I can answer that question in one of two ways.
“No, you idiot!” I can shout at you, leaning close into your face, and as I scream the words again and again, you feel flecks of spittle on your face; my face gets redder and redder and I grow more and more high pitched, until I quite literally explode in front of your face.
This is always, yes always, the wrong way to talk to somebody who has asked you a reasonable question. It is also the wrong way to communicate with anybody, be they a new recruit in your army, or a small crab minding its own business in a rock pool. I only mention this, because this is the way somebody shouted at a fat American on an American dieting programme that I was watching the day before I started my new weight loss regime. It is also how Harvey off Celebrity Fit Club used to relate to his celebrities, via the medium of shouty spit.
I am currently chuckling in an almost insane way about what I have read about Harvey on Wikipedia. On the US version, during a ‘heated exchange’ Harvey was challenged by Screech (from Saved by the Bell) to ‘physical combat’. Harvey said he would ‘wear his ass out’. Which honestly is not the kind of thing you want to say in public.
The second way I can answer this question is to start wondering whether the many molecules of oxygen which are involved in the processes of metabolism and are, indeed, drawn out of the very air around you contribute to increases in body mass. But essentially, no fat does not just appear in your body from thin air. It has also been scientifically proven that big bones are in now way related to body fat. Key point of evidence here is the lack of bones in my fat belly. There are bones in my fat ass, and that is why I have been unable to wear my ass out. Or in. Or shaking it all about. Nobody wants to see that.
Eat less, move around more. It isn’t rocket science and yet almost everybody who tries to lose weight finds this simple task almost incredibly difficult. So what is missing out of this equation?
“Is it motivation, sir?” asks a voice from the back.
Well, it might be, but it can’t be as easy as that. After all, lots of fatties really want to lose weight. They hate being the size they are. Hate the way their chubby inner thighs rub against each other, hate that they have to take medicines every day to control their blood pressure, or their diabetes or their whatever it is they have wrong with them, hate that they can’t fit into the clothes they want to, hate the…. Basically, we fatties are seething lumps of hate. You should probably avoid us, as all right-minded thin people would anyway. But where there are all these motivations to lose weight, there are also lots of reasons why we still want to eat until our stomachs explode. Food tastes good, it makes us feel better when we are feeling stressed or depressed, we can’t leave a plate of food unconsumed when there are people far away who are starving.
“Do fatties just not have any self-control?” asks a smug thin person sitting in the front row. “Frankly it is disgusting how little self-control they have!”
Well, that’s one point of view, usually propounded by somebody who has never wanted to eat a whole Victoria sandwich in one go, followed by a side order of chocolate and pizza, or chocolate pizza. If you are lucky enough to not need self-control, it’s all very well sneering at those people who have no self-control. But the only people, really the absolutely only people, no really I’m not taking it from anybody but these people, who can preach to a fat person about self-control are people who have been addicted to something and have rejected it. And kept rejecting it, turning away from it even though they really, really want it. Anybody who hasn’t done this can just sod right off if they want to be all thin and smug at me.
Gosh, side-tracked again.
The other thing that diet clubs give you is a little bit of peer pressure. There’s the club leader who weighs you and dispenses gold stars and praise when you lose weight, but is a bit disappointed whilst simultaneously understanding, when you don’t lose weight. There’s also twenty other people in the room while you are being weighed. So it’s a bit embarrassing when you don’t lose weight. And there’s the stupid questions, most particularly, “Can you think of a reason why you might not have lost this week?”
“Yes, yes I can. There was the moment immediately after last week’s class when I had lost weight so I triumphantly went down the chippie to have a celebratory binge. And there’s the booze I had on Friday night, and Saturday night. Oh, and Sunday night. Oh, and well just about every night if I’m honest. And this week despite my best efforts of leaving my wallet and my car keys elsewhere, of having a massive wee and poo just before I got on the scales, of not wearing any pants or socks, of carrying a helium balloon under my shirt, despite all those things I wasn’t able to shed enough weight at the last minute to have actually lost this week.”
The last time I lost a bit of weight I decided on the philosophy that everything I was going to eat had to be worth it. Had to taste really bloody amazing. And if it didn’t taste amazing I was perfectly right to just stop eating it and push it to one side and off the table and into the bin. Because what is the point of taking in calories that are going to be converted to fat if they aren’t fantastic tasting calories. Maybe I should call it the Fan-Taste-Tick Diet.
However, I am going to try to stick to that philosophy again
And not snack on cheese, that would probably help.
Though cheese does taste amazing.