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Thursday, January 15, 2004

Hungry in America
Or...Why I'm fat and everybody else is fatter

The music rose up in a crescendo of gospel church proportions. The marketing wizards swayed in time with the fad organ. And somehow a skinny John Belushi came in over end to the pulpit and landed in a pile of fat. Oh, yeah, and death. He might have seen the light in The Band. He might have seen the beauty of a diet rich on amphetamines and alcohol. He might've ended up dead. Boy. He was an idiot, wasn't he?

Oh, yeah. So are we.

Let me tell you why I hate people. They like things easy and they're self-righteous about it. Walk with me down the road of the Atkins diet. Sure, at first it was a bunch of crazies eating steak and eggs for breakfast and flushing their hoagie buns down the toilet with their bran muffins. Then it was some doctors saying, "Well, it's no worse than what we've been doing to our bodies for years." And now it's the King, albeit the Burger King, offering a Whopper. Without a bun. In a bowl. With a plastic knife and fork.

Fork you, King. Fork you.

Here's a secret I learned while standing in front of something called the Obvious Loudspeaker: The average Whopper has nearly 50 grams of fat. That's almost all of the fat you should take in during a given day. Take away the bun, you take away a lot of carbs, but nearly none of the fat.

I agree. Carbs cause people to get fat. But...um...so does fat.

Now, I'm no svelte Svengali. In fact, in the past three months I've put on about ten pounds. I'm angry at myself. In advance of a fairly important couple of weeks in my professional life, I may go on a crash Atkins event to lose the added weight (right after these California rolls and piece of cake). However, I will do so with the expressed knowledge that I'm a friggin' idiot. The weight won't stay off unless I...unless I...

Oh, Jim brother of John Belushi, I just can't say it.

Okay...the weight won't stay off unless I exercise.

Now, understand, I'm not obese (I checked one of those fad BMI calculators). I stand nearly six feet tall and until a few months ago weighed in at 174 pounds. Now, it's 184. In accounting for the extra pounds I discovered a few too many trips to Taco Bell, an affinity for cream sauces, and two unfortunate and embarrassing trips to Long John Silver. Oh yeah, and to quote a line from Tom T. Hall, "I like beer." Fat audits can be very revealing.

On the issue of exercise, I really don't find any enjoyment in it. There was a time when I would do a lot of walking on a disc gold course. There was a time when I played racquetball with my college buddies. Then again, there was a time when I was really skinny in sixth grade and a girl called me "pencil dick." Times change.

A friend at work is trying to get me onto a bike. He wants a riding partner. I'm afraid of the outfit. And I'm afraid of, well, the exercise.

There is a reason for all of this. I turned 30 a few weeks ago. I cut my hair to look younger. In retaliation, it shot back a few gray hairs. Then it called down to the home office in Gutland, Stomachville and said, "tack on a few pounds to counteract this screwball's hubris."

So, here's to hope. Here's to me losing this extra weight quickly and with the understanding that I'm no healthier for it. Then here's to me finding a way to be one of those self-righteous skinny people who look good in Lycra. Then here's to me kicking the Burger King's ass so far back to reality that I'll have to pick his crown jewels out of my toenails.

A Whopper in a bowl?

Flame broil this, King.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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