Yes, I’m on about dieting again! One of our favourite comedians was feted by everyone when she’d lost weight, then embarrassed by being dumped as spokesperson for a diet company when she’d put the weight back on. Companies with an agenda – anti-aging creams, perfumes and dieting are always dumping people when they are considered to have let the brand down or worse still, have passed the shelf life. Yet the public sticks on its blinkers and buys into it.
I read recently that walking is the new superfood. It’s a fabulous thought, but as the saying goes, everything old becomes new again. I’ve been saying something like it for years. I’ve even written an article or two about losing weight. Who hasn’t, I hear you ask. And you’d be right. Dieting, reading about it or writing about it and last but not least, complaining about it is the preoccupation of first world countries. We alternate between gorging and starving ourselves and complaining in between sessions. We collect cookbooks and accessories and when we’ve partaken of the lovely dishes on offer we buy diet books to counteract the boating we feel later and the muffin top we’ve developed.
When we’re young we can eat what we want without paying the price and we generally do eat what we like. The guilt comes later when we find ourselves stuck with the bad habits of a lifetime and spending the rest of our lives trying to change them. But how to go about it? If you want to lose weight,’ I wrote, ‘zip your lip and go for a walk.’ And the equipment’s already in place. You don’t have to make an appointment. You can fit it in before or after work or at lunchtime. You can walk to the shops and leave the car at home. Use shanks pony to get around, your thighs and your planet will thank you for it.
If we all adopted such cheap and easy methods, we’d be putting the health industry out of business. We all know about the benefits of walking but would rather leap on the next diet pill or health drink that offers us an easy solution. And sometimes the drinks, the pills and the ab crunchers work and we get to toss out the fat clothes and finally lift the dust cover off the mirror. But it rarely lasts long because once we’ve reached our goal we are left high and dry not knowing how to proceed. That’s when dieters put the weight back with interest.
Magda Szubanski is a prime example of this post diet syndrome. Magda is an Australian comedian, an actress and a writer, well known in Australia and much liked. Even if you’re not an Aussie, you might know her as the farmer’s wife, Esme Hoggett in ‘Babe’.
Magda has been overweight as long as I’ve known her in her professional capacity. Political correctness aside, I’ve got to say that calling Magda overweight is an understatement. Magda is obese. Or was obese. I’m not quite clear on that. I only know that when she lost that 36 kilos in 2009 much was made of Magda. The women’s magazines glammed her up; hair, make up and the little black frock – she got the works. And Jenny Craig took her on as their spokesman.
Then Magda regained the weight and word was out that Jenny Craig had dumped her. I get it. If she’d stayed on there would have been questions to answer like whose fault was it that their system hadn’t worked? Magda’s for not keeping to their diet or Jenny Craig’s for not offering an aftercare program. And how much after care do you need to provide before letting go? It’s got to be the client’s responsibility some time. Doesn’t it? Still, the question remains, are those weight watcher companies saviours only in the short term? Are they and their fellow weight loss rivals offering a one answer fits all solution that is bound to fail?
Even the most spectacular loser, Oprah yo yos and she has a minder and a personal chef to look out for her. Kirsty Ally can’t keep the weight off and Jessica Simpson has problems staying stunning and they have careers and public opinion to inspire them to keep on track. What hope have the rest of us? Health issues aside, fat or thin, they and we are all worthwhile people and shouldn’t be judged on our looks. But human nature being what it is, we all judge, and are judged in our turn. ‘What a cute baby; what a shame she’s put on weight.’ And it’s strange, but we’re more likely to be convinced of something if it’s told to us by someone who looks beautiful rather than a beautiful person.
Magda seems to be an exception. I can’t explain why, but we all liked her just as much when she was fat. Being dumped and shamed might have acted as a spur for Magda to lose weight again, and Jenny Craig have reinstatae3d her. I have to wonder if this has made dieting and diet companys more credible.