Monday, April 27, 2009

A new relatioship with fat

I had a random thought about fat this morning. It's really weird that we all (including me) spend time worrying about fat. It's like we view fat as the enemy that must be destroyed, and the ultimate goal in life is to eradicate fat as we know it. Verily, the empire of fat shall fall, and the dawn of a new skinny era will begin. And all that.

But fat exists for a purpose, right? It's not like God, or Darwin, decided that we all needed an enemy within who should precede us (on our stomachs) and follow us around (on our butts) to keep us humble. Fat is the body's way of storing energy, right? So picture, if you will, the part of your brain that regulates metabolism as a kindly old auntie. You're pooped, out of energy. Auntie steps out soothingly "There there dear, I've got some nice fat stored up from that triple-whopper-cheese-n-barbeque burger you ate last Tuesday, we'll have you right as rain in no time." And if you're really tired, she might say "Good thing you had that strawberry milkshake last night, that fat'll do just the trick!" Conversely, when you go out and eat a lasagna (not a piece of lasagna, mind you, simply a lasagna) Auntie would be delighted "Oh, wonderful! We'll store that all in the fat cells, shall we! I'm sure this will come in handy later!" Yes, that's the way it should be. Good ol' auntie processing the fat, for the good of all, and us eating whatever the hell we want.

But for whatever reason (don't bother me with reality, now) we have this different relationship with fat. It is indeed the enemy. The beast. And so I guess the ideal would be that auntie has a differnet attitude. "Will you look at all this crap! Now I gotta go and make more fat to store all this stuff!" She's the worst sort of pack rat, never throwing anything away and then we have to haul all this crap around with us on our thighs. Yes, I suppose the ideal would be that when you're really pushing yourself physically there will be no fat there at all. Auntie might be a bit frantic at that "You've got no fat left to burn! The engines, cap'n, they canna go any faster!" (lapsing into Auntie crossed with Scotty there, or Auntie Scotty if you will). For some reason, we want Auntie Scotty to be freaked out and all out of fat all the time. And then, why then, we'll really truly be happy.

And as someone who is 30 pounds lighter than I was 5 years ago, and still just as tired, let me join many dieting Americans in saying "Yeah, right."

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