Unitasker Wednesday: 1 lb Fat Model Replica

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

After injuring my foot this past winter, my doctor prohibited me from running and walking for more than a mile a day until my foot completely healed. About a month ago, I finally got the green light to return to running, and I was thrilled to be able to exercise again.

However, not running for five months had some consequences on my body. I am extremely slow now, can only run 1/4 mile before having to walk for awhile, I have to carry a change of socks with me because if my socks get sweaty I instantly get blisters, and I weigh 20 pounds more than I did at the time of my injury.

That’s right, I gained 20 pounds in five months. I had no idea what that looked like — simply looking in the mirror was ineffective — so I jumped online and ordered 20 Fat Replicas, 1 lb each:

Now that I have my 20 Fat Replicas, I know how much weight I gained! If it weren’t for the 1 lb Fat Model Replicas, I’d be oblivious to what it felt like to carry an extra 20 pounds of fat. I bet you’re thinking, “But Erin, can’t you tell since it’s YOUR body?” Well, that is just silly! It is 100 percent impossible to know what weight feels like without the Fat Replicas.

As I shed the fat and start to regain muscle, I’m going to have to order some of the 1 lb Body Muscle Replicas so I’ll know what muscle feels like, too!

Thanks to reader Dominic for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

45 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: 1 lb Fat Model Replica”

  1. posted by gypay packer on

    I broke an ankle two weeks ago, and the pain meds are destroying my stomach. As always, you motivate me for all good. My simpler method–pick up a 5 lb bag of sugar (now downsized to 4 1/2?). Immediate visualization, immediate discouragement.

  2. posted by Sooz on

    These are not unitaskers for those who are studying anatomy in a non-medical-school setting — physical therapists, massage therapists, etc.

    And I can imagine they might be motivating to some people who are trying to lose weight.

    @gypay packer: great idea!

  3. posted by empty on

    I have no idea why Amazon is selling these, but Sooz is right: they are teaching tools in the health sciences. A unitasker, true, but so was the skeleton hanging in the corner of my high school biology classroom.

  4. posted by Rachel on

    Well, these are certainly interesting unitaskers! Erin, I’m glad to hear you are able to run again. This should serve as a reminder to all of us of how efficiently our bodies use calories. We need very little fuel to maintain body weight.

  5. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I’m so glad that I worked out this morning! Ick.

  6. posted by Fern on

    What do you mean? This is no unitasker. You can use it as both a doorstop AND a paperweight, and if you get angry, you can throw it at people!

  7. posted by George on

    Tch Erin, what would reality shows on weight loss use if they couldn’t buy these models. 😉

  8. posted by chacha1 on

    @ Fern, right on! You can probably use it as a stress ball or hand exerciser too …

  9. posted by Joan on

    I use this in my role as a Weight Watchers leader! 🙂

  10. posted by Mario . on

    “The Escape”

    Little Pepitto was a young man now at eighteen years of age, but he retained the youthful look he had when he used to make espressos for the shoe shiners’ customers. The tussle of thick black hair, the hard olive skin, he was on his way to be a handsome young man. But he was ugly on the inside. He had only recently learned that he spent the last eight years of his live living a lie. For eight years he toiled all day making coffee and at night he would wait for his mother to return. The mix of emotions he felt, first longing, then loss, then resentment of an apparent abandonment, had mixed Little Pepitto’s emotions from the rainbow of youthful hope to a dark black soup of a tortured soul. He was filled with, dare the word even be written… hate. Hate! Yes, the most sinful of emotions and he had plenty to spare for the village that had kept the lie lit for so long. He resented every living person at Monte Cappuccino and despised them all, but with nothing to his name except for his parents small paid-off apartment, an expresso machine, and the trusty Sunpentown SD-1501 Warm-Air Dish Dryer, he had to continue to make coffee for the townspeople. How cruel his life! Slave to the town. Slave to the bean. He now hated the thick burnt stench of espresso. At night he would ask himself in the mirror, out loud, sometimes screaming and sometimes crying, “How did my life end up like this!” He would fall asleep without answers.

