Quiet Desperation

Dr. Oz is no wizard, but you are

Column by Craig Marshall Smith
Posted

If you read this column today, I guarantee that you will lose at least five pounds.

Half of all of the programs on television are about eating, half are about dieting and the other half are talk shows, like Dr. Oz's. Dr. Oz went to Washington in mid-June and he was grilled by senators who were displeased with his miracle weight-loss claims. One senator said, "I don't know why you need to say this stuff when you know it's not true."

Money, honey.

Dr. Oz (real name Mehmet Cengiz Oz) is highly respected, but not, it turns out, by everyone.

He sounds fine and convincing. Kind of like an evangelist. I don't trust evangelists, do you? I see thousands in the audience, and my imagination turns them all into sheep, and each one of them is holding up a Visa card.

The Food Network shows you exactly how to pig out: It's now showing reruns of "Man v. Food," because the host quit. Good for him. Adam Richman, a glutton from Brooklyn, ate appalling amounts of food in restaurants. He gained a lot of weight and became depressed.

I've always wondered how the program goes over in Haiti, Burundi and Angola.

Since quitting, Richman has lost 60 pounds. If you are overweight and you want to lose weight, you might listen to almost anyone say almost anything.

Oscar Wilde said, "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

I wish I could do it, but I can't. I do everything obsessively, even this column. I write one, two, three columns every day. The paper prints one a week.

I have two large art exhibitions coming up months from now. I have been nearly finished for months. I think artists are supposed to be up all night the night before an exhibition.

Obesity in America is in the news every day. But, like I said, half of the shows on television focus on eating. The same goes for commercials.

There are commercials that offer you pre-portioned meals they send right to your home. They promise not to cut corners. The meals are scrumptious and you will lose weight while you are eating them. How is that possible?

I think you are supposed to have one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. But if you are obsessive like I am, you would eat nine of them, maybe all at once. The food trays look like doll food.

I would like to lose a few pounds, but I am not interested in miracles. I can promise you this: We'll start to see commercials in November that brag that you will lose 20 pounds by Christmas if you go on some kind of diet.

If you are overweight, good luck. I mean it. I am overweight, but not by much. I have an addiction, but it's not a food addiction. My addiction does not show, but if you have a food addiction it shows, and it might be a challenge to go outside.

People are cruel. If you are overweight and people are cruel to you, I am sorry.

There are before-and-after commercials that must be hard to watch if you are overweight. They are signature examples of someone who has been lucky enough to figure out how to do it.

Overcoming an addiction is almost impossible. "Almost" means that it is possible.

No one, no one, can help us if we aren't ready. One day turns into another day, and the next thing you know, a month has elapsed and nothing has changed.

One morning I woke up and said, "This is the day."

Dr. Oz doesn't have the miracle. You do. Tomorrow is today.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.