NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

A fat weight loss expert

While shopping with a friend, Ingrid, she said that someone walked into the store that looked just like the big shot of a famous weight loss company who was in so many of their ads and commercials that she seemed to be the face of it. I won't name her or the company; I'll call her Lisa and the company Blubber Burners (if there actually is a Blubber Burners, I'm not referring to them).

Ingrid rarely comments on the appearance of others, so I was surprised by how animated she was about Lisa, whom she termed “heavyset”—a term I'd never heard her use. Initially I wasn't paying much attention because a young girl, perhaps age 8, had just run into me as if I were invisible. The impact was sufficiently severe that I worried what it would do to my neck, now fragile after breaking it. Once I ended my post-impact check to see if I were OK, I finally turned and saw Lisa, dressed in tight-fitting clothes that were stretched around mounds of blubber, especially on her butt, hips, and thighs. I wondered why anyone that fat would wear anything that tight. Was she training for the BEFORE picture in an upcoming ad?

The man with her wasn't what I'd call slim, trim, or in shape. Googling Lisa turned up images of her with a man who looked just like him, reinforcing my belief that the out-of-shape people standing in front of me were indeed linked to Blubber Burners. Based on a striking facial resemblance to Lisa, I surmised that a young woman (late teens to early twenties) who appeared to be with them was the granddaughter, who hadn't spent enough time at Blubber Burners. If Lisa was heavyset, the youngster was huge, with everything from her face on down appearing to be overly inflated.

I once was so fat I couldn't see my feet when I stood up, so I have in-your-shoes empathy for folks with too much blubber. Consequently, I don't enjoy picking on people with too many pounds. But still—Lisa has made a mint selling her weight loss ideas to others, and she has Ingrid (who is almost oblivious to blubber) raising her eyebrows in surprise? When our own weight loss experts need more expertise, it isn't surprising that Americans are so overweight.

me in 1990
Less than a year after being a blimp, I looked like this
without any dieting, hunger, drugs, herbs, or surgery.
Evidently not very much sun, either! :-)

I saw the same thing in 1997 when I attended a health conference in Las Vegas and saw a physician famous for fitness and nutrition look like an over-nourished Santa Claus, sporting a tightly stretched pot belly that made me wonder if he were pregnant with triplets a year past their due date.

UPDATE April 2016: One of the most prominent doctors on television, who lectured us for years on the hazards of obesity, is clearly chubby but not as alarmingly obese as his fifth-grade son. I won't name the doctor or who he works for to spare the child, who is so fat he is headed for an early grave. His father should realize that, and if he had any weight loss magic up his sleeve, put those tips to work on his son, whose body manifests how little practical advice the doc knows. When doctors can't help themselves or their families, can they really help you?

Notes:

  1. My brother said that Lisa came into his store and he couldn't stand her because she was pushy, arrogant, and self-centered, evidently thinking that because she was a big shot, she should be waited on before other customers.
The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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