Purple Monday

I hereby dub the first Monday of the New Year as “Purple Monday”. I was going to call it “Black Monday” but Brad Palmore said that he liked purple better. I am a giving person, and decided I could do that for Brad.

Our holidays are over. The piles and piles of cookies and other baked goods have now lost their appeal. We’ve known that today is coming, so we’ve spent the weekend cramming the last of the goodies into our mouths, gobbling up all the leftovers because Purple Monday means you can no longer touch these unclean things. Yes the new year is five days old, but everyone knows you do not start a diet on any day except a Monday. Mondays are already our least favorite day, so starting a diet on that day seems apropos.

I’ve been reading on Twitter now for several days that local gym rats are rolling their eyes at all the new gym rat wannabes who will flood into their place of torture exercise on the basis of likely short-lived resolutions to get in better shape. They’ll take over the treadmills and other equipment. Being new they will not understand gym etiquette and will cause the regulars to be displaced, waiting their turn on the eliptical trainers. The newbies will  crowd the counter at the smoothie bar, believing that because these drinks are sold at a gym they could not possibly make one fatter. But there is hope because most of these people will find that this sort of activity is no fun, especially when they give up on their diets – making their exercise useless.

Yes, their diets. Restaurants across the land have tripled the supplies for their rabbit salad bars and grilled chicken orders. This week restaurant patrons will bypass the fried chicken, gravy-topped biscuits, and creamy cheesecake desserts. They will bravely order a plate of composted lettuces and shredded carrots, glob on sugar-free fat-free and gluten-free dressing. They will wince as the taste of that ungodly combination of chemical capitulation slathers over their tastebuds. Overpaying for these dreadful dieticious undelights they will walk into the parking lot sucking in their stomachs wondering if they lost any weight because they certainly suffered enough for their goal. They wonder if they could just go sit at the donut shop and drink a glass of water … indulging the sight and smells… but not the taste of these delights. But they know they do not have the willpower for such.

Yes today millions of Americans will suffer these blights. They will pile into Wal-Mart and buy Slim Fast already made up in the can, pills that promise to sliver  the inches right off of their body, plastic exercise suits, brandless running shoes, and as-seen-on-TV thighmasters. Feeling good that they have actually done something they will go home and put all of that away and then go about their day. They will remember these items on Valentines Day as they sit there eating a box of filled chocolates from their lovers. The next step is the yard sale. Oh yes, in late February to mid-March you can buy all of these items at deep discounts in the yards of portly well-intentioned people. Everything except the exercise bicycles, for they are excellent clothes hangers.

Hoping to be slimmer, blog readers will pore over every detail of Trey Morgan’s Running Blog in search of inspiration, instruction, and short cuts. They’ll read testimonials at Jenny Craig. They will ponder allowing NutriSystem to do their grocery shopping for them, following the example of Dan Marino and Marie Osmond. They will wonder if they commit to paying for weekly meetings at Weight Watchers they could possibly be motivated to continue on. Oprah will lose her newest bulges and encourage us all once again that ‘it can be done’. Yes, it can be done, evidently, over and over and over again. Perhaps if we all could hire personal trainers, chefs, and pay for liposuction at will we, too, could be thin again.

No one is really concerned about the loss that will be suffered by producers of cookies and snack cakes. They are considered evil by the diet-conscious. They receive the blame for making our children obese. These and the fast food giants have corrupted our systems, addicted us to their salacious offerings, and clogged our arteries while we were unaware of the damage being done. We just thought we were having a snack – we didn’t know that we were part of vast fat-wing conspiracy.

Yes, today is a day of good intentions. The road to hell will  receive miles of new pavement. America, the world’s fattest nation, will declare their desire to take up less square footage per person. Suffering dieters will deprive themselves of their favorite foods. Tomorrow their will power shall decline just a bit, but it’s all still new. As the days go by they begin to rationalize that maybe they could have just a little ice cream, after all the problem is not the food, it’s the quantity. Before long, there’s a dinner party and who should be on a diet at a dinner party? Then a fellowship meal at church will make wreckage of self-control. Our feelings will be hurt that we did this to ourselves, and what’s the use?

After this week of suffrage we will be OK until April, when we suddenly feel summer coming on. And summer means the beach. And the beach means swim suits. Yes, those stretchy pieces of material made for Barbie and Ken dolls, but forced over the bulbous attributes we have secured for ourselves at the drive-through windows across our fair country. So guilt and fear and self-consciousness will once again drive us to re-think our bodies. But that is another day. Today is Purple Monday. The day when many of us try to be a bit less than we are. The cynic in me suggests that this is a waste of time – and there’s plenty of evidence for that. However, there is a hopeful light … a precious few who actually break on through to the other side … and experience the lifestyles of the thin and hungry. We envy them, want to be them, but we also desire fries with that.

Fare thee well,

John

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