I guess the main reason was that I got extremely tired of accidentally catching my own image in a mirror, or any very reflective surface, and seeing a fat man's body with my head attached. The shock and wince that followed were always momentary but increasingly more frequent. So, I decided, with my fatty heart in hand, to lose some weight.
To misquote Tolstoy, every thin person is the same but every fat person is fat in a different way. I carried almost all my extra load right in the belly. This, researchers now tell us, is the most dangerous kind of fat.
Previous studies have linked an apple-shaped physique to a greater propensity for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Researchers suspect that belly fat cells are the worst because of their proximity to major organs. They ooze noxious chemicals, stoking inflammation, constricting blood vessels and triggering other processes that may also damage brain cells. "There is a lot of work out there that suggests that the fat wrapped around your inner organs is much more metabolically active than other types of fat right under the skin," Whitmer said. "It's pumping out toxic substances. It's very potent toxic fat."
So, apparently, not only am I surrounded in a layer of fat, but the fat is poisonous. Lucky apple-shaped me. In fact, my weight had been, for the last ten years or so, steadily accumulating, at first imperceptibly but now, where the actual increase from month to month is observable. And, let's face it, that's pretty scary. A slow motion body explosion!
For one thing, I don't exercise, and I mean, ever. I still associate exercise with Physical Education class and sweaty yard work. In the past, most of us used to walk a lot more. Now, if I walk down the street, I return home panting as if I had climbed Mt. Everest. With a fearful pounding sensation in my neck, I pretend to be some kind of martyr. How did I get to be so lazy? It is killing me and yet, given a choice of the stairs or an elevator, I would with a moment's reflection, wait an extra minute on Z floor to get to the first floor.
The other reason is food. Dear dear food. The only way I could possibly gain weight faster this last year would have been to cram handfuls of sugar in my mouth from noon to midnight. But then again, cola is perhaps the easiest way to do this.
While I was in the USA this autumn, I noticed two things. Food tastes better- better than it should- and there are so many more choices. Walking the aisles in a typical supermarket takes on a dream like quality when compared to the paltry selection in the average Turkish market. There are just too many irresistible choices. People are not made of stone, after all. You look at some new product and think, "What the hell is ...THAT?" and nearly the next second, "God, I wonder how that tastes? What the hell." And before you know it, you find yourself stowing it in the fridge or on your pantry shelf. You simply cannot live long enough to sample every intriguing morsel and, by the very nature of obesity and the ill health it brings, you are positively guaranteed to be robbed of time for that pleasure.
Besides, I came from a family whose motto was "Self-denial? What's the point?" I heard my mother say probably a hundred times, "Food makes me happy. What's the point of living a long time if you are miserable all the time?" Fair enough. However, as I discovered when I quit smoking, there is a flaw in this idea. It is problem with all addictions. the law of diminishing returns. Addictions, like a first date with a cheerleader, promise a lot but withhold complete satisfaction. The more often you attempt to reach nirvana, the less likely you will be able to attain it. The best you can expect from an addiction is a repeat performance as good as you remembered.
But an addiction to food is a different sort of beast altogether. After all, one doesn't need a daily allowance for alcohol or cigarettes or heroin or crack, but a food is a requirement. It forces us to monitor, to ration and to curtail, when necessary, our intake. And if you ignore this prohibition, you have only yourself to blame if you wake up one drizzly morning wearing a goose-down jacket of poisonous fat.
Okay, models are rumored to live on air and three olives a week, but unless you wish to become a cadaver on the runway, you need some kind of nutrition, you must masticate, and swallow and digest and finally poo.
So, it appears the only solution is to diet. I am trying the Atkins Diet because, if I have to deny myself the pleasures of sugar and every bit of starchy carbohydrates, ( fare thee well, baked potatoes, goodbye, white rice and adios, macaroni! I loved you all!) then meat and deep-fried whatever does offer some degree of greasy comfort. Wish me luck.