Ah, the season of diets is upon us! There have been some particularly horrendous early contenders — like the one from Nutrisystem about how much better life is for those who’ve dieted away X lbs on Nutrisystem’s diet junk food.
The common theme uniting all these commercials is to promulgate the belief that going on X diet is temporary. You just need to sign up for Y months of Hip Watchers and you’ll lose “the” weight. “The” meaning the extra stuff, above some arbitrary Thin Fantasy boundary which can be anywhere from 5% – 30% less than your current weight. After losing “the” weight you can stop the diet, resume normal life like eating how your thin husband/wife/friends eat, and exercising how they exercise.
When you actually do that? You gain it back. Plus 10%. Just in time for the new diet season. Shock!
So another round of Hip Watchers or DietJunkFoodSystem is in order. And it happens again. And again. And again.
Because there’s no such thing as losing “the” weight unless your weight gain was caused by something outside yourself. And then losing “the” weight usually just means recovering from an illness, having the baby, and so on.
Still, the idea of diets being temporary and weight loss being permanent is the most prevalent — and profitable — myth of the December 26 – February 15 diet season.
We’re told by the suggestive after-photos and testimonials that life is so much better after the diet is over. We’re aren’t told that the diet is never over. The pain, severe restriction, part-time job sweating at the gym, calorie account books, obsession over ‘bad’ and ‘good’ foods, fake diet junk food or refusal to eat whole food groups without a good medical or ethical reason, brain-fogginess of constant low-grade hunger, metabolic state of starvation even though you don’t look like you’re starving — it doesn’t end. Not after “the” weight is lost. And when we finally capitulate to a state of well-being that would be considered torture by any natural thin? — it means we’re broken .
It’s time to push back against these insidious messages, the ignorant assumption by friends and family and coworkers that losing weight is always good and definitely permanent if you “do it right.” It’s time to expose the reality of the tortuous condition of the dieting life, and that other diet called maintenance.
How? By creating an anti-diet commercial.
Ideally, it would be a foil to Nutrisystem’s most recent commercial (can’t find a link), but ultimately to any commercial that tries to sell you on how much better life is after dieting, the typical — “more energy, cute clothes, bikini body, can now climb mountains, so happy, play with kids all the time, have constant sex with spouse, etc.”
I put together a short anti-diet commercial for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Here’s my diet success story. What’s yours?
Include your anti-diet commericals in the comments, or send them to me at big dot liberty at yahoo dot com.