Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book 43 of 52: Die Fat or Get Tough

People get into shape in different ways. Some like to be pulled along. Others need to be coaxed with kindness. And others want to be smacked in the face and told to stop being a stupid fat lard.

Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People, an ebook by Steven Siebold, is for the last group and no one else -- I'm not kidding. With passages like the following, you need to steel yourself if you're going to give this one a go:

"Fat women are labeled 'plus-size' to make them comfortable buying giant clothing for their bloated bodies. The underlying message is 'It’s OK to destroy your health and die young. . .celebrate your obesity and buy our giant clothes!' And fat people are buying it. That’s the power of delusion."

"People do judge a book by its cover, and a fit body shows the world you have mastered this critical area of your life and gives them confidence you are capable of conquering challenges. Fat people don’t get second looks from people of the opposite sex, but fit people get noticed.

"99% of compliance is failing."

Yikes. I'm a fit person and even I think this is harsh. Obesity is obviously a problem in the U.S., and some tough love can hep, but this wouldn't motivate me. Then again, I got back into shape with a positive yet slightly stern trainer and having to write down everything I ate for six weeks.

But if you need tough love? I might be a fit. Before you run to download the book, a few warnings:

1. People who have or are prone to eating disorders should NOT read this book. Siebold says that fit people learn to love being hungry. When I'm hungry, it means I haven't eaten enough and, given how much I run, could pass out. I tried to cut out calories and be hungry recently, and I was miserable. Learn to eat until and only when you're full -- that'll help.

2. Do NOT take the advise of cutting out pictures of who you want to look at as motivation because most people whose pictures you would cut out? They're not healthy. They're not realistic goals. Between running and walking the dog, I work out for about an hour every day. I eat and extremely healthy diet, and I feel great. But there is no way I can look like people that the "media" say are ideally beautiful. Miss California might be seen as pretty, but would I want to look like a morally bankrupt waif with fake hair, fake tan and fake boobs? No.

3. Siebold equates being fit to being happy, and that's not always the case. Some of my sorority sisters put pictures of Britney Spears around their dorm room with quotes like "Don't eat that, or you can't look like me" or "Hey, fatty, get to the gym." And look how that turned out for Spears.

4. I don't see how 99% compliance is failing. No one's perfect, and it's OK to make mistakes 1% of the time. I didn't run yesterday because I felt dizzy. That's not being lazy. That's being smart.

But Siebold has his reasons. He writes: "These are just a few of the daily negative inputs that deplete a fat person’s energy. The sad fact is, it has become so common it no longer shocks anyone. This is why I chose to be so direct with you in this book. Through kindness and an attempt to be politically correct, society has enabled millions of people to destroy their health through bad habits. The purpose of my direct approach is not to be mean, but to shock fat people back into the reality that being fat is slowing killing them."

If you think that'll work for you, go ahead and download the book -- just keep my warnings in mind.

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