Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gail joins another quasi-religion .

Oh! the pounds have piled on and my wife Gail has started yet another diet. Gail has always been obese and has been on numerous diets in the 20 years that I have known her. Gail loves her food, a joy we both share. However, Gail simply eats too much, she finds it very hard to resist food.

She used to be a member of Slimming World and used to attend the weekly meetings with her friend Deborah. She did loose a bit of weight but nothing much. She would go to the meetings and talk about food at great length. Gail and Deborah would chant the Slimming World message with a religious zeal. Gail's weight would float up and down, giving me the impression that she was on a yo-yo diet. It was then that I began to understand the psychology behind these diet clubs.

I have written before on this blog about the religious impulse and it was obvious to me that Gail and Deborah were responding to the message and doctrines of the Slimming World in the same way that members of established faiths worship their chosen god each week. I am an Atheist and I do not believe in a god. I do believe that everyone should have a free choice in what they want to believe and their right to change their religion. I also do not believe in the many diet clubs doing business. I think these diet clubs are conning their members in their dream of a slimmer figure. People eat just what they want to and in the portions they desire. You are simply what you eat. Following a fashionable diet and singing the company song will not guarantee a slimmer figure, especially if you enjoy your food.

After a long time of yo-yo dieting whilst being members of Slimming World, Gail and Deborah decided to stop going to the weekly meetings and do-it-on-their-own. Slowly the pounds went back on and Gail decided to try a diet club again to get her "back on track". In a way she had decided that she had lost her faith and wished to get closer to her god. Only this time she thought she would change her denomination and join a diet club with a more favourable liturgy.

Many years ago Gail was a member of WeightWatchers and whilst attending their weekly meetings she lost a total of about 7 stones. She decided to give WeightWatchers another go and women always like to go with a friend or as they call them in diet clubs, a diet buddy. Deborah was not interested in going back to a diet club but Trisha was up for it.

Gail and Trisha went along to WeightWatchers on Monday night for their first diet club meeting. WeightWatchers have just launched their new diet called ProPoints and it is very different to their old diet that was simply called Points.

Well the buzz that Gail and Trisha had on Monday was amazing to witness. This whole new ProPoints diet had them both really excited with a religious zeal as they worshipped their god with the updated liturgy. They both embraced this new-found quasi-religion as born-again dieters. They both seemed very happy with this new diet as they studied the handbook with the zeal of religious scholars.

I do not have any faith in their diet as I know Gail and her love of food very well. I view the cost of these diet club meetings as an entertainment expenditure that we can afford and I know that Gail gets a lot socially from these meetings with other gossiping women. I would rather she wasted our money paying to be a member of a diet club than spending it on that brain-numbing popular gambling game called bingo. Sadly since Deborah left the faith of the diet club, she now attends bingo as a weekly treat.

Gail is very happy with her new-found quasi-religion, it gives her a lot to think about. The WeightWatchers handbooks give her a lot to study in the search of her dreams. Still, time will tell and it the meantime it is a relatively cheap trip out on an evening. I believe that all diet clubs are quasi-religions, which coupled with the religious impulse makes them such profitable and successful businesses.
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