Summer Recess

We pause our operations for a week in summer so our staff can recharge. We'll be back on the regular publication schedule on Monday, August 2.

Burt Prelutsky / Nov. 13, 2010

A Diet You Can Live With

It seems like only yesterday that everyone who could possibly afford it made sure to consume a lot of eggs, milk and red meat. In my case, come to think of it, it was yesterday.

It’s not that I’m unaware of the part that nutrition plays in one’s overall health. It’s not even that I don’t care about the possible dire consequences. I’m well aware, actually way too aware, that forks and spoons kill off more Americans than guns and knives. I just wish everybody wouldn’t harp on it constantly. For, as a topic of conversation, diets are right up there with soccer, life insurance and flossing.

It seems like only yesterday that everyone who could possibly afford it made sure to consume a lot of eggs, milk and red meat. In my case, come to think of it, it was yesterday.

It’s not that I’m unaware of the part that nutrition plays in one’s overall health. It’s not even that I don’t care about the possible dire consequences. I’m well aware, actually way too aware, that forks and spoons kill off more Americans than guns and knives. I just wish everybody wouldn’t harp on it constantly. For, as a topic of conversation, diets are right up there with soccer, life insurance and flossing.

In our society, it strikes me that the same folks who are always talking about the quality of life spend an undue amount of their waking hours counting calories and tabulating fat grams. That may be somebody’s idea of the good life, but it’s certainly not mine.

As an ex-smoker, I pride myself on not being too ardent a convert to the other side. I’m glad I no longer smoke, but I don’t talk trash to those who do. If anything, I sympathize with their plight when I pass them, huddled together like homeless lepers, outside office buildings. I am humble enough to acknowledge that there, but for the grace of God, puff I.

In terms of health, the only positive thing I do is play weekend tennis. And I only do that because it’s fun. I have nothing against exercise for its own sake, so long as gym attendance isn’t mandatory. My philosophy, as you may have guessed, is live and let lift.

I marvel at those people who are forever working out, marching up and down steps that lead nowhere, pedaling away on bikes that stay in one place, and rowing on oars that never touch water. It always struck me that these poor souls could get just as much exercise if they worked part-time at minimum wage jobs, flipping burgers and bussing tables. Plus, at the end of the week, they’d have a few extra bucks to show for all the sweat and strain.

Even the words that go with a healthy regimen have unpleasant connotations. Consider that the word “exercise” is a single little vowel away from “exorcise.” And anyone who ever saw Linda Blair’s head spinning like a top, while vile green liquid spewed from her mouth in “The Exorcist,” would definitely favor a change in nomenclature.

If that’s not bad enough, consider “diet,” a mere consonant away from “die.” It’s no mere coincidence, either. What is dieting, when you get right down to it, but a form of wasting away? One day, there’s you, and a month later, there’s 10 or 15 fewer pounds of you. Day by day, week by relentless week, you shrink away. If people didn’t insist it was the healthy thing to do, it would certainly sound an awful lot like a lingering disease. Is it any wonder that people on diets are inevitably testy and short-tempered?

They’re shrinking away, after all, without the compensation of being drugged up and tended to by a bevy of pretty nurses.

Some of you, the overly skinny and judgmental, will no doubt take me to task. You will claim that I’m advising people to eat foolishly and to avoid any physical activity that’s not fun or profitable. Close, but no cigar. What I am recommending is that people quit fretting so much about their waistlines. I, myself, am confident enough to make a wager that worrying kills more people than cholesterol.

Years ago, when I went into book stores and saw all the tomes devoted to various fad diets, I was mystified. The two things I wondered about were, one, how anybody could turn a mere diet plan that was based on, say, three grapefruits-a-day into 250 pages of printed material; and, two, who were the suckers who’d shell out $30 for it.

I finally solved both mysteries. Diet plan books are basically one-page pamphlets repeated 250 times. Because diets, themselves, are so boring, I suppose it’s fitting that the literature should be equally dull. And the reason there exists a market for the books is because the purchase, itself, makes people feel better about themselves. In buying a book on the subject, they feel they’ve taken that all-important first step in doing something about their weight; namely, recognizing they have a problem. Plus, they are already $30 lighter. And, at the very least, they have a jump on Christmas shopping with one gift on the shelf that requires only wrapping and a ribbon.

Perhaps this whole health racket would make more sense to me if the devout lived forever and the rest of us dropped like flies in our forties. But, the fact of the matter is that the majority of us will make it to 75 or 80, whatever we do or don’t do, and the ones with the nifty genes will make it to 100 and beyond; although, frankly, why anyone would want to is beyond me.

When you get right down to cases, perhaps the reason I have this casual attitude is because I’m really not afraid of death; what scares me silly is the thought of having to shop for adult diapers.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.