Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The final word on fat

C grew up in the good old days. The summers were longer, the days golden and the long drive to Blenheim for the holidays was shared with two adults smoking in the front seat with the windows up the whole way. No one at the time suggested it was child abuse. Driving home from the pub after a couple of jugs was normal and if someone was killed by a drunk driver the coroner declared the death 'accidental'.

But as society learnt more about the harm caused by cigarettes and drunk drivers our laws, and eventually our attitudes, changed.

It doesn't matter where you sit on the political, philosophical, or religious spectrum, being fat by which I mean obese, makes no sense. And I'm not afraid of saying so. With my very own real name attached to the opinion.

Not all smokers die of smoking related illnesses. Not every fat person is unhealthy. The evidence, however is unequivocal. Forget about the politics of body image, and the beauty debate. Ignore for a minute the gender issues of the impossibility of the ideal female form, versus the margin of 'error' afforded to men. Just consider where you live. I believe that first and foremost we live in our bodies. Our souls, spirits, personalities, egos, brains - the things that make us uniquely us - live in a physical form. Before our homes, villages and cities, we live in our bodies. And take it from me, that when our primary residences are in disrepair life is more challenging.

Creationists believe that we are created in the image of God and that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Scientists believe that we evolved and that the strongest, fittest and smartest of our species will outlast the others. Creationist scientists should be lawyers. The ducking and diving in their literature could be an Olympic sport. Even taking the crude view that humans are no more than a form of machine you can't escape from the harsh truth. Being too fat is bad for us. Being too skinny is bad for us as well but no-one's rushing to defend anorexics in the way that fat people evoke sympathy.

Being overweight is a key factor in a whole host of diseases, illnesses, syndromes, and disorders. The reason people get fat? We eat more energy than we expend. Imagine your car tank being full of petrol and asking the attendant to pour petrol into the back seat because there's no more room in the tank. What about taking a shitty form of energy like diesel and mixing that in with your petrol? Car wouldn't get far. But still people clamour for more refined sugar, more empty carbohydrates, more crap food to make them feel better. Poured maple syrup into your stereo lately? Not designed to run on maple syrup right? Our bodies are not designed, created, evolved - whatever - to run on the modern diet of junk food and jelly beans.

And just for a second, imagine owning a piece of equipment that never got used. A sofa never sat on. A book never read. A body never walked.

I should know. Since I began chemo I have put on 7 kilos. Of fat. Why? My taste buds are shot, my nausea overwhelming and my energy levels at all time lows. I have eaten as I have pleased to get me through the day. I have not exercised with any real intensity. I have stayed in bed.

I have disrespected the temple of my spirit. And in January I will suffer twice over. Firstly because I will begin the painful process of expelling the fat from my body by walking and running around the streets of my village, going to Les Mills for the world's best fitness classes, and lifting weights. And secondly because I will have to deal with C & T & P moaning their arses off (if only this were literally possible!) about the delicious semi-vegan nutrition plan our whole family will enjoy. There will be two options for every meal - take it or leave it. More raw carrots with your grilled tofu darling?

I do sincerely believe that fat people, smokers, climate change sceptics must try harder in 2010. The unfairness in this unholy triumvirate is that only one of these groups can be easily identified by others. If you're a healthy weight and feeling pretty smug right now - grow up. There are undoubtedly things in your own life that wouldn't look too flash on display for all to see. Be thankful that sneaking looks at internet porn while your wife is out doesn't instantly turn your hair permanently purple, or that speeding through a school zone doesn't set off flashing lights spelling IDIOT all around your car.

Me, I'm just pleased that when you're one-boobed and bald no one bothers to check out your bum.


Anonymous said...

giggling on that last note....
kisses to you - all of you.
Jacinda P

BeJolly said...

Oh shite - and I was just about to drop you around some Brandy Balls for Xmas....

Kyla said...

I loved it when we went to your radiation therapy planning appointment and because we were running late as soon as you were out of the car you ran and ran and ran. Me, your younger, not full of posion, 2 big boobs and 1 big arse sister was running, puffing, walking, running, puffing, walking. My racing heartbeat reminded me of the inaugural Who Can Scooter Around the Block the Fastet? competition when you bet my time by 2 mins (I like to think your baldness makes you more aerodynamic). You will always inspire me to try harder. Thanks babe.