Thursday, July 30, 2009

The true secret of weight loss

It occurred to me this week that the start of my journey towards a healthier weight and lifestyle began the week I also decided that I would read DFW’s Infinite Jest.

While Wallace was a great writer, and his post-modern nod to James Joyce certainly exhibits qualities uncommon in most of what passes as popular, or even literary today, I doubt that it qualifies as a weight loss product. The book sure causes some people to whine like a three-year-old that doesn't get its own way however, mostly because it forces them to use their brains in a way that TV and video games never will.

The weight loss is probably mere coincidence, although one of the common threads running through the book is addiction, and Wallace goes to great detail outlining the steps towards recovery that the book’s characters go through at the fictional Ennet House, a drug and alcohol recovery house that figures prominently in the book. It also is a place where we meet Don Gately, one of the main characters (and possibly my favorite), a former thief and Demerol addict, and current counselor in residence at the house.

[Poorly reproduced graph of my own weight loss progress, sans NutriSystem and colon detox products]

Speaking of weight loss products, I’ve taken a great interest in the NutriSystem ad, where Dan Marino touts his 22 pound weight loss (only one more than my current 21 pounds lost) eating expensive, pre-packaged foods that keep you enslaved to the UPS man showing up at your door with more expensive, pre-packaged food. I also am enjoying those bizarre ads shouting and spouting that “the real reason reason you can't lose weight has nothing to do with will-power, over-eating, or the right diet! The reason you are fat and unhealthy is because you have disgusting plaque and a horrible little ‘critter’ living in your guts!”

They then show you these disgusting photos that will make you sick to your stomach and unable to ever eat again, unless maybe you have some pre-packaged NutriSystem food set before you.

The real reason that companies like NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, and bizarre detox products sell is because American are just plain stupid!

Meanwhile, I’m saving money, looking and feeling better, not to mention taking control of elements of my own life, which is empowering, in and of itself.

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