."

Treatment effects. Doesn't that sound safe, perhaps mildly uncomfortable and routine? These treatment effects include

"gas with oily spotting, loose stools and more frequent stools that may be hard to control."

Seriously, oily spotting on your unders and a possibly uncontrollable urge to shite yourself?

In consideration of said treatment effects, the Alli team urge you to
“pick a day to begin taking Alli, such as a weekend day so you can stay close to home if you experience a treatment effect. Getting ready to travel or attend a social event, hold off on starting with Alli until the event is over."
Know why?
"You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work. You may not usually get gassy, but it's a possibility when you take Alli. The bathroom is really the best place to go when that happens."
Seriously, I love how they refer to this stuff as treatment effects. I haven't heard of any other medications that suggest I wear dark clothes, stay close to home and make sure I'm over a toilet if I get the urge to pass gas, just in case. I've never taken a drug where they pull a Tim Gunn and start telling me what to wear.
All of this for an average of 5% decrease in body mass over a one year period, which I'm guessing could probably be attributed to subconsciously making better choices as far as food and exercise go because you're amped in general to be making progress.

I'm thinking that unless you're hundreds of pounds overweight and don't leave the house anyhow, making it not at all inconvenient to stay close to home, maybe one should avoid this Alli and just eat less and exercise more

As for me, I ate my small stack of Pringles and tossed the rest. I wasn't up for seeing what would happen if I went through the whole can.

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Mrs. Case said... September 8, 2008 at 10:25 AM  

You're like the fiftieth person to blog about the dreaded Alli. I find it hilarious to read people's reactions when they encounter this stuff.

Seriously, who is desperate enough to imbibe this stuff? Actually, I have a friend who did and I swear to you, I could tell when she was taking it and that's all I'll say.

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Bimbo Baggins said... September 8, 2008 at 11:40 AM  

LOL, I almost died when I read the title.

When you're sliding into third and you feel a little turd...

Anonymous said... September 8, 2008 at 6:04 PM  

That is some scary shit, but it's just one in a long line of scary over the counter diet pills. If you're trying to lose weight by buying crap at the pharmacy, chances are that a few "treatment effects" are going to be the least of your concerns.

Nice label reading!

GirlGriot said... September 8, 2008 at 7:30 PM  

I remember those wacky Olestra ads ... the way they blithely mentioned the inability to control your need to take a crap ... practically sang about it as little animated characters danced across the screen in some odd king of Saint James Infirmary boogie. Yeah. I remember thinking then they the pharm companies think us fatties are unbelievably desperate and stupid. Please. I'll take my excess adipose tissue any day over any of their 'treatment effects.' Great post!

Anonymous said... September 8, 2008 at 8:34 PM  

A shart? Like as in shit-fart, that is funny, I haven't heard that before.

All the diet crap is bogus, when Kirstie Allie and Sally Struthers are svelte, I'll know there's something out there in pill form that works.

Laura said... September 9, 2008 at 5:48 AM  

I remember when Olestra came out and I made one of those mental notes I had to remember, never to forget, to never, ever, ever eat it.

I am linking to your blog in a post about my recent self waxing disaster.


Sandi said... September 9, 2008 at 7:05 AM  

I keep seeing Alli on display in my pharmacy and wondered what it was all about.

Mental note--don't go near the Alli.

Bluestreak said... September 9, 2008 at 9:44 AM  

Oh maaaaaaaaan. I am the same with fecal examination. When I went to Germany I was shocked by their toilets which have a sort of shelf-like thing in them for examining stool. WTF???

MJ said... September 9, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

Don't worry. Most of the side effects from Olestra only happened after people ate at least three large bags of chips containing the product. You really have to consume a lot.

I couldn't imagine being on Alli. I would probably lose weight from fear to eat. My friend's mom is on it though, and she swears by it. She's lost quite a bit of weight.

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