Monday, June 7, 2010

Thoughts On... Weight Loss (updated essay)

To be completely honest, I've never really given much thought to weight loss. Despite spending twenty or so years overweight, I never had a problem with my weight. Which is not to say that I haven't been conned into some half assed weight loss attempts, because I have. But, I've never really been obsessed about it. I've just never really cared. The thinking behind that being that I am an odd person. Anyone who spends more than sixty seconds talking to me will agree. I act oddly, think oddly, and enjoy odd things. So why shouldn't I look odd as well? It's a logical extension of who I am. Over the course of my life, I have learned a great many things about myself, and others. I have gathered facts & figures, ideas, beliefs, theories, and opinions, but at no point did any of that register in such a way where I saw my weight as a problem. My weight has made romantic relationships problematic. (How's that for understatement?) But, most of my interests are solitary in nature and I've always been more comfortable alone than with people. In this case, my weight has HELPED me achieve the lifestyle most conducive to my satisfaction.

Most of my interests are sedentary in nature. Reading, writing, watching tv & movies, coding software, and listening to music can all be done sitting down and in solitude. I'm not interested in things like hiking, skiing, camping, or sports. From that perspective, my weight has no impact on the activities that hold my interest and make my life worth living. And since I work as a software developer, it has no impact on my ability to earn a living. Now there are certain physical activities that are necessary for human survival: walking around, climbing stairs, etc. My weight slows me down in doing those activities. But, that only allows me to more fully enjoy the journey to my destination, instead of being caught up in the rush of day-to-day society. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you stopped and took a nice slow walk and actually LOOKED AROUND, as opposed to just speeding to whatever destination? Again, my weight has helped me here, since I have the time to appreciate the things around me and ENJOY life.

With all these benefits, why should I consider my weight a problem? Because society says so? The same society thought parachute pants were a great form of fashion and currently think American Idol & Survivor are not only quality television programming, but also captivating subject matter? I should listen to these people? Please. Actually, that's not fair. There are some good things about this society. It's a major accomplishment for a society to have convinced its members that to be happy they have to be attractive, despite all evidence to the contrary. Look at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I refuse to use that $()#* fusion of their names. It's degrading to the English language and since we regard names as a tag to our individuality (Otherwise, why have unique names?), it's also an insult to them as people. They are widely regarded as one of the most, if not THE most, attractive couples in this country. Plus, they're extremely wealthy. And their attractiveness makes them so happy they live behind lock and key with a small city of people to support them. And they adopt most of their children because if Angelina has too many naturally, she won't keep the look she has now. And if she looses her look, who knows if she'll still be attractive enough to be happy or profitable?

So, you have to be attractive to be happy. And you can't be overweight and be attractive in this country (despite the examples of Jennifer Hudson, or Mia Tyler), therefore the logical conclusion is you can't be overweight and happy, which has led to larger and larger numbers of people getting eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. And being the good little capitalists we are, we followed the example set forth by the Tobacco companies and spawned an entire industry of products, pills, plans, and diets (to tobacco's spittoons, lighters, and ashtrays) to not only feed and refine this belief, but also to perpetuate it to future generations! Take that commies! Not only will we get healthier, but we'll make TONS OF MONEY doing it! To tell the truth, in the true American way, the dieting industry pushed the example further and have succeeded where the tobacco companies failed: TV. How many versions of "The Biggest Loser" and "Celebrity Fit Club" are out there? Where tobacco is banned from TV. I can just see the head honchos smiling in pride as their bastard child, the diet industry, exceeds their example with flying colors.

Being a logical person, however, I can't deny the actual, medical facts that all point to the fact that being "morbidly obese" is detrimental. What the best weight is to be healthy is something of a moving target, but there is NOT ONE SINGLE IOTA OF DOUBT that being overweight is bad for health. I mean they don't call it "morbid" for fun, folks. And in the initial version of this essay, I was all hyped up about fighting the battle on weight loss. But it's not a simple, single fight. It's a long drawn out war. And of all the stuff, I was doing during that last attempt, the smallest changes are the ones that have stuck with me.

For those of you that are truly, and honestly concerned about my life, I fully appreciate your concern. And, I thank you for caring about me that much. I'm walking the path to being healthy. Just allow me to do it at my own pace. True, lasting change takes time.


  1. All the things you listed as your interests are my interests, too. Except software programming, of course. Very few people these days have actual professions or hobbies that require them to be active. I certainly don't. I sit around all day in an office chair. Nor do I play sports.

    No, health and being able to do simple tasks with ease are the reasons why I keep at the grueling workouts day in and day out. Doing it for vain reasons will never get anyone anywhere. So you're good in not falling into that trap, but you should do it for your health at least.

    Unless you don't like the idea of living long enough to see man land on Mars, or the cure for cancer found. I know I do! :)

  2. Humans on Mars? That'll be something to see.