Dr. Don leaped onto the stage and shouted to an audience of plus-size women, “You got fat, and you need to be punished!” He paused before continuing softly, “Oh, all the diet companies and weight loss programs — the multi-billion dollar voluntary punishment industry — don’t say it’s punishment. But you tell yourself, ‘I got fat and I need to be punished.’”
He resumed in a normal volume, “So you go on a diet. Not just ‘a’ diet, am I right? A dozen diets, a hundred diets, like the kid who always gets detention at school. Punishment, punishment, punishment. It doesn’t work for you any more than detention works for him. But just like the principal who keeps punishing that kid, you keep punishing yourself.
“And just like that kid, there’s no long-term happy result of the punishment. Oh, you might lose some weight or even a lot of weight. But just like when detention ends, you get fat again. But even more sinister, you feel worse because you punished yourself, you lost the weight, your friends all ooed and ahhed, and you bought new clothes, and now you’re f-a-t again.
“And when you get fat again, the shame really sets in. Now only did you get fat once, but you got fat twice, or three times or however many times, and now you figure you need to be punished even more because you’ve gotten fat more times than some of you can even count.”
Dr. Don saw nodding all over the audience. “I want all of you to think about this message for seven days and come back in one week.
“That’s all for now.”
The stage darkened, and there were a few half-hearted claps.