As I stepped out of the shower this weekend, I stopped in front of the mirror for a moment and admired my stomach. If you use a “six pack” as a measurement, my stomach would be better described as carrying a small to medium Butterball Turkey. I looked at this ball of flesh and was equally disgusted and fascinated. Disgusted because having a gut means my clothes don’t fit right and I generally just do not feel good about myself.
On the other hand, I was fascinated by how all of this has come to pass over the years and what has lead me to this condition. The short answer is that when I was coming back to the states after spending 2 years in England, I wanted to look trim. So I dropped from about 180 to 165 and I felt good about that. As most of you that have lost weight know, that was the beginning of a lifelong cycle of weight gain and weight loss. I often wonder what would have happened if I never took on that first diet. Surely, I would have gained weight over the years but I doubt it would have been the 50 pounds I have been fighting off and on for years.
It is also interesting to consider that almost everyone that is even a tiny bit overweight (real or perceived), seems to wish they could lose weight and get to a certain “magic” number. For instance, if you are a woman weighing 140, you probably want to get to 130 or 120. If you are a man at 250, you would like to get to 220 or 200. Even if you are 350, you probably would be thrilled to get back into the 200’s. Odds are, at least for a little while, you will get there! It’s a crazy cycle and we are so many hamsters on this perpetual wheel of weight loss.
It probably doesn’t help when Robert DeNiro can put on 50 pounds for Raging Bull or Sly Stallone the same for Copland and take it all off and be buff in no time. By the same token, watching Angelina Jolie drop her baby weight in about 3 days just makes the average woman feel that much worse. All the while, the FDA as well as food and weight loss manufacturers continue to conspire to keep this shell game going. And let’s not forget the heath care industry who might be the single biggest winner in all of this.
I wish I had a good idea as to how to deal with this. I know that at least for large women that have lost the will to diet anymore, there is a subgroup of men in our culture that are called “plumpers”. These are generally thin men that are only attracted to obese women. They are called “plumpers” because they purposely try to keep these women large at is serves their psychological needs.
The female equivalent of a plumper is called a “whore” or, more specifically, a “money grubbing whore”. This is an attractive woman that will stay with an obese man because he is financially well off. While I suppose this is also a type of psychological addiction, I suspect it has more to do with shopping than fat. The advantage of keeping the man fat, in this case, is that he will almost certainly die sooner and leave the MGW all of his money. (Actually, the MGW will go for fat, skinny, old and young. They do not discriminate, which is an admirable trait).
In any case, I encourage all of you that are fighting your weight to cut back on your self loathing through a nice combination of alcohol and psychiatric meds. You will still be overweight but you won’t give a rats a** about it. In the meantime, when you see my Butterball entering the room before the rest of me does, try to refrain from the following comments that some co-workers recently shared with me:
“Are you sure the buttons on that shirt are not going to pop?”
“If we squeeze your stomach real hard, do you think we could get the fat to go to your butt?”
Surprisingly enough, although I am sure these comments were said with love, they just don’t really seem to help the cause much. So, before you down that next pumpkin muffin or guzzle that Big Gulp of Dr. Pepper, consider the weight of your words.