#192 ~ Rabid Lamb Comics

I’ve been noticing even more weight loss ads lately, particularly for Nutrisystem (the most annoying of all the ads – for various reasons) anyway, it hit me like a ton of bricks the other day, that if any of this crap worked, we wouldn’t need these ads.  You’d just need a couple ads.  People would try it, it would be wildly successful, and then everyone would be doing it, and then in a couple years we’d all be blissfully thin and happy and there would be no more need for the ads. 

But, supposedly we’re fatter than ever, and yet there are more ads and more diet plans and companies than ever.  Hmmm.  I wonder, is it possible that diets are not good for you?  That quick fixes and “new revolutionary plans” that are impossible to integrate into a real believable life actually set you back and make it impossible to live happy “normal” lives?  Gee.  Could it be? 

I’ve known for years that most “diets” out there are a bunch of bunk (partially through trial and error, and partially just by using my brain) but it didn’t hit me until the other day that we’re inundated by more and more diets and ads and systems and nonesense, and yet the world just keeps tell us we’re getting fatter (and of course by fatter they mean less healthy – because OF COURSE that HAS to go hand in hand with less healthy…even though it doesn’t always).  So something doesn’t add up.  Has anyone else been thinking about the math on this?

9 comments

  1. DeAnne’s avatar

    Some diets are definitely quick fixes that don’t work, but I know from experience that plans like Weight Watchers will work IF we follow the program and eat responsibly. Unfortunately, I think it’s lack of discipline of the general public that keeps the ads going on the more reputable plans rather than the plans not working. I am a terrible offender because it’s so much easier to just eat what I want when I want. Ugh! ;)

  2. TK42ONE’s avatar

    Maybe all those diets are really making us fat? Maybe it’s just all that damn good cooking and a giant TV to watch.

  3. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    DeAnne: Hey you! Thanks for commenting…but just a heads up you are are going to HATE my strip for tomorrow! ;) xo!

    Tk42ONE: I DO believe that in part all those diets are what help make us fat. By not learning how to eat “normally” and accepting our “normal” – possibly non-socially acceptable body weight – and by trying to force our bodies into socially acceptable shapes and weights we use solutions that are not healthy, that are not realistic. And then when we/it inevitably fails, we end up back in our same bad patterns and at least ten pounds heavier than where we started out…such a detrimental cycle for our bodies.

  4. elizaw’s avatar

    I think it’s because what does work (eating balanced food, learning to know when you’re not hungry, and exercising) isn’t nearly as easy as buying the quick-fix solutions. I know so many overweight people who insist on cleaning their plate even after they stop feeling hungry, who talk about needing to get out constantly but never go anywhere. I’ve seen diets work and not work in turn. In some cases there’s no help for the weight, medical problems, ect, sometimes it’s because of a lack of self-control. And sometimes, it’s because women can’t lose weight nearly as quickly as men can and comparing one to the other is discouraging.

    But to say that ‘dieting doesn’t work’ seems rather one-sided, and a little shallow. It can, for many people, but you have to do a lot more than just follow a set of directions.

    I mean, you can hardly take one drawing class, spend a week trying to sketch with a how-to book, and then declare that you simply don’t have the talent for it. It takes work, just like everything else worth achieving, time and energy beyond just counting calories.

  5. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Elizaw: Thanks for commenting. I guess I probably feel pretty one-sided about this issue (also, it’s a cartoon – so it’s half joke and not meant to be taken as a super serious stand on anything) but the half serious side of me is very familiar with this issue, and has dieted its way almost thin more than once, and to the detriment of my health.

    It’s true that eating balanced food, learning to know when you’re not hungry, and exercise are of course the way to go, but I don’t call that a diet, I call that a balanced life. And the truth is, for me in this body (and unfortunately no medical problems can be blamed), even doing those things does not equal thin (and by thin I don’t mean anorexic thin – I mean “normal”).

