The Greatest Showman

By Alex Schelleman

Hey you! Come try this new program 

It’s not a diet, no! 

You’re looking rather big, madame 

Just come give it a go 


What’s that? You’ve tried it all before?

Well, obviously that’s untrue

You’re big and fat, which means therefore

The problem, ma’am, is you


It’s clear you’ve eaten too much salt

Or sugar, fat or bread

It’s clear that it is all your fault

You’ll surely end up dead


Oh no, it’s not a fad at all!

You’ll lose weight overnight

We’ve made an app you must install

To track your every bite


Week one will fly by, you will see

Week two might start to drag

And by the time you reach week three

You’ll have the right to brag


And by the time a year’s gone by

Your skeleton will show

Your hair and lips will be bone dry 

That’s just a weight plateau!


Words of support from family

Will turn into concern 

You’ll soon find out that they agree

That you’ve taken a downturn


But they’re all wrong, you’re well on track!

You measure all your meals

You don’t dine out, you never snack

Your calves look great in heels


You exercise twice every day

You run and ride and squat

Until that goddamn foot X-ray

Shows a stress fracture spot 


Your period has all but gone

You’re dizzy when you stand

Your face is sallow, grey and drawn

Everything’s gone as planned!


The problem is, your BMI

Is not anorexic

You will continue to scrape by

Until one day it clicks

You’ll seek out help, slowly at first

But day by day you’ll grow

You’ll realise foods are not cursed

You will regain your glow


And God, sometimes it will be hard

You’ll cry and groan and stress

But with some help, you will discard

Those feelings of duress



Just start this diet NOW!

You must win this WAR ON FAT!

You lack the key know-how…



This piece was shortlisted in the 2021 mindshare Awards, presented by mindshare, Writers SA, Access2Arts, and the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia. More info here

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