We are told time and time again as we go through life that we are perfect just the way we are. This viewpoint might actually stand up within the confines of a make believe house with a closet full of green cardigans and a toy trolley running through the middle of it. But in the real world, we are flooded with all kinds of passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive messages that we aren’t perfect until we drive that fancy car that goes 150 mph over our highway speed limits… own that cool house in the middle of mudslide territory… have that wonderful, low stress, high paying job that will get eliminated in the next round of budget cuts… and certainly not until we look like one of those thin, chiseled, Photoshopped models that appear in media everywhere.
It is because of this last popular viewpoint that so many people are obsessed with their weight, and why businesses geared towards helping you shed those unwanted pounds of flab hanging off the back of your arms have been booming for many years.
The fitness-crazed 80’s were flooded with products that promised to help you melt off the pounds, especially if you were rocking workout fashions so colorful they’d blow out the rods and cones in the naked eye. One of these weight loss solutions that was all over the commercial breaks for every daytime program in existence 25 years ago was Ultra Slim Fast. Ultra Slim Fast hit its stride in 1989 when the company behind the diet shake recruited the pleasantly plump manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda, to pitch their malted brew…
Look at that picture of Tommy before he
allegedly started the Ultra Slim Fast diet. You gotta admit, he looks a whole lot better with 30 pounds of pasta off of his belly.
What was the secret to Ultra Slim Fast’s success? Well, it was in the clever and ingenious way it effectively starved you to death. Here is how your day would go if you were to take up the Ultra Slim Fast diet…
You wake up in the morning, perhaps after about three taps on the snooze button, and you start thinking to yourself, “Damn! I could use a quart of coffee and a nice, big breakfast right now! Uh-uh-uh!!! You’re on the Ultra Slim Fast Diet now! No calorie-loaded coffee for you! Oh, and here is your breakfast:
Oh well, you’ve gone to work on an empty stomach before! You’ll be able to function OK for a few hours, and then it’ll be time for lunch! Woohoo! Your co-workers are going to hit up the buffet at Golden Corral, and boy could you go for that right now! Too bad you’re on the Ultra Slim Fast diet, because your lunch is sitting there in the breakroom
icebox fridge just waiting for you, and it looks oh so familiar:
As your stomach begins eating away at its own lining for nourishment, you continue to struggle through the day, bolstered by the satisfaction that you’re well on your way to looking as fit as a professional baseball manager. At least it’s almost time for dinner! After 24 hours without solid food, you’re ready to throw everything in the house that’s edible into the microwave, maybe even the dog. But no, you hear the voice of Tommy Lasorda in the back of your head, and he’s reminding you that you must eat a “sensible dinner!” By this point in the hunger cycle, a sensible dinner is a side of beef and a whole bag of Cheetos… but no, you know in the world of dieting that “sensible dinner” means something like this:
And you’ll do it all over again the next day, and the next day, and the day after that… because the sacrifice is totally worth it!
Or maybe you’ll be like Tommy Lasorda himself after he shot these commercials and just say, “Fuck this Ultra Slim Fast shit!” and go back to looking like a blimp…
The fact that Ultra Slim Fast still exists is a testament not to the patience of a weight-conscious America, but how easy it was to cheat on the Ultra Slim Fast plan by having that shake wash down a couple Baconator sandwiches.
Wait a minute! Actually, Ultra Slim Fast doesn’t exist anymore! In a bizarre twist of brand name monkeying around that may be totally unique in the consumer world, Ultra Slim Fast has dropped the “Ultra” from its name that carried the shake through its Lasorda glory days of the late 80’s and early 90’s, and has gone back to being just plain “Slim Fast” like it used to be. This totally goes against the tried and true axiom to always strive to make your product seem newer and improveder to the gullible public. It reminds me of a hilarious Jerry Seinfeld comedy routine I’ve heard a few times on the radio station I listen to while driving home from work where he discusses the labeling of pain medication.
Losing weight is hard to do, because no matter how many sets of manipulated before and after pictures we look at, that still doesn’t cause our bodies to forget that we’re hungry for some real food that doesn’t taste like cardboard someone spilled their glass of Nestle Quik on. So for having the foresight to create a weight loss plan that punches our willpower in the junk and puts our stomach on the unemployment line, today The Nest salutes the calorie burning geniuses behind Ultra Slim Fast. Thanks to replacing two-thirds of our square meals a day with a can of chocolate milk, we were able to get that healthy look of having been on a hunger strike, while also saving hundreds in medical bills by never needing to have an X-ray again. We gave you a week, and you took off the weight… and we’ve never looked more beautiful!