Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Friends’ support outweighs diet pill desire

Cupcakes and friends are a much better cure for a bad day than diet pills. (AP Photo)

One of my friends and I booked our spring break trip to Hawaii less than a month ago. I was so excited about lying around on a beach in Maui until I realized one important thing: I no longer fit into my bikinis. My days of eating baguettes and Nutella while I studied abroad in Paris last semester have come back to bite me in my now flabby ass.

Accordingly, my friend and I started a physical revolution in our house — 25 days of fitness.

We started our challenge with — you guessed it — 25 days remaining before we are en route to paradise. We decided to go to the gym or do Jillian Michaels’ yoga workout every single day. Our motivation? One of our housemates has taken a picture of us every Thursday to visually track our progress.

At first, many of our friends thought this was kind of silly. They doubted how serious we were about our personal challenge. But then one night we went to the 24-hour gym where I am a member at 2 a.m. to prove our serious commitment. There’s something about the looming threat of pictures of my less-than-flat stomach being posted all over Facebook that makes me want to workout even harder.

However, being a full-time student and having an internship makes it a bit difficult to go to the gym every day at a reasonable time. And, of course, since spring break is right around the corner, midterms need to be studied for.

This left me in a bit of a conundrum. Here we are, with spring break fast approaching and my stomach is still not as flat as it used to be. So, my insecurities and I drove to GNC in Quaker Bridge Mall to talk to a man who looked like he could throw me across the mall. His advice was to take a pharmacist-formulated dietary supplement to help me burn an extra 300 calories a day. He also told me to eat nothing but salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then he gave me a multivitamin to take because the dietary supplement would rob my body of its nutrients, he said.

Five minutes, $60 and one GNC Gold Card later, I left the store feeling like I was on top of the world. Until I told my friends about what I had done, that is. They berated me with facts about how unhealthy and unnecessary these pills are, and how beautiful I am.

This lasted until I received a text message from one of my housemates that was intended for another housemate. “I won’t tell you where I put them if you don’t want to have to lie to her,” it said. I realized that they were planning to hide the pills from me.

Instead of appreciating their concern for my health and safety, I did what any self-absorbed delusional person would do: I flipped out. I left the house without speaking to them and didn’t return until one of them texted me an apology.

After a few very hungry, jittery days, I can now honestly say that diet pills are stupid and I am swearing off them for good. More than that, I can honestly say that I have some of the best friends ever. I know that spring break is going to be awesome no matter how I look. I’m not going to let a muffin top get in the way of my lazy beach days or luau-filled nights. More importantly, I don’t need some stranger in GNC to prescribe me pills to make me feel better about myself — my friends and some homemade cupcakes can do that. Besides, I’m going to Hawaii, damn it! What more could I ask for?

Alyssa Mease can be reached at



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