I have a sort of unofficial hobby of collecting diet paperbacks — something about them fascinates me in the same way I am fascinated by infomercials.
Not only are they often unintentionally hilarious, but they have a certain formula and flavour that promises to reveal something about how marketing, emotion, and motivation interact.
So I’ve gathered a small collection over time. (I buy them used. For one thing, I enjoy the older ones for their vintage charm, but I also figure I’m doing a public service by removing them from the market, while not directly lining the pockets of the authors.) But collecting and actually reading them are two different things, requiring different moods.
Lately, I’ve found myself in the reading mood, and I’ve stumbled across some truly bizarre gems. Here’s one for today:
“About seventeen years ago a very close friend of mine said in a moment of anger, ‘Look, Blimpo, why don’t you just go over there and be fat!’ Blimpo? Me? This statement affected me as if someone had taken a big steel pot, put it over my head, and smashed it with a metal spoon.”
–Fit for Life, Diamond, 1985
There’s a lot of hilarity to be unpacked here, the most obvious being, to me, that the steel pot/metal spoon scenario would swiftly become violent reality if one of my “very close friends” talked to me like this.
But the underlying message here is that verbal abuse is a good motivator to lose weight…rather than a good motivator to administer a well-deserved ass-kicking.
Just think of all that wasted calorie-burning potential.
Share your bits of diet culture ridiculousness in comments.