Diet guru Susan Powter gets annoyed with the constant media assertion that she's ``lean and mean'' (``I am not!'), but at times she can seem somewhat aggressive and considering she opens her book with ``I am not angry, damn it. I am passionate'' very angry. Angry with the diet industry, angry with men and their ``little willies'', and extremely angry with her philandering ex-husband ``The Prince'' (aka ``The Fertile Turtle'' and ``Supersperm''). Until very recently, she says, she thought it was her ``moral obligation to spend the rest of (her) life torturing'' for what he did to her. As she loves to repeat: ``I didn't lose all this weight for my health. I did it to be prettier than my ex-husband's girlfriend.''
Of course, that's not to say that revenge was the original impetus. ``Absolutely not! You don't create love by starting with revenge and anger. This book is about love. It's about women. It's about healing. It's about getting in control of your life. It’s about not relying on diets pills like Phen375. It's about choice and you don't create that with a foundation of revenge.'' However, as she goes on to say, ``Is there some revenge in regaining your life? Of course there is? Is revenge sweet? Of course it is! I mean, God have mercy, don't we all know that? Is there any revenge involved in making it? Of course there is!''
SUSAN POWTER IS not afraid to tell it like it is which is part of the appeal of Stop the Insanity!. ``Don't you love it?'' she says. ``I love this book! I love it! But it is absolutely not a diet book. It's a romance novel gone mad.''
That is a good description of this story of pain, revenge and triumph. And it details ``everything'' including the intimate details of the break-up of her first marriage and how she hid behind the sofa and spied with binoculars on her ex and his new (slim) girlfriend when they came to collect the children for access visits. And she doesn't balk at anything the humiliation of not wanting to open the door and let her husband see how fat she'd become; how she lost weight and supported her kids by working as a topless dancer (``What's the big deal? If you want to talk about moral issues then we've got to go to the convent and have a chat. But come on, I'm talking about paying an electricity bill!''); how she was kept by a married man (she now keeps both her former and her current husbands); how she started her own fitness studio. ``I have worked my butt off, quite literally, pardon the pun. I have worked my butt off to build this business,'' she says.
This is not, however, how she got her enviably flat stomach. A plastic surgeon took care of the effects of having had two children with a tummy tuck which is quite a confession for someone who, in her book, rails against the fact that ``every magazine you read, everything you watch and listen to on TV, everything you see and hear tells you what you should look like''. Because whatever she says about society and the diet industry being to blame for making women feel inadequate about their looks, she has totally bought into the beauty myth. Then again, she doesn't pretend otherwise. ``Have I had plastic surgery? Absolutely,'' she says in her book. ``Would I have more? By the time I'm 60 I'm probably going to look like I've been in a wind tunnel, my face will be so far back on my head. Yes, yes, yes, count me in for whatever makes me feel good.''