Canadians spend an approximate $7 billion dollars annually, trying to lose weight.
It’s almost enough money to buy every person in the country one Big Mac every single week of the year.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of different weight loss products at market – protein bars, diet shakes, powered supplements, appetite suppression pills, calorie free drinks and fat reduced potato chips.
There are programs you can subscribe to, groups you can join, gym memberships, personal trainers, surgical options.
Even thinking about it is enough to make a girl hungry.
And not thinking about it isn’t an option.
The need, ways to means to shed those pounds is constantly in our face. And the overwhelming majority of marketing for these schemes is aimed at women.
Or is that just me?
Click one social media ad for “flattering” swim wear and thereafter you are bombarded by promotions for one-day liposuction treatments preformed by board approved surgeons.
Full-figured disclosure, there was a time when I tried every diet making the rounds.
South Beach, Atkins, the Belly Fat Diet, the really regrettable cabbage soup diet, no-carbs, all carbs and plain old counting calories.
Been there. Failed at that.
More than once I was on two different diets at the same time.
(That doesn’t work, by the way.)
Right now the Keto Diet seems popular. Lots of my friends are doing it and others will ask in casual conversation: Are you eating Keto?
No. I am not eating Keto, and not just because in some cultures, pretty sure, Keto is a person’s name.
That said, there wasn’t much happening in the DeMeer home Saturday night, except popcorn and Facebook, so I clicked on a Keto test. The page promised to scientifically calculate answers to questions regarding age, body size, weight, exercise habits and preferred foods, and deliver a set of meal plans that would ensure diet success.
It wasn’t so much the fantasy of losing weight that attracted me to this quiz. It’s only meal planning is tiring after you’ve been doing it for 40 years, mostly while spinning in circles in the grocery store.
Imagine my disappointment when the quiz was completed, the answers all tabulated, and I was directed to a screen that promised the full life-changing results for the low, low price of $19.99.
After closing the windows with disgust, an uneasiness settled around me, and the couch.
All that information is out there. Now the internet knows how much I weigh.
It’s probably already on the dark web.
Potentially, I would pay $19.95 to get that number back.
All these tricks and gimmicks – books, companies and personalities swearing to have the magic elixir to weight loss.
It would be one thing if their motive was that people be healthier, have more energy and lead better, balanced lives.
But really – it’s all just about how close a woman can come to perfect, magazine-cover illusion.
To the point – another ad that caught my attention recently was for a huge, tightly-woven body stocking.
You see, you stuff yourself into it – like fat going into a sausage skin – and then you can wear that little black dress without curves and rolls ruining your imaginary hour glass silhouette.
It is the 21st century version of the corset – the foundation garment that was so popular in the 1800’s as it helped women look skinny by making it impossible for them to digest their food.
The other downsides are all too obvious.
Unless the stocking is made of Kevlar, one wrong move at the dinner table and you could find yourself bursting and bulging apart like a freshly whacked container of Pillsbury crescent rolls.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Love yourself, celebrate your body. Strive to be healthier, have more energy and lead a balanced life.