Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Midweek Check In: I'm (Not) With The Band

Obesity Sounds Like An Illness Let's Go With That

Watched with some interest a local news article last night about how more people are turning to the knife to "beat obesity" and having themselves mutilated with gastric band surgery. A lengthy discussion with Mrs Monkey followed in which we were united in our decision that this seemed like lunacy on everyone's part.

The gastric band problem seems to be a classic Catch 22, if you would find it helpful in losing weight you probably didn't need it in the first place. The fact that this isn't a thought that crosses the mind of doctors is not a surprise, even though it should be. Doctors, unfortunately, live in a world where non-doctors, or, as they call them, patients, are uniformly weak, pathetic and stupid. They will hand out a gastric band because the condescendingly believe that fatty won't be able to pass by the pork pie without one.

Where there is a problem is that people seem to be more and more willing to assume the role of the weak, pathetic and stupid one in this relationship. Like an out of control youngster thinking they've put one over on an earnest child psychologist who offers them the suggestion that maybe they are "compelled" to shoplift, or throw stones through the windows of abandoned buildings, or drink under age.

I remember reading the words of American law enforcer John Douglas. He said that where insanity pleas often fall down is that serial murderers have an overpowering compulsion to kill before they get caught that seems to mysteriously become far less overpowering when they're surrounded by law enforcement officials.

This One Time, At Band Camp

Stepping back to our original theme you could paraphrase this as: "Offer a lazy fatty a gastric garter and they'll gratefully grab any excuse to prove that their fatness was entirely outside their control". As if that's somehow better if they "couldn't help it".

Another symptom of a failing in the human condition rears its ugly head. Never wanting to be in the wrong. This one has, I think, got way out of control because there is great liberation in being wrong and seeing it and talking about it, Catholics may have popularised it but why should they have the monopoly?

I fully admit that I now realise it was within my power to change my eating habits when I only had a 48-inch waist. Instead I grasped another couple of inches and kept on trucking. I fully admit that now I have taken control I feel better which means I've spent the better part of a decade pointlessly diet dodging for no real reason other than my own inherent sloth.

I don't need a gastric band, never have, never will. I needed to wake up and smell the coffee. I had a control problem with my eating that was actually making me feel worse on a day to day basis. Now I have seen another way to go I won't be going back and I feel much better.

Beware The Dietician When The Moon (or anything else) Is Fat

If there were mitigating circumstances they were these: Everyone who puts forth a pro-dieting stance seems to be a joyless, humourless scary disciplinarian. Dieting itself is seen as the modern equivalent of a hair shirt and a personal back lash. To be fair dieting the way that I am is a lot easier with a massive digital database of food stuffs hooked up to pretty metres and dials; an approach that wasn't possible until the last couple of years.

What people think of dieting "gurus".

Even so, going forward the final point, which is the only real one, isn't a barrier to anyone any more, it's just the psychological barriers of not wanting to be responsible and being scared off healthy eating by well-meaning but ultimately terrifying health "experts".

There's a lot of complexity to a truly healthy diet, but for pure weight loss, without unsightly folds of skin resulting from gastric band starvation you just need to control calories. I may one day worry about saturated fat and how much sodium I'm chugging but I need a firm lid on the weight loss first, I believe the phrase is something about running and walking.

No comments:

Post a Comment