    Little Pepitto only knew of his mothers demise when he met Nutella, the most beautiful girl in town. She had always had a crush on Little Pepitto and would see him working so hard, so mature, she always knew Little Pepitto was not like the other boys, even when she was too young to appreciate what it was that attracted her: Little Pepitto was wise beyond his years. When she matured, so did her realization that she was falling in love with Little Pepitto. They would talk. They would walk. And slowly but surely they would love. It was on a crisp Monte Cappuccino fall, after making love behind the leather shop, as they cuddled in the scrap pile, that Nutella told Little Pepitto the truth of his mother. Little Pepitto was so shocked, he projected all the negative feelings of the lie on the messenger. He left Nutella to lay half-naked and crying in the leather scraps, only looking over his shoulder to tell her to never speak to him again.

    Little Pepitto lost his love. He lost his parents. He lost what he thought was the respect of everyone in Monte Cappuccino, after all he must be the town fool if they could all keep such a secret from him for so long. “The time has come…” said Little Pepitto as he lay in bed falling asleep, “…tomorrow I will leave Monte Cappuccino.”

    The espressos Little Pepitto made only let him break even. He didn’t have two coins to spare to rub together. How was he to leave Monte Cappuccino? And leaving town would not be enough to wash his soul clean. Little Pepitto knew this. Little Pepitto knew he had to… pray his Mother and Father in heaven forgive him… leave Italy! He needed a new life. A free life. And in the real world, one of cops and passports and rules and regulations, he knew from stories the visitors would tell while they had their shoes shined, that the truest sweetest freedom in the world, was in America. But one does not fly Rome to New York without passport or money. But Little Pepitto heard so many stories from travelers about their own travels, he knew of a way into America he just might be able to perform. “Up through Mexico.” thought Little Pepitto to himself.

    It was four in the mourning and Little Pepitto made himself the strongest expresso his Mothers’ machine has ever made. It puffed and pushed the hot water through with so much difficulty the machine let out the last puff of steam that will ever make. The machine broke down as the last drops of espresso dripped into the massive mug Little Pepitto had prepared. The last of his Mothers’ nectar and it would have to keep Little Pepitto awake and energized for what he was about to do. Would his Mothers’ milk posthumously delivered as caffeinated sustenance keep Little Pepitto alive until he was hidden in the hull of a ship and on his way to Mexico? He was about to find out.

    Little Pepitto darted out the door, energized like never before. He broke into the jewelers shop and filled a backpack full of gold rings and little stones. Little Pepitto darted to the shoe-makers and broke in through the window, stealing all the cash in the register. Little Pepitto smashed though the door of the leather shop and made his way past the register and out the back door. He wasn’t here for the money, in two quick visits he already filled a bag with jewelry and cash, enough for the men at the docks, anyway. He was here for another reason. He looked at the pile of leather scraps that lay behind the shop, and he spit on the pile. And into the orange glow of sunrise, he disappeared.

    Like a dream delivered in flashes, he found himself hitching out of town. Hours in the back of a truck. More hitching. The smack of a brick against the head of a tourist and a stolen motorcycle ride, hard and true and fast down to the seaside. The foggy silhouette of boats bigger than buildings. The exchange of a bag full of money and gold for a promise delivered.

    A promise delivered! The dream-like flashes came to a sudden half as Little Pepitto found himself a stow-away, hidden in a cargo-hold of a merchant ship setting sale from the Italian Seaside to sunny Mexico. “No more chilly Monte Cappuccino for Little Pepitto. No more expresso making for this Sailor!” Little Pepitto thought to himself. He settled into his bunk and fell asleep as the boat rocked gently to the waves of the atlantic ocean. It was the best sleep Little Pepitto had ever had in his life. He dreamed of his Mother every night until he woke to the sound of bells he never heard before. Land.

    Little Pepitto left the boat with papers provided. His black tussle of hair and dark olive skin made him look more native than illegal tourist. Mexico would be his new home only for a short while though. Making small talk with the few bi-lingual folks working on the merchant boat during the journey, he had only a dozen or so working words in Spanish, but it would be enough. Only one word was really needed. “North.”

