I've never been really obese, but I have often ventured in and out of the land of Flabbesia. I've done the up-and-down thing.
Losing weight? No problem. This time, I dropped ten pounds in three weeks. Nothing new. This advantage has been a bit of a disadvantage to me: "Well, I can drop the weight any time," I say, as I dive into a gallon of ice cream. Literally. Dive in. And chew my way out.
As far as appearance, when I gain weight, people start asking me if I have been lifting weights. I short, I am cursed/blessed with proportional weight-gain. I can carry it off -- to an extent.
"You're not fat," people say, kindly. But I know the numbers.
Sadly, like many who battle with the bulk, I do tend to find myself right up there again after a while.
I recently posted about my weight loss on Facebook:
"This just in: Down 10.5 pounds. Still fat. Will continue to update."
I did it, like I always do, with Weight Watchers. Some online conversation ensued about weight loss. My sister, who has managed to lose weight and keep it off for many years, speculated that perhaps Weight Watchers is missing something -- that it is not meeting my needs. This, of course, is from someone with self-discipline. Someone who can say, as I have heard her proclaim, wisely: "I order the small fries, because, if I order the large fries, I'm still going to want more anyway...so why eat the extra calories to wind up in the same frame of mind?"
This is excellent logic. This is effective logic for my sister. But she, unlike myself, is not a mindless "eating machine."
|Me, at dinner.|
Like a person who has been possessed and taken on a hedonistic joyride by an evil spirit or by some alien creature, I often "wake up" and find myself forty pounds heavier. I am not conscious of my indulgences, only of -- when it is too late -- their uncomfortable consequences. I weep into my fat little hands and then wail up to the heavens [crane shot in the rain]: "WHAAAAAAYYYYYYY?"
There is no thought in my eating. There is only "yum" or "not-yum." There is no chin-scratching discernment of a hint of tarragon playing beneath ribbons of flavor in a beparsleyed dish. There is only "MMPF. GOOOOD." or "PTOOEY."
So, to my sister who thinks Weight Watchers might be missing something I need, I say, no. I cannot be philosophical about needs and fulfillment. What I need is structure. What I need is graphic and literal accountability. Control, with food, will never become a natural habit for me. Not with food.
Nope. For me it is simple: start keeping track and never stop. That's it. Weight Watchers, as most know, is reasonable. I follow what they say. I am a shark on a leash for the rest of my days. I'm cool with that.
My wife often says that she does not want to spend her life worrying about what she eats -- keeping track of every bit. Well, neither do I. But a mindless eater must keep track. She is capable of what she seeks. She loves fruits and veggies. She is not a glutton. She and I are different in that way. I wish I were more like her when it comes to food.
But the way I see it, I am slated for a life of keeping track of "points." For me, there can be no transition into "eating sensibly." Even the phrase itself implies a "sense" of what one is doing when one eats -- a thought process behind the deed.
When is the last time you saw a tiger shark in conversation with a hammerhead?
"[burps] Man," says Tiger. "I need to cut down on the seals. Too fatty."
"True dat," says Hammer. "They give me indigestion. I'm going on an all-seaweed diet."
It would be against their nature. Won't happen. The only way to change their diet would be to put them in a tank and to feed them only what is good for them. So be it.
The only thing that worries me is that a Great White has never survived in captivity. Ah, well.