Actually, I don’t know why you are fat or if you are even fat at all. But I do know how I got fat (and healthy again) and can share that story along with a couple of (dirty) little secrets I’ve uncovered lately.
I got fat the old fashioned way, beer and doughnuts. As a young entrepreneur owning a cleaning service in my early 30s, my alarm went off at 4 a.m. and I was out the door and on the road to take care of my accounts. My favorite gas station would have fresh doughnuts waiting just for me along with that cup of hot coffee. I mostly preferred cake doughnuts with the chocolate icing as they were more filling than the raised doughnuts and I liked my coffee black.
Life was good back then. I was married with three young children, had a house in the country, a good circle of friends, the bills were getting paid and I was impervious to things like calories, trans-fat, high glycemic super-sized foods and drinks, and even some friendly banter from my children about looking “pregnant”. I played fast and loose with my theology betting that God could and would bail me out of any situation because I was a “good guy” and he offered up “unmerited favor”.
Then in my late 40s divorce found me and I lost my comfort zone; the circle of friends, the unmerited favor of my wife, the trust my children had in me, and in a major way my self-confidence. The one thing I didn’t lose was the belly.
Either pride or vanity spoke to me one day about six months later when I looked in the mirror. It was there and then I decided the belly (all 30 pounds of it) had to go. I was single again the fat gut wasn’t helping my confidence on the dating scene. That’s why I think it was pride or vanity. Who get’s healthy for health’s sake anyway? And why would a higher risk of death motivate anyone? If it made sense, the American landscape would look a lot different than it does now.
Then I did what every red-blooded American does at these junctures in life. I joined a gym. Actually it was a martial arts studio and we worked cardio, we worked weights, we hit the bags with energy and furry. We practiced interval style training. It wasn’t long before I was getting stronger and had more endurance but the problem was I still had the gut. Yes I was building some nice muscle underneath that fat.
Not until I quit being so apathetic about the quantities and nutritional value of the food I was eating that I began to see a difference in my physical appearance and correspondingly energy, immune system and overall well being. Of course this required a change in behavior, in shopping habits and preferences predicated on my studies. I began making educated choices about portions, combinations and nutritional values as it relates to the needs of my body, (not as it appeals to the cultured instinct to coat my palate with something sweet or fat or both). I also made it a point to learn the things that were detrimental to health: trans-fat, monosodium glutamate (msg), high fructose corn syrup, sugars in any large quantity, artificial sweeteners, and processed high glycemic foods.
These days a large part of the population makes food choices based on price, which is what the distribution centers in the food chain offer. I find it fascinating that the high fructose, highly processed, high in calorie foods are all pretty cheap while the high fiber, high in nutrition low glycemic foods are more expensive. Hmmmm.
In the end I feel that paying a little more for my groceries, a little more attention to the details and a little more respect for my myself costs less than the life-style induced disease (including treatment and consequences) brought on by apathy, neglect and ignorance.
“Eat to live not live to eat.” Poor Richards Almanac as authored by Ben Franklin.