First appeared in the Platte County Landmark on January 6, 2016
Stores have had Christmas decorations for sale since October, and as they begin to take them down and put out Easter goods, there’s a small sliver of time. Let’s say it’s about three weeks long, in which it’s kind of a dead period in holidays.
That’s okay. Madison Avenue has deemed the first three weeks of January to be “Diet Days.” It’s like a real holiday, except you can’t eat carbohydrates during it and yell at your family. You’ve no doubt seen the Oprah Weight Watchers commercials and I’m getting Gold’s Gym junk mail in my mailbox every day.
The average American is fat. And that is truly a problem. But buying a gym membership or a fancy scale that uploads to your Facebook isn’t the answer, folks. And here’s the deal – you can spend a ton on books and classes and doctors. But what you really need to do to understand how to diet is ask someone like me. A fat person.Now, before you laugh this off, just think about it. I am a professional dieter. I know the Atkins Diet, the 21-Day Challenge, the Cleanse, the low calorie diet, the South Beach diet, and even the Cookie Diet. I am the king of dieting. I am personal friends with Jennie Craig. I have Slim 4 Life on speed dial, and I can tell you what a pound of fat looks like. I’ve done the power hour, counted steps, counted calories, counted waistlines and counted thousands of dollars leave my wallet to snake oil salesmen dressed as dieticians and “weight consultants.”
I’ve tried pills, and powders, and potions. I’ve done situps and pushups and treadmills and jogging and even something called “Cross-Fit” which is what people already with 1% body fat do when they get bored. I even bought a FitBit that buzzes every hour and literally tells me “get off your ass.”
Folks, if you need to know how to start a diet, ask a fat man.
The problem comes about three weeks after the diet starts. When the diet commercials give way to Super Bowl commercials featuring Doritos — the greatest food group on the planet. Oprah leaves my television and she is replaced with Bud Light models and the Burger King. If January is the low-cal month, February is the cheese dip month. March is St. Patrick’s day beers. April and May reintroduce your body to the glory that are Kauffman Stadium hot dogs. June and July are for cookouts. August and September are reserved for more beer on account of how hot it is. October is all about how many Sweet Tarts and Candy Corns you can cram in your face. Then suddenly it’s 6,000 calorie Thanksgiving dinners, candied yams, four-layer desserts (see my article from two weeks ago) and Christmas cookies left out for Santa.
Luckily, January is right around the corner where you can renew that 24-hour fitness membership from the hot blonde wearing that thong leotard and spend a good solid two weeks counting steps before you start the cycle all over again.
If you want to know how to start a diet, ask a fat man.
I just can’t tell you how to finish one.