Friday, January 7, 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Today I got a very sweet IM. My cousin, ever a kind and loving person, rather brotherly, in a nice way, told me that it makes him angry when he sees my Former Fatty tag line. His argument is that I was never fat. I'm comfortable attributing this out rage to two things. First, he is a rather fantastic individual, as I said. Second, fat is considered a hurtful word in our society. I could go into a tangent about how frustrating it is that we all automatically thing of fat as a hurtful slur along with a number of other words that should probably be looked at as simple adjectives. When it comes to it, fat is a description, at least for me. Sure I've probably used it in a hurtful way in my life but certainly not recently.

In fact, I think part of the problem people who are trying to lose weight are confronted with is that weight loss is taboo. Well, unless you've already lost weight and then everyone wants to know the entire story and exactly what you did. Which only proves the problem. We, as a society, seem to lack a concept of reality when it comes to eating habits and nutrition. Jamie Oliver showed us that kids can't identify tomatoes (google for that sad video but don't say I didn't warn you); There are hundreds of speed diets out there; PhenFen was popular. The list goes on of how clear it is that the main thing lacking in our diets is reality.

Unfortunately, some organizations aren't helping. One example is an organization called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is suing the government for ignoring their suggested vegetarian food pyramid. I've ranted about the challenges the USDA food pyramid presents so I'm not defending the government, by any means. I'm frustrated because after studying PCRM it appears to be a vegan and vegetarian advocacy group. (Their pyramid is also incredibly vague.) I couldn't find a list of their members or donors and upon reading their IRS form 990 they clearly engage in direct lobbying and direct mail marketing. I'm not saying I think their evil, I'm just saying I'm dubious.

Reality is incredible difficult when it hits home (your waist line) in so many ways. Our physicians aren't helping, to be sure. I once had a GI doctor tell me I really needed to lose weight before I was 25 or else it would only get harder. This particular doctor told me this with a straight face and 6 pack in the form of a beer gut.

Reality: can't live with it, can't avoid it?

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