What would you trade for weight loss?

Okay folks, here’s the hypothetical deal:

How much time would you give?

How much time would you give, Ms. Aniston?

Scientists have discovered a way to melt away fat from the human body using computers/ lasers/ pills/ cream made from asteroids/ whatever. To test this new technology (for the sake of this post let’s assume we know the procedure isn’t dangerous) they’re currently offering this service free of charge. They can do an all-body slim down, remove predetermined amounts of fat from only certain areas, whatever you want, all with no messy side effects, follow up visits, bruising, scars, or stretch marks, and any possible *excess skin* or anything akin to that will also disappear. It’s your body. It’s your weight. It’s your call.

The single catch? Undergoing the process takes time off the end of your life.

That’s right. You want to shave off a li’l pre-wedding blubber? Want to ditch the muffin top before hitting the club? You can do it instantaneously! But it’s gonna cost you time…

So assuming you’re one o’ the millions out there who wish they could drop some poundage: how much would you be willing to pay? And what if the fat can return via normal weight gain methods (ie. poor diet, lack of exercise) after it’s been removed? Would it be less worth it to you in that scenario, or would you just have them slice off a few more days, weeks, or years when you noticed the return of the bulge?

And what would you trade? An hour per pound? A day per pound? A week? A month? Or would you be willing to give up even more than that? A year? A few years? Would you be willing to give up a significant chunk of time from the end of your life- whenever that may be- if it meant you’d receive a full body slim down to your weight of choice, knowing that future weight gain may result in your having to make this decision all over again when the pounds pile back on and you want to return to that thinner version of you?

Can’t think of this in terms of time? No problem! These are magical scientists who are more than willing to let you sacrifice other intangibles instead. Knowing this, what thing(s) other than time might you consider giving up if doing so meant you were to instantly reach your goal size? And it’s got to be something legit, here, folks. A skill, a memory, an opportunity– whatever.

And if not weight, what else would you consider giving up something for if doing so meant you were to instantly achieve some other goal? Significant muscle development? Regrowth of hair on your head? Becoming taller? Better teeth?

Or would you only trade intangibles for other intangibles? Say– a year off the end of your life in exchange for being a better singer? A prized childhood experience and all accompanying memories in exchange for being a better athlete?

Tawk amongst y’selves…



  1. Your poll is missing an option “Not willing to trade.” I would rather do it the sensible, healthy way. A sensible diet and moderate exercise normally work the other way; giving you days, weeks, & months back.

    As to hair regrowth and being a few inches taller. I would love those things but not at a price. Besides, your physical characteristics help to make up you who you are. They make you unique. If people can’t accept that I am balding and short and a little heavy around the middle, that is their problem, not mine.

  2. I feel that when it comes to wait loss, for me personally, the only way that I get pleasure/feel proud about it, is if I do it myself. More than half of feeling good about how you look, is knowing that you got there on your own. For others that may not be the case, but for me–just giving up something in order to find an easy way out wouldn’t give me a body to be proud of.
    Memories, life, and other such irreplaceable things are things I would never give up, since weight and appearance make everyone uniquely beautiful. As long as you feel in your soul you can rock it, and you are healthy, there is no need to trade any part of who you are to change your beauty.

  3. With two exceptions to my one pound/one month:

    1) That’s up to and no more than one pound/one month
    2) If there were no guarantees for long-term (talkin’ more than ten years, here) weight-loss? No effing way.

  4. I teach aerobics eight hours a week (two hours per day four days a week). I also lead a fairly healthy lifestyle, my only real vice being diet coke. I eat pretty healthy (only McDonald’s french fries about once a month and seriously, no other fast food…ever) and I can honestly say I definitely do not over do the calories. I don’t really diet necessarily but my weight is not going up do to lifestyle choice and yet…. I still have a “muffin top”. I’m not proud of it but it is the truth. It developed over the last maybe….two years. I can’t get rid of it and it freaks me out. I might be willing to shave a few hours of my life to get rid of the rolls of flab permanently. If you don’t have these rolls (I think it is more of an age thing, so ladies…get ready they may be coming to a waist near yours..) you might not know what I mean. I love my body but…….I might consider science helping me out a little bit. Is that bad?

  5. Well, to answer this question I’d have to know how long I’m going to live. If you tell me that I’m going to die within the next year, I don’t want to shave ANY time off.

    But let’s be honest, if you’re going to live until the age of 100 . . . those last 10 years or so aren’t exactly going to be the most thrilling years of your life.

    So yeah, it depends. If I’m going to live a very long time I say shave some off the top! Let me enjoy my life while I’m young and handsome!

  6. Yeah well, I’ll be totally honest. I’d give you *almost* anything you asked of me in trade to be thinner. I’ve struggled too long with my weight to mess around any longer. I feel like I’ve already gone through almost all of my twenties without reaching my goal (which, it might shock you to learn, is not to be underweight or unreasonably skinny) so now that I’m staring 30 in the face in the not-so-far-off future, I feel like I’ve ALREADY lost time. SO what’s another whole year off my life when I feel I’ve lost ten already? If I knew I could live the rest of the years I would have with a body I’m not ashamed of? Do any of you even know what that kind of shame is like? It’s exhausting! I’ve come a long way in accepting what I look like anyway, and yada yada yada. But let’s be honest here. I’d really still like to reach my goal.

    I had to be honest. Sorry.

  7. This is kind of a weird question. It’s also strange to me that people wouldn’t give up time off of the end of their life to look good now, especially when they give up time NOW to look good. People spend hours in the gym to look good, why wouldn’t you just push those hours to the end of your life?

  8. It is amazing to me how your perspective changes as you get older. When I was just out of college and in the Marine Corps, I was in really good shape (more than 40 lbs. lighter than I am now) and very little was as important to me as my looks. I would have done anything at that time to keep looking good… even give up years at the end of my life.

    But now, almost 20 years later, I have a wife and two wonderful kids who don’t care what I look like. At my age, I wouldn’t trade any amount of time just to look good. Don’t get me wrong, I wan’t to lose weight just as badly as ever. But not to make myself handsome again (That won’t happen). I want to lose weight to help add years onto my life. I want to be around to see my kids grow up, and my grandkids, and maybe even a few great-grandkids.

    I guess it is just a matter of perspective.

  9. If I go through the weight loss procedure, at age 19, I would most likely have to do it a few more times, *only* if I was persistent on living that kind of an American lifestyle…However, I would like to think that I would be sensible right off the bat. So I would not do the weight loss procedure, instead I would trade my sweet tooth for a healthier habit. This would eliminate the weight gain; I would also trade my love of lazy days for being more active, furthering the possibility of weight gain.

    Now Ruth, do you really think I need to change something; I can take a hint. You clearly want me to be smarter, more successful and greener.

    Would we be able to sign other people up for this and take the consequences ourselves? Make others less talented, more attractive, more responsible, etc.?

  10. Hm… interesting question. I had to vote “I wouldn’t do any trade,” and this is coming from someone with a semi-permanent tummy pooch from pregnancy!

    Of course, in a perfect world I would stuff my face with sugar and carbs and not gain an ounce. However, I just don’t think that time off my life would be a good trade. More than 3 years (gulp!) after having Meredith I’m still plugging away to lose this weight. It’s not easy – not by a long shot. But the thought (even the strictly hypothetical one) of giving up time with her for something I could probably achieve with more discipline on my part… it just doesn’t work for me.

    So far I’ve lost almost 30 lbs… I still have quite a few more to go…

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