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A short excerpt from the book...
As engrossed as we are with our own weight loss trials and tribulations, we are even more enthralled by celebrity fat dramas. Magazines, tabloids, books, TV shows and advertising are covered up with images of Oprah Winfrey, Kirstie Alley, Wynonna Judd, Al Roker, Valerie Bertinelli, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Marie Osmond, Carnie Wilson, Paula Deen, Janet Jackson, Jessica Simpson, Rosie O’Donnell, Jason Alexander, Sally Struthers, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Britney Spears, Ricki Lake, Aretha Franklin, Star Jones – I’m getting tired. We are fixated on the topic. Come on – admit it. You’ve swiped a quick peek at the horrendous celebrity photos plastered around the grocery store checkout, or tuned in to hear a famous person beg a TV show for help.
Think of all of the time, money and energy spent by them (and us) trying to get that danged scale to move, looking for that magic answer, scrambling after every new product or service that hits the market and to no avail? They try the same stuff we try: pre-packaged food programs, surgeries, trainers, public cries for help, cleanses, detox diets, pills and resignation. Hell, they even have money for personal chefs and full-blown, in-home gyms. We love that even with all their money and resources, they can’t lose it (and keep it off) either. How twisted is that?
And a ton of money is being made. Pills, teas, shakes and more to help us supposedly lose the weight; medical devices and pharmaceuticals to help us “live independently” when we don’t. Companies make money because we buy stuff. Celebrities make money because they endorse it, star in it, or write about it.
Then think about how crazy we look to starving countries. We have food everywhere – literally everywhere. Food so cheap you wonder how they make a profit. Can you begin to imagine the thoughts running through a starving woman’s head, barely able to feed her child, swatting away the flies while waiting in line for U.N. rations, a crackling TV in the background piping in an American weight-loss drama – them hoisting some poor soul from a hole in his bedroom wall because he can’t fit through the door? Starving countries rightfully must think we’ve lost our freakin’ minds.
Our insanity gave me a brilliant idea. I think I’ve landed on THE win-win solution! A non-profit foundation dedicated to temporarily exchanging obese westerners for starving, Third World citizens – all voluntary, of course. We swap one morbidly obese person (a famous one is even better) for one of those people we see on “feed the world” commercials. They each spend a year in the other’s “world,” then we swap ‘em back. The obese shed some pounds and the starving plump up. We could call it Foreign Adipose Trade (FAT) – ship the people, not the food.
Think of the money it would save! It would only cost us a couple of round-trip plane tickets. No more shipping tankers of food around the globe – just plop the starving person in suburban strip malls full of dollar menus. No more expensive gastric bypass surgeries – just hole ‘em up in a mud hut with a porridge bowl. We could also market this as “exotic travel” or “immersion experiences.” The travelers might even come back bilingual. Who knows?
I think I’m on to something. At a minimum, I think we’ve got a kick-butt, reality TV show idea. You know you’re intrigued. Who’s in?
Shannon is the founder and owner of Physix, LLC. She also writes regularly for the Ahwatukee Foothills News and East Valley Tribune. Her writings have been compiled into a fun, motivating, and pointed book: "... then just stay fat."
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