I drove to my local gym and had to skip my normal work-out routine because there was absolutely not one spot to park. Then I went home and turned on the TV to see young bronzed bodies jumping around to an old Ace of Base song playing in the background. The red and black Bally’s Total Fitness cursive “B” logo came across the television and a man announced the new 30-day trial promotion.
It seems that after every Jan. 1 and weeks before warm weather, a sudden burst of body consciousness becomes an epidemic. With the temperature rising to the seventies, tiny bikinis and shorts are being brought out of closets and are ready to actually be worn.
This should be ugly since new statistics reveal that a startling majority of American adults are overweight or obese. More than six out ten people in America are overweight. Sure, the McDonald’s drive-thru is constantly in motion, but is this statistic a reality?
Although females don’t have an 18-inch long Scarlet O’Hara waistline anymore, why are the larger sizes always on the clearance rack if more than half of America is so large?
In the late 19th century, Reverend Sylvester Graham, creator of the famous Graham cracker, lectured that gluttony not only led to “sinful sexual practices but also to such maladies as constipation and indigestion.” But on the flip side, “pleasantly plump” was “fashionable” and “a sign of success.”
A hundred years later, a new gym pops up every couple of months. People are drawn to fad exercise phenomena that A-list celebrities do, such as yoga or “strippercise”. Who knows what diet to follow when there are so many to choose from: South Beach, Atkins, Dr. Phil, the Cabbage Soup Diet; take your pick. The South Beach Diet, written by Arthur Agatson, became a New York Times Best Seller that has sold over five million copies.
Who are these authors whose names are made famous after creating new diets? They are just cashing checks from books that will soon be sold at a yard sale for twenty-five cents apiece. Who can go on eating nothing but cabbage soup for months or never have a piece of bread or some sugar? Is this a temporary fix to weight loss?
Dr. Atkins, creator of the popular “Atkins Diet,” died after a nasty fall. The Wall Street Journal reported that the 6-foot tall Atkins weighed in at 258 pounds, which according to body-mass calculators would be obese.
As the summer comes closer, perhaps a few vacant parking spots will open. Until then, I’ll be taking jogs around the block, watching my food groups, remembering that everything can be eaten in moderation, and that no new diet fad is necessary to stay in shape. Only using common sense will help me and others look fabulous this summer.
Rachel Summers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.