By Tim McGivern
Thin, thin line. Without fail, this time of year we get—yes I'll say it—a plethora of syndicated columnists and wannabes sending their help is on the way, feel good about yourself advise columns to the Alibi offering discount rates or free samples in an effort to convince the editors how necessary said columns are for our publication. Here's a classic example:
Dear Editor—According to current statistics, over 60 percent of your readers are probably struggling with a weight problem. Practically Thin delivers time-saving nutrition tips, cool and cost-efficient fitness products, as well as, expert diet strategies which will fit the busy lives (and wallets) of anybody seeking to lose weight in the most healthy and 'practical' way.
Seven years ago, after a lifetime of morbid obesity, I successfully lost 90 lbs from a top weight of over 240 lbs. My attention to health and wellness led to a successful career as one of the nation's top consumer health journalists for the largest news organization in the world—CNN. Prior to becoming a television news anchor and weekly fitness columnist at CNN, I hosted programs with Richard Simmons, as well as, for the Discovery Health Channel.
As the ultimate ’weight loss insider,’ I've been asked to appear on television shows including Oprah (featured guest), FitTv's Fit: Resort & Spa, and PBS' Second Opinion, as well as, over 100 national publications including Woman's World (cover), USAToday, and Marie Claire. In 2005, as part of an endorsement deal with NutriSystem Inc., I will be appearing in national commercials and on QVC.
Weight loss will certainly be at the top of your readers' New Year's Resolutions lists. I hope you'll agree that Practically Thin can help them reach their goals. If so, I would be happy to negotiate a price based on your circulation.
But, why support the commercialization of weight-loss when we know deep down, just as you know, that, to paraphrase Shakespeare, the truth dear reader lies not in the stars, but in ourselves?
So, if you are struggling with a weight problem, the last thing you need is to be sitting on your scud reading self-help columns or watching diet shows on cable. Change your eating habits, lay off the booze and smokes, exercise and before you know it, you'll drop the L-Bs all on your own. And then maybe “Thin Line” will be spared all the cheesy e-mails from name-dropping (Richard Simmons for God's sake!) columnists.
Update. Last week, the Alibi reported on the case of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal versus U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, where the Santa Fe-based religious group was fighting the government to allow them to drink hoasca tea, which contains naturally occurring traces of the controlled substance DMT. On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld three lower court rulings, which would allow the group to import its tea from Brazil and drink it for religious purposes. The Justice Department now has until mid-February to file a final appeal, or—after four years of losing in court—they can leave the group alone.
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