    Little Pepitto quickly found his way near the border, stealing and swapping his way to just near El Paso. But here he learned just how difficult and dangerous the border crossing was. The American Dream was not open to all. It was called a Dream for a reason, most people only enjoyed it in their sleep. But Little Pepitto had been asleep for too long, he was going to make the good life real. Not even a good life, just – a – life would be enough. And maybe later, a love to call his own. But for now, only “North” was on his mind. How would he get into El Paso?

    But months had passed. Then a year. Little Pepitto had been in Mexico for over a year now and he was desperate to leave. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Conversing with the locals led to meetings with persons of the drug trade profession. The most dangerous, but most immediate way over the border, was to smuggle drugs. Little Pepitto offered to carry drugs in return for a quick, immediate, one way trip into the United States. The offer was simple, smuggle one pound of heroin across the border to meet a certain contact, and then Pepitto would be free. Little Pepitto would be given fake papers to make it across the border easily. He took them up on the offer, not knowing one small detail would make the trip one he would dread more than the nightmares of wondering what happened to Mamma as he fell asleep a lonely boy.

    “Hombre.” said the coordinator of the trip. “There is one special thing you need to know about why our trips over the border are so successful. We don’t smuggle drugs in suitcases.”

    “How do you bring the drugs then?” Little Pepitto asked with concern.

    “Inside you.”

    “You mean, I swallow the drugs?”

    “No. I mean, in-side-you.”

    Little Pepitto’s face contorted in shock and fear. But it was too late now, he was to leave in a few days and got to a point where, especially to these people, you don’t say “no”.

    “We are going to cut some fat out of your belly and fill the hole with the drugs wrapped in surgical plastic. On the other side, in El Paso, you will visit a house where they will take the drugs out and stitch you up. A proper doctor who is “with us” with perform the procedure. You will be fine.”

    Crazy with fear he tried his best to keep the conversation technical to not show the fear that fermented within. Little Pepitto asked, “How will you safely know what to take out, to make the drugs fit the space?”

    “Easy” replied the man. “We have a 1 lb Fat Model Replica. We take out exactly that much from your little belly, and fill the hole with 1 lb of drugs.”

    There was no turning back. This was one-way or no-way.

    “Let’s do it.” replied Little Pepitto.

    A day passed, Then another. Then Little Pepitto found himself laying on a metal slab of a walk-in fridge.

    The local doctor, connected with the trade, stood over him.

    “You are going to sleep now. When you wake up, you will have a belly full of drugs and a passport in your hand and you will begin your trip to El Paso. Good luck.”

    As Little Pepitto’s eyes closed from the pain killers – watered down heroin – he said a prayer.

    “Mamma, Pappa, forgive me.”


  11. posted by Brenda on

    Everything in its place. I agree with the comments about the place of these models in health sciences. I accompanied my husband in rehab activities after his heart attack last year. Our nutritionist held up two models – 1lb of fat and 1lb of muscle. They were very effective in focusing us on health goals rather than weight goals. The visual impact of these models was extraordinary – 1lb of muscle takes up less room than 1lb of fat. We experienced a much-needed motivation boost at a time of major re-adjustment.

  12. posted by Amy on

    Holy cow! $47.65 list price, and $26.64 on sale! The 5-pounder is $81.57! It BETTER be motivating!

  13. posted by Ramblings of a Woman on

    Do you remember when Oprah pulled a wagon out with all the ‘fat’ she had lost? Wow. I could use some visual motivation to keep from gaining the 35 pounds I have lost.

  14. posted by Molly on

    I think a pound of butter would be a much more economical solution.

  15. posted by Anita on

    Erin, I love some of your unitaskers, but I really wish you’d take into account the target market and the intended use for these things.

    As commenters pointed out, this is an effective teaching and motivational tool, in very specific instances. My gym has one of these, alongside the 1lb of muscle replica.

    One good way to assess the target market for a product is to read the product description. The one for this thing calls it an “attention-getter” which is meant to raise awareness and motivation “when passed amongst an audience.” Obviously, these were not intended for everyone to buy, but are targeted specifically at speakers delivering presentations about weight loss, obesity, fitness, exercise, or any other topic which would benefit from the audience having a vivid image of what 1lb of fat looks like.

