ONE simple thing I can do to solve a big problem, so I never worry about it again – I simply adore the idea of a quick fix.
All my life I’ve battled with my weight, and have tried more diets than I’ve had hot dinners. Actually, that’s not true, as hot dinners are a huge part of the problem.
The diets never work, because for me, eating salads is like cleaning the toilet. A disgusting chore. And I truly revel in masticating. Which explains why my wardrobe is packed with so many sizes of jeans, it looks like a discount rack at an op shop.
The only diet that really works is burning more calories than you consume, and sticking to that for the rest of your life. Easy to type, hard to do, and seldom said because you can’t package that up and sell it to people with low self-esteem and fists full of doughnuts.
Going for a run – for me that’s the exercise equivalent of salad. So I bought the ab roller, wonder core, max trainer, max climber, and the booty max.
Buying them was the easy part. That made me feel like I’d accomplished something, but using the thing is the key, and that did happen – in quickly decreasing increments over the following weeks. Then even returning the thing for a full refund was too much of a hassle.
What I did manage was a couple of maxed-out credit cards. Which I quick-fixed using a short-term loan. That turned into a long-term loan at a horrendous rate. Which required two jobs. So I tried pills to boost my energy and immunity, which worked as well as not taking them, and nowhere near as well as coffee.
For some snap advice and direction, I called a clairvoyant. Who told me my great-great grandfather got sucker punched by a baron, which is why I was part-sucker, but promised everything would be fine and at $5/min, also greatly increased my debt problem.
After a big splurge on the lotto, I realised my mistake. What gets me more excited than a Red Bull giveaway at the train station is the idea of a miracle anything. Miracle cure, exercise, pill, treatment. Instead of just boring old chipping away at my problems over time.
The definition of a miracle is something that surpasses all known human or natural powers. Which doesn’t sound like anything found on a morning show, demonstrated by struggling models, and sold by a shouty fat man.
Anything promising to be a “miracle” is actually stating “you are an idiot if you believe this”. For so many years, I was that idiot.
Exciting as the idea of the quick fix or miracle is, they never, ever work. They do, however, sound great and can be sold, which makes them worth advertising.
What can’t be sold is the hardest thing any human can achieve – slow and steady progress, made through long-term behaviour change, and never advertised, because it’s not a secret and there’s no profit margin.
The problem is, I still hate salad. So I’ve just bought a wonder-juicer, that promises to make all vegetables into delicious and easily digestible liquids. It arrives in two days, and despite what I know, I still expect it to fix everything. I really am that stupid.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.
His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.