OK, people, I read or hear one more iteration of “New Year, New You” and I throw a hissy fit. The world has been warned.
They can keep whatever “new” version of me it is that they want to sell me. In a package of makeup, or a new outfit, or “body-firming” undies, or some other product.
I’ve spent several decades working with, and on, the old me. And she’s just fine, ticking over pretty well, and not in need of being traded in on a new me. Sure, regular maintenance is important, and the occasional major tune-up, plus paint and buffing, but the old me isn’t going out on the lot with the other trade-ins just yet.
If you understand what I’m saying here and feel the same way about the old you, I think you will enjoy this piece just out in The New Yorker.
Unless you traded your funny bone to the devil for a pair of lifetime-guaranteed-firm thighs. In which case I fear you may post it on the front of your fridge. As an action plan. Which would frighten me very much, so please take it down if I’m going to come over to your house. Thanks.
Full text below the fold in case the link goes kaput.
Shouts & Murmurs
Looking Your Best
by Amy Ozols
January 5, 2009 – The New Yorker
People say that obesity is an epidemic in America, but I’m determined not to become part of the problem. That’s why I’ve spent years perfecting the secret to a trim and attractive physique. My foolproof system involves just nine easy steps.
Step 1: Avoid what psychologists refer to as “emotional eating.” This is hard, because many people have a tendency to experience emotions. To solve this problem, consume increasing dosages of psychotropic medications until you cease to feel emotions of any kind.
Step 2: Visualize yourself as a thin person. This is very important, because the body often takes its signals from the brain. Each time you take a bite of food, imagine that you are a thin person taking a bite of food, chewing the food, then spitting the food into a napkin, then tucking the napkin into your backpack or purse. After you’re done visualizing these things, start doing them.
Step 3: Get rid of your “fat clothes.” Keeping your closet stocked with unflattering garments will only distract you from your quest for a slender body. To complete this step, shred or burn everything in your closet, including any hangers or shelving that a fat person may have touched. Refrain from donating anything to charity, as this could cause underprivileged people to become obese, which would be unsavory and possibly even illegal.
Step 4: Refrain from consuming food.
Step 5: Surround yourself with thin people. This will naturally encourage you to emulate their healthy habits. Weigh your friends on a regular basis, then weigh yourself. Do you have a friend who weighs less than you? If so, consider gastric bypass surgery.
Step 6: Drink plenty of water. As you’ve probably heard, water functions as a natural lubricant in the body, flushing toxins and fat cells from the digestive tract. Water is also a delicious replacement for higher-fat liquids, such as milk. Try pouring water on your cereal or in your coffee. If you’re a baby, try pouring water into your mother’s breasts.
Step 7: Buy a pet. Having a pet will force you to take walks, which are a form of exercise. This is true unless you make the mistake that I made, which was buying an iguana. Iguanas walk very slowly and smell strongly of turds. I really cannot dissuade you strongly enough from buying an iguana.
Step 8: Vigorous sexual intercourse burns up to two hundred calories per hour. Therefore, if you are not currently promiscuous, it is essential that you begin “boning” immediately. Start by having sex with every person you know. Then have sex with numerous people you have never met. Continue doing this until you are thin.
Step 9: Self-confidence is the most attractive trait a person can have. For this reason, strive to love yourself and accept yourself exactly as you are. This will be difficult if you are overweight, on account of your loathsome physical appearance and compromised value system, but do your best. And, if the going gets tough, remind yourself: every person is beautiful on the inside, provided that they are also extremely attractive on the outside.