Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 6-4-12
June 4, 2012
Obesity they claim is epidemic. What to do … what to do …
Here’s the thing: You’re gonna get old, and in all probability … get fat (or chubbier than you wish); your belly will probably acquire a tire varying from bicycle size to super tractor girth. Or you’ll find yourself following your paunch everywhere. For some, your medicine-ball-shaped stomach will grow to such a dimension, you’ll be able to rest your food plate on it, thus avoiding having to pull up to a dining table.
If you don’t pack on the pounds as you pack on the years, you’re probably one of those individuals (usually male) who skinnies down rather than fattens up as the allotted time on this coil speeds by.
Blubberbelly. Fatso. Plump. Chubby. Stout. Portly. Obese. Heavy. Large. Big. Corpulent. Lard Belly. Chunky. Huge. Hog fat. Big as a Whale. These are a few of the descriptive terms for a condition known as being “overweight.”
Who, what is to blame? Somebody or some entity has gotta be the culprit, right? Some say “fast food” eateries are a sure way to add inches to one’s waistline. Some say French fries race to the hips within five seconds of swallowing. Some claim there’s “food deserts” preventing the populace from acquiring fresh fruits and vegetables. Red meat, of course, is accused with hysterical fervor by vegetarians, vegans and other pseudo religious food police.
Other theories point out that nobody exercises anymore. Schools used to include P.E. (physical education). Not any more. Activity takes place by proxy. Now, instead of P.E., kids turn on the computer, then click on a game and watch cartoon figures leap, fly, swim, run, jump in pursuit of another cartoon character. The only exercise the individual gets is in the hand that clicks the mouse or slides on the keypad.
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Jillions of diet books and diet plans have made and are making their skinny authors jillions of dollars. It’s an adventure and a fascination to go into a bookstore and peruse shelves of diet manuals, handbooks, guides, how-to’s, tomes, volumes and digests. Dip twixt the covers and learn how to: “flush your fat away;” “trim your belly;” “drop 30 pounds in 30 days.” Discover “30 second weight loss tricks;” learn “wonder workout for your waist;” find out how to “shift your body into the fat-release mode;” gain knowledge of how to “kickstart your weight loss;” and become acquainted with “the last weight loss program you’ll ever need.”
These miracles can be found inside the covers of volumes such as The Dukan Diet, The Mayo Clinic Diet, The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet, The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged: Lasting Fat Loss That’s Better than Ever!, The New ME Diet: Eat More, Work Out Less, and Actually Lose Weight While You Rest – to name a few.
There seems to be only a modicum of written material or warning labels on sugar products. Every processed food contains a boatload of sugar – baloney, cereals, yogurts – the list never ends. Sugar, sugar, everywhere and all of it we eat.
On a recent trip to the grocery store, I counted 60 shelves of assorted candy, cookies and other munchies. Sixty doesn’t mean the total number of shelves; that was only in one aisle. I didn’t have time to count the shelves in the next aisle or those in the checkout line.
Every gas station has racks of candy and bakery goods the traveler can purchase. Every motel has snack machines where one can obtain candy, candy, candy. You may even find mints sprinkled on your pillow. Banks keep suckers to hand out to the kiddies. Candy is a must in a parade. Gotta have wrapped sweets to throw out to the pudgy children.
“Energy” drinks are loaded with sugar; ditto soda pop; ditto ‘protein’ bars and granola bars; ditto fruit juices. Orange juice has 50 grams of sugar. Cranberry juice has 60 grams. And don’t be fooled by “no sugar added” labeling. Corn syrup is sugar. So is honey. Sugar equals calories, which equals, watch out!
To achieve your desired obesity goal, you must take in more calories than you expend. It’s pretty much that simple. The complicated part is figuring out how to avoid ingesting too much of the fat-making stuff.
As for me, as I’ve reached the dotage years, my shape has changed from hour glass slender to barrel-keg rotund. I hasten to add that I’m not getting old and fat. I’m merely working on those powerful muscles that allow me to sit for long periods of time.