I’m fat. If you want to get clinical, I’m obese, at least according to BMI tables, height-weight charts, etc. I’ve pretty much always been fat. I’ve had a few dalliances with skinny, but they never lasted, and they pretty much ended when my metabolism downshifted in my late twenties.
Do I obsess over food? Yes. Do I eat for comfort? Absolutely. Do I eat food that is unhealthy? Almost every day. But the thing is, that’s true for most people, to one degree or another. By and large, I eat a healthy diet, I just consume more calories than I burn. My dietary choices play a big part of this, of course, but I’ve also got a wicked thrifty metabolism.
It’s funny, when you see someone who can eat whatever they want and never gain weight, you say “Gosh, I wish I had their metabolism.” But when you see someone who is obese no matter what they eat, you say “They should exercise some will power.”
Let’s face it, obesity is seen as a character flaw in this society. Not because it’s unhealthy (which it assuredly is) but because it’s unattractive. Fat, sweaty people are distasteful. I think so, too, and I am one.
‘You should just go on a diet’. Typically, diets don’t work all that well for me. There’s usually an initial weight loss, then my metabolism adjusts to the new caloric input. And I’m miserable. As soon as I relax the restrictions on calorie intake, because I can’t take it any more, I gain all the weight back plus interest. It’s that thrifty metabolism, remember? Of all the approaches I’ve tried, the South Beach Diet was the most successful. I lost 40 lbs on that one, but I’ve gained about 10 of it back. And it’s hard to diet. It might be easy for some people, but it’s slow, slow torture for me.
I’m hoping that the exercise I’ve been getting will make a difference. It should. I’m already feeling much stronger since I started bike commuting, but I’d like to lose a little weight as well.
Because it’s no fun being the butt of everyone’s jokes.