It’s no big secret that I’ve had an issue with weight pretty much all my life. There’s no need to insert a big sob story here, but the truth of the matter is I’m overweight due to three reasons. Partially genetic (though I don’t think this is an equal part to what’s to follow), partially diet and partially laziness. I’m kind of a picky eater, and tend to think the top 3 food groups are Diet Coke, french fries and cheese (preferably all together). And as for working out? Not something I really enjoy. I’ve only recently been heading to the gym, because I wanted to keep my leg muscles fit for riding when Spoon wasn’t hurt. Moral of the story? Being overweight is no big shocker to me.
What might be surprising, although many who have tried to lose weight can surely relate, is how many times I’ve tried and failed. When you boil right down to it, weight loss is just mathematics. It shouldn’t be a hard thing to work out the equation. Find out what you burn, cut it down, and keep it up. The end.
I think the x factor in our weight issues as a society is how closely tied to our emotions food is. Something that should just be for sustenance has morphed into such a huge part of our lives. And it’s not just America, food is synonymous with emotion in almost every culture. No matter where in the world you’re from, memories of home and family and love are usually associated with food. Holidays? Gorge on food. Sickness? Feel better with food. Sadness? Cheer up with food. Success? Celebrate with food.
Human societies are so passionate about food that they let it anger them, or even promote extreme depression and self loathing. I’m not just talking eating disorders here – we get really upset about food. A simple conversation about who has the best Queso in Austin can elevate voices to some extent, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As readers well know by now, my husband is vegan. Not to pick on vegans here by any means, but I have heard many aggressive conversations about the reasons to be vegan (granted that is not just food related, but also moral and social depending on your view). On the flip side, there have been just as many conversations from meat eaters confronting vegans about why they choose not to eat me. They’re just as aggressive as the “radical” vegans, but why? Why is there any need to get angry about what kind of food someone chooses to eat?
At the end of the day I’m not sure why this is. Sure, there are plenty of medical studies linking food and endorphines. Refined sugars and carbs give us a temporary high, blah blah blah. But I can think back through the experiences of my life, and the food is never the thing that stands out. Food has never been able to replace or replicate any real emotional high for me, but I’ve turned to it for years.
Don’t think there’s really an answer at the end of the day. I’ll just continue to ponder while I work out my own grastronomic mathematical equation.