    Obviously, most people would have no use for them. But the same can be said of most 3D models of human organs or body parts. I’d never want to buy that model of a human eye that opens up to show all of its different parts, but it did help me understand what my optometrist was talking about last time I had an eye exam…

  16. posted by Mac on

    If muscle weighs more than fat does that mean the 1 lbs muscle model weighs more than the 1 lbs fat model? 😉

  17. posted by Nicole on

    This is indeed silly for the general public, but when I did Weight Watchers after having my first child, they had the 5-lb version of this product and it was very motivational!

  18. posted by WilliamB on

    Mario, in addition to giving a grim, dryly humorous tale full of unitaskers (don’t think that I missed the Sunpentown SD-1501 Warm-Air Dish Dryer), shows that there is no character limit here at Unclutter Unitasker Wednesdays.

    (Non-accidental pun.)

  19. posted by javamonster on

    The WW Leader I used to go to used one of these (only I think it was the 5 pounder she used as well). She’d pull it out just about every meeting, or have it sitting on the table behind it her, and it was endlessly fascinating to look at while she spoke.

    Maybe I should get one of these lumps to keep motivated at home when I use our new elliptical machine!

  20. posted by Robin on

    Now, Erin, don’t be ridiculous! Why would you buy 20 of these when you could simply buy four of the five-pound models? Sheesh, what kind of unclutterer are you?

  21. posted by Mandy on

    I think this is reaching Erin. Are you running out of unitaskers to post?

    This is an educational and motivational tool used in schools, gyms, weight-loss centers. It’s not for the everyday person.

    As someone else wrote, think of the target market.

  22. posted by cng on

    In defence of Erin’s choice: the item may have a purpose – which we all agree is to illustrate, motivate or educate – but it still only has that ONE purpose. And that makes it a UNI-tasker. It doesn’t mean it serves NO purpose to anyone.

  23. posted by Marcus Murphy on

    Quote of post by cng:
    In defence of Erin’s choice: the item may have a purpose – which we all agree is to illustrate, motivate or educate – but it still only has that ONE purpose. And that makes it a UNI-tasker. It doesn’t mean it serves NO purpose to anyone.

    @cng – Using that logic, then a pen is also a unitasker object because all it can do is write, or a light bulb is a unitasker because all it does is throw light in an area. This item is used as a visual aid for speakers, just as a power point would be used or any other prop relating to whatever you were speaking about…

  24. posted by TMichelle on

    Lighten up on Erin or else she’ll get discouraged and there will be no unitaskers.

  25. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Marcus and @cng — There is only one real rule regarding Unitasker Wednesdays: An item will be considered for a Unitasker Wednesday post if it makes Erin laugh.

    That’s it.

    Noting that, we typically define a unitasker as any object that lacks utility for the majority of our readership. This blob of fake fat qualifies, as most of our readers have no use in their homes or offices for replica fat.

    An object with high utility (like a toilet, fire extinguisher, pen, etc.) isn’t a unitasker. We call these “single-purpose items,” not unitaskers.

    But, like I said, it doesn’t really matter. The only rule is if it makes me laugh … and this does. And it’s creepy. And creepy makes funny things more funny. Oh, and I’ve started to pick things based off of what I think might inspire Mario to write even more humorous comments. He’s a riot. I wish more people took his lead and wrote make-believe tales about the unitaskers!!

  26. posted by JenO on

    @ Mario

    Way to go! Although it could be a bit shorter and still have the same effect (in other words, declutter your post!).

  27. posted by Marti on

    Oh dear, I don’t think I like Little Pepitto anymore . . . what were we talking about?

  28. posted by Another Amy on

    This is disgusting. And all I can say about little Pepito is show me your green card.

    I quit smoking, got out of a very bad marriage and am going thru the change. I have plenty of extra pounds now and find it isn’t as unhealthy as you might think. I’ve even read recently that being a little overweight in middle age isn’t such a bad thing. It helps keep osteoporosis at bay, for one thing.

