Recently two links have popped up on my Facebook feed... both related to the propaganda of dieting. It's odd how there seems to be stock photography about diets that I never really noticed. It's all aimed at women and it seems to assume that women all have similar eating problems... clearly it is cake. It is chocolate. It is eating that one delicious thing that Every woman loves... we are offered cake at every turn and find we must resist. Did you not notice this?
It's salad. Salad is apparently the funniest meal of the day. It's awesome. And you can eat it alone because well, men do not think salad is as funny as we do...
I know there are other stock photography examples out there... the woman lifting weights on the beach, the happy yoga on a rock... on a rock! Have you ever done yoga on top of a bolder? As soon as you try a new balance pose and fall out of it at best you're going to scrape up your feet, and at worst you're going to fall off.
The larger problem in all of this is the way that it simplifies problems. You are fat because of cake. If you're not eating cake... well there is no real solution for you but you should laugh over some salad and lift some weights. You should eat some salad and lift weights, but most diet magazines are not going to tell you why. They are also not going to tell you that fast food, and soda are making you fat because then Mickey D's is going to sue them. They will tell you the "healthier" foods to buy at the fast food joints. They are not going to tell you that you need to eat less, because that's not profitable. They talk a lot about things to buy but not quantity to consume.
They aren't going to tell you how to really understand your nutritional needs... you need to eat more energy bars and take more special diet pills and spend Money! Even the FDA has its hands tied by food lobbyists about what they can or cannot tell you (check out Food Politics by Marion Nestle). How is it fitness magazines are going to push past that? "Make healthier choices" is the creed but when you get down to it they clearly think that cake is the most delicious thing on earth... yes they even try to tell you to eat yogurt instead of food... knowing that yogurt (at least diet yogurt) is kind of vile.
(You'll be back on cake and fat in no time) You need to stay frustrated and continue to pick up their diet magazines with slightly repackaged advice that never really gets you where you want to be... just closer when you are very very good.
...and when you resist cake. Of course.