Celebrity Diet: Words to Live By

2 a.m., Any Night of the Week

That’s it. I’ve binged again. Must stop. Must take control. I will go on a Celebrity Diet. Starting right now.

You might ask, which celebrity’s diet? What are the in’s and out’s of this latest weight loss fad? Let me clarify. I am not referring to calorie counting, calorie cutting, carbo-cutting, or even any specific celebrity.

In fact, my particular “diet” doesn’t relate to my massive middle or my munching mandibles, but instead my mushy mind. You see, I have developed an insatiable appetite for sugary, content-devoid stories about stars and wannabe stars.

This ceaseless hunger has overwhelmed and increasingly consumed all my late-night reading hours, causing me to push aside more thoughtful tomes about climate change, the future of democracy and the fate of mankind … you know, the stuff that matters.

I realized I had a celebrity addiction when I caught myself about to click open yet another People magazine story about a Kardasian. It is not that I can ID a Kylie from a Kendall in a police lineup – if my life depended on it. Yet, inexplicably, mindlessly, I skim stories about the Family K. They’re like potato chips for the mind. You just cannot stop.

But STOP I will

Starting right now I will not read one more article, tweet, blog or breaking news alert about a celebrity-fashion faux pas, wedding, divorce, birth, engagement, feud, diet, weight gain, death, botched plastic surgery, scandal or triumph. I hereby pledge that I will not look at “before and after” photos.

Starting right now I will close my eyes to articles alerting me to “who’s in, who’s out” on The Voice, America’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance – all shows I do not even watch.

Starting right now I will not sneak a midnight sampling of the latest on the Kardasians, or Jennifer Lopez – J.Lo for the uninitiated. (Not, of course, to be confused with Jello.)

Seriously I am going cold turkey Seriously I will re-start reading real news, thought-provoking commentary and lyrical works of fiction. I can and will bulk up my mental muscle.

Confession Time

That said, I have a confession to make. My midnight munching of online fluff is bigger than just celebrity news and photos. I also crave and consume “listicles,” by the dozen, especially ones related to home and self-improvement.

Numbered lists of yore were religious. Buddhism’s Eightfold Path, Islam’s Five Pillars and the Bible’s 10 Commandments.

Today’s lists are less profound, more practical. Yet, still, they have an irresistible appeal. Tell me, who can resist such pearls as “5 Tips to Redecorate Your Home in One Day” and “10 Tips to Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze”?

Yet, resist I must. So, no more shall I seek salvation through articles with titles like “10 Traits of Happy People” or even “10 Traits of Unhappy People.”

Starting right now I will avert my eyes when I see articles about “natural” home cleaning products. The truth is, given my middle-aged memory lapses, what is the point of these helpful hints? I forget them seven seconds after reading them. In the past six months, I’ve probably perused about 159 uses for white vinegar, baking soda and salt. How many do I remember? Zero.

Why a Light-weight Now?

Why have I, a once serious, self-proclaimed “intellectual,” become addicted to such fluff? Is it a function of age and demised mental capacity? I don’t think so. If anything, I think that I and my middle-aged peers have gotten smarter through the years.

Is it that I suddenly lack optimism? – meaning do I think it is pointless to seek solutions to the terrible problems of our world? No, I’m still pretty much a “glass half full” kind of person.
Instead I blame my lamentable puff reading habits on eReaders and the seductive powers of the Internet. My fluff reading began innocently enough when I would look up terms or ideas from the weightier material I was reviewing and then faster than you can say “distraction,” some flashy headline would catch my eye and off I would go down the Internet headline rabbit hole. A fluff reading addiction in the making.

Hanging Tough

So far so good. It is almost midnight. I’ve gone almost 22 hours and my Celebrity Diet is working. I have successfully avoided articles about celebrities, home decorating and make-up tips for looking less tired, less middle-aged, and less chubby.

I admit I have been tempted by such appetizing morsels as “15 Space-Saving Devices to Keep Your Home Spotless,” “5 Easy Ways to Organize Wires,” and the latest news about, you guessed who, the Kardasians.

2 a.m., One Week Later, Diet Dilemmas

Wow. This is tougher than I thought, but I’m hanging in there.

Sadly, however, like a former smoker who now overeats, I’m replacing one bad habit with another. To fill the fluff void, I’ve started reading predictions about dire happenings as well as reports about actual dire events. Murders, floods, asteroids, and killer hospital infections. Lions, tigers, and bears.

The list of horrible, truly horrible, late-night reading terrors out there is varied and endless. It is a frightening world out there. And by “out there” I don’t mean in the whole wide world, but rather in the whole wide weird web which is its own “no man’s land” of gloom, despair and fear.

I mean, did you hear about the Californian who says his wife froze to death in the morgue or the “fact” that E-cigarette poisonings are on the rise? or that “Trendy Cleanses for Kids Alarm Doctors”?

Yet, amid all these temptations to dally, I take comfort in knowing I will not succumb to one widespread late-night temptation – viewing videos. I will never look at clips of cute kitties, adorable babbling babies, talking goats or epic sports feats.

I am allergic to cats, know my own children were (and are) the most adorable babblers ever, firmly believe that no dog could ever be as sweet as our own late Labrador, Shakespeare, and in terms of sports, Golden State Warriors aside, my lack of interest in sports is in its own way epic.

So, maybe there is hope for me. Hope, that is, until a freak weather catastrophe fells me. Chicken Little worried about the sky falling. Me, I’m worried about … Well, let me write up a little “listicle” to tell you …

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  1. Shannon Verser
    Shannon Verser says:

    Insomnia is the culprit that has me reading late at night on my I pad. I read recipes and quizzes. I will state that I have never read about a Kardashian or watched a show about them…but I read about Chip and Joanna Gaines! Lol

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