FATTY FATTY TWO-BY-FOUR
I’ve had problems with my weight my entire life. Who knows why. My mom says I was raised on evaporated milk or some such, but that’s hardly science. The problem I have is probably the same problem you have – I love food! Food tastes good. I was watching a special on TV the other night called “FAT: What No One Is Telling You” and it was about how the human species evolved in a world where food was scarce. Our bodies are designed to store fat for when we can’t get food, and our brains are constantly telling us to stock up. The problem is, the world we evolved in is gone (for North America, anyway). These days there really isn’t a time that we can’t get food. It also touched on the difficulty that many have when they pit their conscious mind – the one that wants to be thin and to not eat – with the subconscious mind that throbs with millions of years of instinct. It is a battle that can’t be won. Your will can make you hold your breath for only so long before the rest of your mind forces you to gasp. We all have different metabolisms, we all have different tastes, we all have different parasites! And those things control what we eat, how much we eat, and how our eating habits affect our bodies.
I USED TO SNEAK INTO THE KITCHEN AT NIGHT WHEN MY PARENTS WERE SLEEPING AND EAT SPOONFULS OF DRY HOT CHOCOLATE MIX. SERIOUSLY.
Check out me (far right) with my brother (far left). I got the artist genes, he got the skinny genes.
The most I ever weighed (that I know of) was 220 lbs, and that was about a year ago. Since then I’ve lost 40 pounds through 3-4 months of a very strict and difficult diet. Since I stopped being on that diet I gained back 10 pounds (I’m surprised that’s all considering it’s been well over half a year) and after the Saturday Morning Cartoon Party I once again restricted my intake in order to get back down to 180, more or less (which took about a month). I still am not “thin,” but I don’t care about that. My goal was to have an average weight, not borderline obesity, and I think I met that goal. Maybe I’m a little extra-average, but that’s something I can live with.
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION – INCLUDING MODERATION
And in the harsh light of day I realize that I will probably be doing this sort of on again/off again diet thing for the rest of my life. I can go a month denying myself certain delicious pleasures. I cannot go through my entire life that way. I will overeat from time to time. Everybody does it. In me it’s a particularly strong weakness (yeah I know that’s an oxymoron). Is it wrong to treat myself to a binge now and again? The alternative is to deny myself 24/7. If I promised to never gorge myself on butter chicken or junk food, I would simply end up breaking that promise. So why make the promise? I have urges and cravings that I am simply not strong-willed enough to deny. I have learned that after 30+ years of trying to deny them. I can’t fool myself; it’s something I’m going to have to accept, and so is everyone around me! I am going to eat things that taste good.
A BIG FAT DESTINY
I am slowly learning tricks to manage these urges (eat slower, eat small things more often, ignore that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ bullshit, and above all don’t keep any food in the house) And thank baby Jesus for medical science! Thank Hough & Phadnis for sucralose! Now I can have a bowl of ice cream that has less calories than a banana or two pieces of bread. I can get candies at the Candy Aisle on 4th Ave that are neglible. I can drink cream soda whenever I can track it down.
Here’s me at 13
MY FAVOURITE FOODS ARE BAD FOR ME
Our taste buds were designed over millions of years evolution to most enjoy the kind of foods that give us the greatest amount of energy. Energy = calories, by the way. So that’s why we like sugar and fat the most. If I lived in Africa or Labrador many years ago the only way I could stay alive would be to go out and risk my life trying to stab a yak in the neck. And then I would fuckin’ eat the yak, and the yak would sustain me for a good long time. Now the yaks are prepackaged and on every corner and I don’t have to risk anything to get one. And they’re smothered in butter and sugar. So once again technology has become a double edged hammer.
Here are the most tasty things in Toren’s world that are available every day within walking distance:
Pizza (Mediterranean or Uncle Fatih’s ham & pineapple)
Scottish eccles cake from Max’s Deli
Cheddar beer chips (among many other kinds)
Butter or Pecan tarts
Pies of all varieties
Delicious nachos with guacamole
Sour cream donut from Tim Horton’s
Licorice ice cream
Taro bubble tea
All but the last conspire to make me morbidly obese.
There are certain things I don’t have trouble cutting out of my diet. Bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and, surprisingly, cheese, are all things that I don’t crave. They’re nice, but if I’m going to go for something bad for me, there are other options. So I opt to avoid those things 99% of the time. Occasionally I will have have a bready sandwich instead of a breadless salad. For me, every food item has a certain ranking of TASTE vs CONVENIENCE vs HEALTH. I consult the somewhat nebulous chart in my mind when I’m hungry. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s realistic. And I try not to have any delusions about what I can and cannot pull off when it comes to one of my favourite pastimes: eating.
There is very little chance of me becoming ‘thin.’ And as I get older, that chance shrinks. But here’s the thing: I don’t care to be thin. I exercise on my little bike for a minimum of 20 minutes almost every day. I am not in danger of having a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, or any other problem associated with obesity. I am not entirely out of shape. I’m going to enjoy my life, and if and when I find my body is outside the boundaries of good health, I will set goals and take steps to meet those goals, and then when those goals are met I will resume life enjoyment.
How ya like me now?