A Very Public Weight-Loss Plan

Artist Plans to Spend A Month On A Scale

Chinese artist Wang Jun is half-way through a very unusual weight-loss initiative. According to stories in the Huffington Post and Wired UK, Wang Jun got on an electronic scale in a Beijing Hotel on March 18 and  – unless he reaches his weight-loss goal before that – he’s not getting off until April 18. Not even to go to the bathroom.

So much for the advice of weight-loss experts who say that stepping on the scale every day can be discouraging, and those who insist that getting outside for some exercise is important to dieting success.

The artist does have a weight-loss goal in mind – 15 Jin (about 16.5 lbs) – but according to China Hush, he has an artistic one as well. He is protesting the excesses of “this materialistic age,” where “in the era of pleasure-seeking and greed, all things are inflated infinitely,” and “slowly lose the beautiful and clear origins.” His progress (and stick-to-it-iveness) is being monitored by a web-cam and recorded on his blog.

It doesn’t sound to me as though Wang Jun has a very solid or practical long-term weight-reduction program here, and I sure hope what he’s doing doesn’t become an international fad. If he makes it, I’ll have to admire his tenacity, but I don’t see much art in it, either: unless you consider “art imitating life” to actually be art.

And in Whole Clove Diet news…

I am about to spend $50 to correct a typo.

A careful reader caught a mistake in The Whole Clove Diet (print version), near the beginning of Chapter 15. It was a significant error because it involved a date: the new year in the story is 1999, but I wrote “1998.” However, the mistake wasn’t part of a chapter title: it was buried in a paragraph. Most readers might never have noticed it.

The title of Chapter One shows that the novel starts in Sept. 1998. Later in the book, I flash forward to Dec. 31, 1999 for one chapter, but the book actually ends in Oct., 1999. The more I thought about it, the more important it seemed that no one get confused about the flash-forward year.

I hate mistakes. Fifty dollars is a lot of money, but if I hadn’t changed it, it would have irritated me forever. I’d have been grabbing books out of people’s hands and correcting the year with a pen before they could come across it on their own.

So I decided that since I haven’t actually started promotion on The Whole Clove Diet yet, and only a few copies are in print, I’ll make the change. It means another delay in getting the e-book version out, but in the long run I’ll be happier.

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Filed under The Whole Clove Diet: A Novel, Weight loss

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