Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Stop Eating? Yeah, That’s The Ticket! Or Is It?

According to the Associated Press, the main reasons for subway delays in New York over the last year were track problems, signal problems and illness; specifically fainting passengers. Was it something in the air you ask? Of course not, it was dieters who were fainting. Now I need a daily nap as much as anyone does, but that is just ridiculous.

With the coming of the New Year and 1 out of every 3 people (no, that’s not statistical data, just a guess in the dark) resolving to get in shape or lose weight, the subject of fainting dieters is a timely topic. People go a day or so without eating to lose some quick weight and then they get dizzy on the subway and pass out. I guess it’s better they take public transportation rather than driving themselves. The problem with the side affect of this dieting trend is that whenever someone takes what I will refer to as a ‘diet nap,’ the conductor has to remain with the fallen until emergency personnel arrive. Hence, the otherwise unnecessary delays for all of the people who choose to feast and not blackout every time there is movement around them. When these innocent eating bystanders are late to work, do you really think that the excuse “some really weak and sick looking thin person passed out again and the subway got delayed” is going to cut it? Sadly, I doubt it.

I have had to lose weight before, as have many people I know. I know a few that are struggling with weight loss or maintaining their weight loss now. As a high school and college student, I worked at Jenny Craig as a stock clerk. You can imagine my joy when I was 3 days into my summer vacation and enjoying my new driver’s license with all of the privileges it brings. You can then imagine how quickly my joy diminished when my mom, who I had driven to her Jenny appointment because she had just undergone eye surgery, ran outside to tell me that she had just gotten me a job. I spent the rest of that summer working 40 hours a week for Jenny Craig and remained there for almost 5 years until my last year of college, but that’s a little off the point. Sorry, I was just trying to establish some credibility as an expert. I’m sure I failed.

While there, I was responsible for stocking (as the job title implies) all of the shelves and freezers with the deliciously tiny portions of expensive dietary meals. I also got to package up each client’s order and walk it out to them as they weighted, I mean waited in the lobby. I got to know many of them on a first name basis since we saw each other every week. These were people who were very serious about their weight loss and many succeeded. However, despite all of the diets I saw and witnessed while working for a weight loss center, I think I found a diet idea last night that may be even better than starvation or professional weight loss counseling and carefully portioned meals.

The diet light bulb went off for me last night while we dined at our favorite Italian restaurant, or restaurante to sound more culturally keen. While we sat at our table awaiting our generous family style portions, I looked up at all of the kitschy photos around us. There it sat, the next great idea in weight loss: a picture of what had to be a 500-pound man in an obviously handmade, tailored 3 piece striped suit. While the suit was very nicely made, it did nothing to hide this gentleman’s extensive girth. Just witnessing that one photo alone kept us from overeating at the restaurant (or restaurante if you prefer). It brought back memories for me of being at Jenny Craig and hearing about dieters who put photos of themselves at their heaviest on the fridge or a picture of something that made them not want to eat.

It’s a cheap and easy way to try to curb your appetite. The best thing is that it works on a physiological level, which is where many people get into trouble with overeating, I think. Granted I’m not a doctor but I did bump into one yesterday. It’s like they say; your eyes are bigger than your stomach. The whole idea is that if we can make the eyes less hungry, surely the stomach will follow.

Now if we can just get all of the people starving themselves to buy into this, they can lose weight a safer way and we can keep people from dropping like flies on our public transportation. That will get people to work on time and increase our productivity which I’m sure will make housing prices and the cost of gasoline go down, right?


Awesome Mom said...

Since when do you actually care about public transportation? You are a Californian and Californians looove their cars. If some dieting person feints in front of you just run them over.

Awesome Mom said...

Ok that is faint not feint, stupid spell checker.

Lizza said...

If the visual cue doesn't work, you can always stack the fainting dieters in one corner until they come to. They won't take up much space.

Josie said...

My grandfather was a Captain in the British Army, and he always used to say the best exercise was pushing yourself away from the table.

It works. Portion size and exercise. Those are the two things to remember.

Can you imagine fainting in the subway. Omigosh, all they need is to fall onto the tracks. Great way to lose a lot of body fat.


mist1 said...

Where do you buy a suit if you're 500 pounds?

Michael C said...

Awesome Mom: Yeah, they call them targets out here.

Lizza: That's a good idea. Space is always at a premium in metro areas.

Josie: I bet being run over on the tracks solves a lot of problems...of course it creates a few, too.

Mist1: you pick the fabric and have it made from scratch, I guess.

Le Nightowl said...

I like your surrealistic approach to subjects.
From subway delays to diets, the solution is to keep on the right track(s).

ShadowFalcon said...

I read about this and I get why people diet or feel the need to, even I occasionaly consider excercise.

But I don't understand purposly starving yourself.

I think fasting one month of the year puts things in propective (well for me it does) it makes sure I appreciate my food but it also keeps me from being too gluttoness.

Odat said...

Ok....I was on a subway that had to be rerouted to a different stop than I was going for a fainting passenger...not sure if she was a "starving rider" or not...I felt bad for her and wasn't actually that pissed off. But if it happens again...I'm going to suggest they start selling donuts or sompin on the subway...or maybe have a Jenny Craig stockboy carry some of the delish, expensive itty bitty portions thru the train and sell some...or that pic of the 500 lb. man....ok I'll shut up (hoping your "weekend" is going well,hehehe)

Skittles said...

Now that truly IS a deep thought!

Lee said...

I prefer "ristorAnte". I am very cultured. ;)

Michael C said...

Le Nightowl: I figured it was just my short attention span!

Shadowfalcon: I have heard that when dieters starve themselves that it stops working at a certain point because the body realizes what's going on and goes into starvation survival mode.

Odat: Sadly, I don't know if we can make any of that happen. As far as the pic goes, maybe I'll take my camera the next time I'm dining at Bucca Di Beppos. Have a great weekend!

Skittles: did you mean deep or disturbed? ;-)

Lee: Ooooh, you are very cultured ;-)

Natalie said...

I had a freind who fainted on the train but no one noticed for a while because it was to packed and she didn't fall down because she was squished by people. I don't think she was dieting. People really mustbe starving themselves to faint. So sad.

C said...

I have to work out like mad to drop weight and then I get migraines for every few pounds I lose.

Rach said...

california has subway? hmm...never knew that.

btw...was that restaurante Buca D Bepo? yummy !!!!!

Michael C said...

Natalie: very sad indeed

C: When I start losing weight I get very grumpy and irritable...I also get hungry.

Rach: Yes, it was Bucca's. it's our favorite restaurant. I wondered if someone was gonna guess ;-)


I have never heard of Boston having a problem with fainting passengers in the subways here. Could it be because there are Dunkin Donuts outlets in many of the subway stations?