The Soapbox: Selling snowballs in the arctic

Justin Crann
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Take it from a fat guy: there is no magical solution to being overweight.

Justin Crann

It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I know. I have to do so every day when I step out of the shower and catch a look at myself in the mirror.

I’m not writing this piece to elicit your sympathy or pity. I’m writing it because I’m pissed off.

Or rather, as Peter Finch’s character so eloquently put it in Network, “I’m mad as Hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

Every day for the past two weeks, I’ve spent a solid 30 minutes staring at the hybrid elliptical trainer and recumbent exercise bike I spent six hours assembling and trying to talk myself into using it.

Pretty sad, considering the workout only takes 20 minutes andI have succeeded fewer times than I’ve failed.

It isn’t that I can’t grasp that exercise and a better diet equate to a healthier lifestyle and body weight. It’s that sometimes I find it very difficult to care.

This is why when a man many look to for medical advice — Dr. Mehmet Oz — begins to peddle in the quackery that is a “magic weight loss cure for every body type,” I become frustrated and (more often than not) outright enraged.

A man people are supposed to be able to trust — granted, they may be gullible for doing so — is essentially leading them down the garden path, ostensibly to score a few bucks for the ringing endorsement.

It’s the very worst sort of predatory behaviour: the goodly doctor has taken another person’s insecurities and turned them into his personal profit.

That person with the insecurities could have been me, if I tuned in to Oz’s show. That money could have been my money.

And yet you won’t find very many voices — and the voices you do find won’t be terribly loud terribly loud — speaking out against these behaviours. It’s almost as if the behaviours have long since become an institution.

It’s almost as if businesses realized a long while ago that a celebrity endorsement and the victimization of a few hapless victims concerned about — say — the acne on their face or the grey hairs on their head would equate to a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States alone.

Oh, wait.

Justin Crann can be reached at 306-691-1265 or follow him on Twitter @J_Crann

Geographic location: United States

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