    Old age is not for sissies.

  29. posted by Mike on

    “An object with high utility (like a toilet, fire extinguisher, pen, etc.) isn’t a unitasker.”

    A toilet isn’t a unitasker. It is used for at least two very common–but very different–tasks daily (if things are working properly), and many other tasks in addition to that.

  30. posted by Jim on

    The worst case yet: http://crapgadgets.com/?p=303

    Sometimes I get scared by humanity and its ability to spend the efforts where it least matters.

  31. posted by WilliamB on

    Erin wrote: Oh, and I’ve started to pick things based off of what I think might inspire Mario to write even more humorous comments. He’s a riot.

    I can support this critereon.

  32. posted by ninakk on

    @Mac: 1 kg of adipose tissue obviously weighs the same as 1 kg of muscle tissue. The latter however has a higher density, meaning 1 kg of muscle takes up less space than 1 kg of adipose tissue, or in other words 1 liter of muscle tissue weighs more than 1 liter of adipose tissue. This is what was demonstrated by Brenda’s nutritionist.

  33. posted by Anita on

    Erin says: “we typically define a unitasker as any object that lacks utility for the majority of our readership. This blob of fake fat qualifies, as most of our readers have no use in their homes or offices for replica fat.”

    Based on this criterion, I would like to nominate the following objects for Unitasker Wednesday:
    – stethoscopes
    – cleaners for fiber optic connectors
    – light meters
    – Anthrax detection devices
    – retinal scanners

    … all of which are available on Amazon.com.

  34. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Anita — None of those things are really very funny to me. And, as I’ve said, the only real criteria is: “Does it make Erin laugh?” Blobs of fake fat make me laugh, stethoscopes don’t. It’s as simple as that.

  35. posted by Kristy on

    Blogs of fake fat make me laugh too… and I have a 5 lb one sitting above my desk. I use it with children to talk about whale, polar bear, and penguin blubber. 🙂

  36. posted by david b on

    I have so wanted to buy a few of these.. One.. as a hypnotherapist its a great visual to help people realize why they are losing weight.. and two.. as a professional juggler… what an AWESOME prop 😉

  37. posted by Connie on

    Haha, my boss actually had a 5lb model sitting in the office kitchen to discourage people from eating unhealthily.

  38. posted by Matt P on

    I would define a unitasker as an item that is specifically designed to do one thing, but which you could use something you already have to do. (grammar?)
    Avocado slicer, apple corer, banana slicer – why not use a knife?
    Baby food machine – you probably have a blender and a steaming pot already.

    As for the fake fat – when a friend started dieting and exercising to lose weight and lost her first stone (14 pounds), we put a bucket on the scales and poured water in until it weighed a stone. It was nearly a full bucket of water. It was a big motivator!

  39. posted by [email protected] on

    Ah, if we could only stop arguing about what defines a Unitasker or whether anyone should be offended by having something they own appear as a Unitasker, the comments would be much less cluttered.

  40. posted by Kat on

    You expect us to believe that you actually ordered 20 of these, which comes to over $500 not including shipping? What a waste of money.

  41. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kat — It’s a joke. I didn’t buy a single one. I didn’t even gain 20 pounds. I gained a few pounds, but definitely not 20. Re-read the disclaimer at the top of each Unitasker Wednesday post.

  42. posted by Julie K on

    1. Who knew a blob of fat could cause such a discussion??

    2. Personally, I don’t think I would have the courage to admit my weight gain in a public forum. Way to go Erin, for keeping good spirits about the situation and good luck getting back into the swing of things!

  43. posted by Erin on

    Did you happen to notice, that true to life, the fat is costs less than the muscle? Found that oddly ironic!

  44. posted by Alinson on

    Heavens, she spent over $500 buying fake fat? I’m speechless.

  45. posted by Marie on

    When I was on Weight Watchers, they encouraged us to think of weight loss in pounds of butter (four sticks). It was a great gross-out technique because the size and shape is familiar to most people.

    It also scarred me for life as far as getting enjoyment out of baking, but that’s another story.

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