Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dying To Be Thin

Dying To Be Thin
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

Recently I heard a statement on the radio that said a survey had shown that most people would rather be thin and poor than fat and wealthy; the commentator then went on to say why not be thin and keep your money and then proceeded to promote a diet supplement.

I am sure the makers of the diet supplement, which is mixed into water, are having a huge amount of success with their product…it has been around for years. I remember hearing the local radio personality promote it every morning 10 years ago. At that time I would have been a prime candidate for them. Overweight and unhappy, I was ready to do just about anything to be thin. I associated being thin with being happy. If my weight went away, so then would my problems, ergo, I would be happy.

At that time I was taking a supplement called Come Alive Plus. In my opinion it should have been called Put Your Foot Into An Early Grave Plus. The ingredients in it did suppress my appetite and increase my energy; along with my heart rate. Some of my friends said that I acted like I was on the equivalent of speed. I rushed around like crazy and they would say to me, “Got your running shoes on today?” One of the ingredients is no longer legal. I stopped taking it after my sister tried it and nearly ended up in the hospital. After she researched the ingredients she asked me to stop taking it, at least so my children wouldn’t end up motherless. I did. It pains me to know that a woman I worked with tried it, after I recommended it and had a stroke. I don’t know if the pill was the cause, she was in poor health to start off with, but I have always wondered. Thank God she survived.

Before that I tried Nutra System. The food cost a fortune and tasted bland. It also wasn’t a lot, meaning I was still hungry after I ate. I did lose weight, until I went off of it. Then I gained it back. Same with the diet pill, I lost weight, then when I went off, I gained it back. My weight problem had not simply vanished as I had hoped.

We have an epidemic here in America. I know that we have weight issues…I am still overweight, but even more is the issue on how our nation is trying to become thin. We have young girls that are either anorexic or bulimic, lacking role models that have shown them it is ok not to be skeletal, because that is what they see in our models. I have seen articles in magazines that talk about how horrible it is to diet to extreme, how girls…and even boys, need help to love the body they are in, and then on the very next page see a diet pill ad.

There is an industry out there making a fortune off of other peoples insecurities and they don’t really address the problem. They offer supplements and meal plans, but unless you are going to live the rest of your life shelling out money to the various plans, you will continue to yo yo up and down with your weight, which is even more dangerous than just being overweight. We are dying to be thin and it has to stop.

Women are having surgery to cut out part of their stomach or band it off, which is highly dangerous; I don’t care what anyone says. I personally know women that have had it done and lost their hair, because they are no longer able to absorb the nutrients their body needs. They can’t eat but a few bites or they get sick...or end up in the bathroom with other problems. I have not noticed that they are any happier.

I think the survey in question should have asked another question…would you rather be happy, no matter what you weigh. That is the key. There are some miserable skinny people out there and some extremely happy fat people. The reverse is also true. If you are overweight and not happy, no pill or supplement in the world will make you happy. You need to find that before you address your weight issues. More than likely the weight stems from your unhappiness. I myself am a stress eater. The more stress I am under, the more I eat. When I am happy and content I eat less. I have even had people lately telling me I look like I have lost weight. I don’t know if I have…I threw out the scale a long time ago, but I am happy and content. I love my husband, my children and the choice I made to begin writing full time.

Don’t get me wrong, I know being overweight is not healthy. When I started dieting, way back when I was 20 and went on Nutra System, I was a lot thinner than I am now. The woman at Nutra System had taken some measurements and told me I should weigh 119 pounds. At the time I was 160. I have since learned that my ideal weight…and this is from a doctor, is 160, this being because of certain inherited traits that I have, they are called breasts and not the small ones. 116 pounds would have put too much stress on my back. The diet industry doesn’t take this into consideration though. They want you to want to be as thin as possible so you keep shelling out the dough. And as a nation we continue to yo yo, up and down with our weight. Isn’t it time we told them enough?


copyright 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollar


  1. Yes Jezri, Enough! This is an excellent article. Not only will I skip tonight's late night snack, but I'll stay away from my stapler too. Surgery is radical. ;-)

  2. Surgery is crazy and people can die from it, either during the surgery or from complications after. I can see if maybe you will die if you don't do something, but the risks seem to great. I have heard of success rates, but the women I have known, not too much. They are thin, but not happy or healthy.