Tuesday, August 25, 2009



Scratch that.  We hate dieting.  We'd actually love it if that super skinny bitch at the gym that you hope is anorexic-even-though-you-know-she-really-isn't would gain 10 lbs.  Even better would be 20 lbs.  Or at least get a pimple or something.  Throw us a fricking bone.

But if you're a woman, you've been on a diet.  It's the rite of fat passage that no one ever tells you about when you are five that eventually you will have to go through.  No one ever sat me down and said:

"Now Tara, we're going to talk about your BMI."
"What's BMI?" I am 10 or 12 or 15 and on the whole, not very interested in abbreviated words.
"Body Fat Index.  Now, you're alright now (dubious glance at my thick thighs) but one day you will have to go on a diet.  Now, they teach you about food and nutrition at school, don't they?  You exercise in gym class?  And you love your hulu hoop.  Now, just keep your metabolism high and forget about that bag of Halloween candy, that's confiscated.  Oh and remember food isn't love.  Let's see, anything else?  Right, your hormones (shifts uncomfortably from one foot to the other.)  Yeah, those.  Um...well, once a month you're probably going to want to pig out on chocolate and chinese food (in that order); you should test your iron levels, maybe.  Don't go too far, you need to strike a good balance.  Better to be closer to the thin border than the fat border, though.  There's a range (starving self conjures up images of this range, hopefully where there's a chicken I can strangle or at the very least a cheese wheel I can frisk away to munch on top of a hay bale and eat until my heart's content...or my stomach's content, whichever comes first).  But apparently this "range" isn't about high yield maxi-farming, worse luck for me.  It's about healthy weight (which conjures up images of shucking corn, acres and acres of corn you have to walk barefooted through on a hot dry day with no end in sight.)  If that sounds like a dismal existance; trust me, it is.
But no one did have that conversation with me.   All they said was that I was cute and fine just the way I was (although looking at some old family photos, the cute part was definitely "in the eye of the beholder".)   Or when I got braces, at least they can console you with the fact it's temporary.

People have the same attitude towards fat - it's a temporary setback, nothing that a few days or weeks of dieting and exercising wouldn't cure.  Rest up and eat now, it's going to be a long haul,  but - cue Little Orphan Annie singing the chubby girl national anthem - Tomorrow, we are getting down to business. 

And we do get down to business.  And it is a business.  Not just zillions of weight-loss places that will gladly take your money for common sense stuff that you can pull for free off the internet, but all the behind-the-scenes footage that goes on.  Menu planning, grocery shopping, calorie counting, fat counting, counting how many calories are burned during a work out, making a cheerful ticker as your signiture on that board you frequent to show the world that you're engaged in this grizzly bear struggle against obesity armed with a Lean Cuisine and a salad bowl full of good intentions.

You also come armed with startling, semi-scientific facts that you have gleaned during your struggle with adversity.  They may be real facts.  You haven't checked them out.  They sounded good and are buoyantly reassuring and who can gainsay that?  Who would dare willingly come within a ten-foot radius of a known dieting woman?  If someone dared tease the lioness, they would soon run away making small dog "yip yip yip yip" noises after being torn a new one, and that's a fact.*

*This is not a verifible fact due to insufficent research done in the area.  Apparently there was a lack of volunteers willing to test this theory.  Thus, it remains unproven. 

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