Thursday, March 04, 2004

Fat is a Thing That Must be Overcome!

And what have ye done to overcome it? Behold, I present the Nietzschean Diet!

NEW YORK—While dieters are accustomed to exercises of will, a new English translation of Germany's most popular diet book takes the concept to a new philosophical level. The Nietzschean diet, which commands its adherents to eat superhuman amounts of whatever they most fear, is developing a strong following in America.

Fat Is Dead, proclaims the ambitious title of the dense, aphoristic nutrition plan, which was written by Friedrich Nietzsche in the late 1880s and unearthed three years ago. After reaching bestseller lists in Europe, the book was translated into English by R.J. Hollingdale and published by Avon last month.

"One must strive to eat dangerously as one comes into the Will to Power Oneself Thin," Nietzsche wrote. "What do you fear? By this are you truly Fattened. You must embrace your Fears, as well as your Fat, and learn to Laugh as you consume them, along with Generous Portions of Simple Salad. Remember, as you stare into the lettuce, the lettuce stares also into you."

[............]

What do you call 'bad'? Eating restricted amounts of that which shames you. What makes one most human? To spare shame to oneself," said Pete Hundmuth of Chicago, whose health and potency were severely shaken before he found the diet. "But where is your greatest danger? In pity and in sugar. By consuming pity in the form of a raw cookie dough, I am transformed."

"Behold!" Hundmuth said, casting off his bathrobe and stepping out into the cold light of his garret. "I have rid myself of your mundane, earthly, narrow concept of Love Handles!"

The Nietzschean diet has its critics. Detractors say the diet's actual nutritional requirements are vague, that it provides no concrete plan for progression toward weight-loss targets, and that the book consists mostly of unclear and unusually harsh sets of inspirational logical lacunae.

"Those on Nietzsche's diet must remember that, while discipline and mastering one's fear are desirable, the specter of a man striving willfully and joyfully against a frigid universe while drinking deep of 'life's bitter broth' will not precipitate weight loss," nutritionist Dr. Frank Stearns said. "A few more non-allegorical recipes would have been nice, too."

Stearns said it was worth noting that Nietzsche died depressed, delirious, and overweight in Zurich after 10 years of near-catatonia.

Eat up, my friends, for what does not kill you only makes you thinner! One must have lettuce in oneself to give birth to a runway queen! (Alright, alright, enough with the awful puns.)