    My whole adult (and teen) life, by typical societal standards I have been fat, sometimes more fat, sometimes less fat, but always fat. And I’ll be honest with you, even when I was doing all of the things you listed above, and was exhibiting a VERY high level of self-control in everything that went into my mouth and ALL the excercise I was doing (to the degree that I would consider it unhealthy and obsessive) I still never made it to “thin”. This body of mine, I’ve slowly come to accept, will never be thin, not even thin-ish, and it’s very sad to have to mourn that loss, but I’ve decided I’d rather work on being at peace with that and with loving myself and what I do have than in wishing hopelessly forever to have something I just wasn’t destined to have.

    I should also add though, that this isn’t an excuse to just eat terribly and never excercise. I do believe my body has a set point weight that it’s very happy with, where I have high energy and feel good, and where I look the way I suspect this body is supposed to look, and I’m not there right now, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is depression. And depression is a tricky thing, because it’s very cyclical – is my depression caused by my unhappiness with my extra fat? Or is my depression causing me to be extra fat? Chicken or the Egg. Regardless, it’s not easy for me, which means it can’t be easy for anyone, whether they have “existing medical conditions” or not.

    However, when I think about getting back on track and achieving balance in my life again, it never involves NutriSystem, or Weight Watches, or any of that crap, because eventually that crap will fail you (if only because living that way is not a way most people can live indefinitely) and there will be nothing to fall back on except yourself…and if you didn’t figure it out for yourself in the first place then you’ll go right back where you started…usually plus ten pounds in my experience. :)

  6. k’s avatar

    Read the “Omnivores Dilemma” it’s a well written book on the history humans and food. Some chapters will leave you thinking we are our own worst enemy and forget about the government and their hand in the Amercian diet. What we’ve done to our food supply and food chain is an abomination. I don’t believe in diets either, it’s more about life choices and balance not deprivation.

  7. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    I’ve actually heard of Omnivores Dilemma…but haven’t read it. I’ll check it out…though reading this kind of stuff really ends up depressing me to no end…I end up feeling so helpless.

  8. theyetiinside’s avatar

    I’m a firm believer in the Charles Barkley (the round mound of rebound…thanks Adam) diet…not that its worked for him consistently. I’ll probably misquote him, but the diatribe went something like this:

    “People make it sound like losing weight is complicated. It isn’t. You eat less and exercise more. That’s all I did.”

    This came after he dropped about 20 pounds over 2 or 3 months. However, he quickly went back to his bad habits as well.

    Obviously its a little oversimplified in this view, but in the end its just like managing money. If you spend less then you make, you’ll be in good shape. If you burn more calories/eat less to combine for a caloric combination that is under your daily ‘required’ value, you’ll lose weight. If you don’t, you won’t. This theory has worked for me in the past, though my lack of dedication to follow through has left me fatter than ever…sigh.

  9. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Scott: I can’t believe this is MY brother saying this. I’m going to have to take you to task brother. While what you say is true to a degree – eat less and move more and you will lose weight – it’s only true to a degree and that is the difference. Would I be happier and thinner if I ate less and moved more – absolutely. Would I be thin? No way.

    So I guess what I’m talking about here are people’s bodies not being meant to all be the same. I’m talking about the effort needed to be made for certain people (me included) to be thin (maybe not even possible) is a starvation diet combined with crazy amounts of exercise…the kind of diet and exercise that are not only NOT an enjoyable (or practical) way to actually live life, but are essentially eating disorders, or eating disorders waiting to happen. 20 pounds (no offense) is not a huge amount of weight to lose, except for thin, or just the other side of thin people (or maybe athletes). Also of note is that you’ve admitted that Barkley (and you) quickly went back to bad habits and gained back the weight lost. THIS is largely what I’m talking about. It is well documented that yo-yo dieting (especially in lage amounts – probably in excess of 20 pounds – I’m guessing here) is REALLY bad for a person’s body. It causes a lot of damage over time, often more damage than just being overweight but living a healthy lifestyle.

    My point, rambling though it is, is that it’s possible to be healthy AND be overweight (I do not include my current self as an example of this). And that not everyone can be a “normal” weight and so we need to break these stereotypes that people who are not “normal” weight are lazy or doing something wrong, or man, should really not be eating that sandwich…and for people who have tried their whole lives to be “normal” weight, they maybe need to just accept reality, continue being healthy, and learn to enjoy life rather than constantly wishing themselves into a state they will never achieve. I DO include myself in that last group.

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