Back In The System

Posted: Friday, August 28, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Well, here we go..I’m on yet another diet.
This time, it’s one that’s worked better for me than any of the others in the past; Nutrisystem.
I know..that prepackaged stuff ain’t the real world, but I’ve got to do something before that day arrives when I’m standing in the kitchen scooping out a dish of strawberry cheesecake ice cream and plop to the floor clutching my chest.
I probably wouldn’t have tried Nutrisystem again had it not been for my step daughter Brenda having a couple months supply of food left over which she was willing to part with from her own successful experience on the diet.Linda was kind enough to clear a couple shelves in the hall closet for part of my diet food stash.
Back in the early 80’s, Dave Dedrick and I managed to keep our weight sort of under control by holding contests in which we’d bet five dollars for every pound we’d lose each week. We held regular weigh-ins on a scale that was kept in the same Keloland prop room where he changed into his Captain 11 uniform every day. Sometime in the 80′s when the Big News team wasn’t so big.(L to R) Jim Burt, Me, Steve Hemmingsen and Dave Dedrick
Money, as it turned out, was a great motivation and I recall winning a few bucks each week until Dave decided we were thin enough. 
I was only about 20 pounds overweight back then and my metabolism was still in high gear but within a few months of calling off our bet, the pounds started piling back on..for Dave too. 
That’s when Nutrisystem came calling..approaching Dedrick first.
 If he would agree to do some commercials for Nutrisystem, they would give him the food for free. 
Back then, the bosses at Kelo were all in favor of letting their on-air personalities shill spots especially when it meant raking in lots of extra  advertising revenue which these ads certainly did! 
The pounds just fell off the Captain and within a few weeks he was recording commercials which featured the famous line, “Have you seen me lately?” It showed a before picture of big fat Dave followed by the smiling handsome svelte guy he had become thanks to this magic diet.  It was one of the most effective ad campaigns that ever ran on Keloland and business at Nutrisystem soared. 
 I was never asked to do any commercials..but Nutrisystem invited me to try the program for free anyway..twice!
Unlike today where you just order your food over the phone or on-line and it’s delivered to your house….back in the 80’s Nutrisystem had little clinics set up in strip malls all over the country. I think they each had to have at least one nurse on staff..plus a doctor’s okay was required to start the diet.
You picked up your food right there at the store after your weekly weigh-in and counseling session. They presented you with a glass marble for each pound you lost which you then plopped into a big fish bowl on the reception counter in front of everybody. Kind of childish, I suppose, but effective. (The most marbles I ever got in one week was six and I made sure they made plenty of noise when I slowly dropped each one into that bowl.)
Nutrisysystem Customers were also required to go into the restroom and pee on one of those urine testing strips then hand it to the nurse to see if all the colors were kosher. After a while you learned to make darn sure you “had to go before you went” to avoid long embarrassing stays in the toilet trying to muster up a significant amount of moisture to at least dampen the strip enough for an accurate reading.
I lost about 20 pounds the first time I was on the program. After a couple of years, that was all back plus a lot more so I took it more seriously on the second go-round and dropped 46 pounds.
It’s taken me 20 years to gain that all back plus 40 more..so before Linda finds me tipped over in my soup one day, I’m giving it another try.
It’s going to be a tough go, though, since we’re leaving on our 10 day tour of Canada in a couple weeks. I’m really going to try minding my P’s and Q’s during the trip so I can get right back on the program when we return.
I sure wish those Nutrisystem commercials featuring Dave Dedrick were still around for motivation.
Come to think of it, I haven’t “seen him lately.”

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