The Many Faces of a Dieter
The sad reality of today’s world is more than ever there is an importance being placed on being aesthetically pleasing. In a typical day you are incredibly likely to hear or see the word diet in some form of media usually accompanied by a picture of an incredibly fit man or woman. This is has become the American dream. The perfect body has become synonymous with the perfect life. Businesses want people to feel inadequate, to feel as though their dreams can’t be achieved without looking flawless. The illusion that dieting is the answer to all of life’s problems seems to be stuck in the mind of the average person. The problem with this thought is that the life or death pursuit of a diet that will fix every flaw is just unrealistic and opens up the average person to sneaky businessmen looking to sell their magic “pill” or magic “diet.” Dieters assume various disguises, but the noteworthy ones are the "bandwagoneer," the "promiser" and the "lethal loser."
Everyone wants to lose weight quickly and effortlessly; therefore, any fad diet promising overnight results becomes the new "call" of the "bandwagoneer." She tries the grapefruit diet or the watermelon diet, but after a week and little weight loss she decides it doesn’t work and eagerly begins her search for the next craze. The next day the television advertises a new wonder pill that allows the user to lose up to ten pounds in one week, and the band-wagoner acts as though she has just found the dieting Holy Grail. Although the magic pill does not produce the desired weight loss, she never gives up hope for a new "wagon" to hitch onto. She will eventually cross over the safety line into a danger zone of unknown procedures, performed by unqualified physicians looking to latch onto any unknowing physique dreamer. Obesity has a large psychological effect on an individual and some people are driven to expensive surgeries such as gastric bypass, lap band surgery, and stomach stapling. All of these surgeries in no way should be performed on the natural human body. The "bandwagoneer" is a businessman’s dream, pumping what seems like a never ending stream of money into attempts to “purchase” the perfect body.
Everyone has the friend or family member that uses a special occasion such as a wedding, a dance, or a reunion as a motivator to lose weight. Logically, it seems like a good idea to give yourself a long-term goal like that but in reality most people just wait until a few weeks before the occasion and then search for that instant cure. She is the dieter with only fifteen pounds to lose but as time goes by she arrogantly proclaims that “dieting is just not as easy or fun as eating what you want.” Some people become the “promiser” when a large life event happens that they can’t control. A pregnancy or an injury are both prime examples. The person will boastfully say “Once I have the baby” or “Once I recover I will clean up my diet and begin exercising.” The “promiser” comes in many forms and can be that “tomorrow promiser” or the “next Monday promiser.” Either way these people rarely follow through with their plans to change their unhealthy lifestyles. It is unfortunate because most people recognize this kind of dieter and usually get sick of hearing about the upcoming changes that always fall through. It is like the old fable of the crying wolf. You can only listen and support the “promiser” for song long before you disregard the “wolf’s” dieting cry.
The most unfortunate and tragic form of dieter is the “lethal loser.” She is the girl portrayed in what seems like every Lifetime Network Movie. The young lady is almost always of a healthy weight with no real need to shed any pounds. She may be the friend who obsurdly questions herself after eating half of an apple. These girls often time’s fall into a downward spiral of overeating and purging to relieve themselves from the guilt associated with eating food. To the girl the illusion of eating whatever you want and later ridding yourself from the guilt by purging seems like the perfect plan. Ultimately the girl’s habits are uncovered. Rather than admitting her problem she will defend her lifestyle like a mother bear defends her cub. This dieter analyzes the calorie content of every morsel of food on her dinner plate and decides whether or not to eat it; usually she does not, but quietly excuses herself from the table to return to her room. In her horrid lifestyle she has lost connection with reality and the fact that food is a necessity in life and nourishes the body while replenishing vitamins and minerals. Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa have both been shown to usually start out as an innocent attempt to drop a few pounds to fit into the skimpy dress. The problem evolves and eventually consumes the victim. Often times the victim is either forced into intervention but in many cases serious life altering illness or death can effect the “lethal loser.”
Every dieter has the image in their mind of the body they wish to call their own. Dieters may have very different approaches to going about achieving these lofty goals that in reality should take years to achieve. One thing each of these dieter should consider is the statement “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” So if these dieters want the body of a Roman God they should realize the time it took to sculpt such a body. The importance of the dieting game is not the goal, but how one decides to get there. It is a not a lottery, or a game of chance. A well designed diet and exercise plan is full proof. Sticking to it and being persistent pays dividends. If you consider yourself one of these dieter types, don’t panic, realize you have the power to change and that it’s never too late.