Channel 7 would like to wish you a Happy New Year… YOU FAT ASSHOLES!

Or something like that.

No sooner had the clock struck 12 last night and we finished listening to Kool & The Gang, my friend Lauren pointed out to me “Here come the weight loss ads”. And Lord was she right.

What are you watching fireworks for when you should be doing push ups, fattie?

All those late night commercials for soft porn video clips on your mobile phone were replaced en masse by a barrage of weight loss secrets. Supplements. Diet plans. Exercise devices. Exercise programs. I never even stopped to think about it before, but the various industries encouraging you to lose weight, get cut, get fit NOT TO MENTION quitting smoking and finally meeting that special someone online… New Years Eve must be a divine combination of Christmas, your Birthday and Shangri-La, all rolled in to one neat, guilt laden package.

That’s right everybody. In the midst of celebrating another year passing, of special times with the people we love, please take a moment to feel shitty about yourself. OK? You are not Angelina Jolie. You are not Brad Pitt. You’re not even Matt Damon when he got fat for that Steve Soderbergh movie last year. YOU DISGUST YOURSELF!!!!!

This revelation in turn sparked a conversation about the ‘before & after’ photos all of these health supplements insist on showing you. So you can be convinced by their breathtaking results, natch.

Ohhhh... the OTHER way round... gotcha

For some more information on how dodgy these photos are, I recommend watching the 2008 documentary ‘Bigger, Stronger, Faster*’. Much of the focus is on steroid usage, and America’s obsession with being the best, the mostest, and generally super-awesome. The highly likable Chris Bell plays the role of a Michael Moore-like narrator / main character, who investigates just how much this weird, performance-enhanced ‘Superman’ culture (which was especially prevalent in America during the 80’s) influenced both himself and his 2 brothers.

Chris Bell & Christian Boeving

During the film Bell also shines a spotlight on the exercise and dietary supplement industries in the U.S, meeting world-famous fitness model Christian Boeving along the way. Boeving reveals to Bell that even though he has his own line of dietary supplements and testimonials swearing their efficacy, he is actually on anabolic steroids and the pills he’s promoting have no physiologically beneficial effects whatsoever.

Bell then discovers that even Boeving has his fitness modeling photographs digitally altered. Upon speaking to a professional photographer in the business, we learn not only are those ‘6 Weeks: Before and After’ pics complete bullshit, but they can be taken scant hours apart… a process Bell then volunteers himself for, with the following result:

Chris Bell - Before and After...about 45 minutes

Photoshop, a spray tan, a hair cut, a smile, improved posture, and some air-brushed muscles are not seen as lying or cheating the general public. At all. If we honestly believe that these kinds of results are possible by taking dietary supplements, or buying the ab-blaster for 8 easy payments, or drinking Nutri-Shakes… then WE’RE the suckers, and we DESERVE to be ripped off. Not my words, guys. This comes from those shucking the products to begin with.

One final thing on so many of these fat blasters and flab burners, especially products sourced from the U.S; the FDA considers dietary and health supplements as foods, not pharmaceuticals. So NONE of the ‘magic wand’ solutions you see advertised are legally required to do anything they promise to do. They just have to be proven NOT to have seriously harmful side-effects in order to be legalized and sold. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry built on placebo’s.

This may seem like just a really long-winded way of saying that there are no magical ‘cures’ for excess tummy fat (and in many ways it is, I’ll grant you). But I’m also not going to tell you “you’re perfect just the way you are”, or “true beauty is on the inside”. If you want to drop some pounds, get fit, become a fitness model, then good luck. More power to you. Just don’t feel that because today is the first day of the Gregorian calendar that for some reason you’re obligated to lose weight. Do it for the right reasons, in a safe, realistic, intelligent way. Say, in a Gym.

And not because a commercial at 1:34 am told you to.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat some Burger Rings, rue my lack of self-discipline, and wallow in my own fugliness. Then maybe I’ll go see ‘Sherlock Holmes’.



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