Monday, 30 June 2008

Pre-Holiday Realisations

Natalie Dee

Ugh, I’m disgusting. There’s nothing so abruptly disillusioning as shopping for new clothes and finding the number on the label of your best fit is much smaller than you’d hoped.

You read that right. I said smaller. You got a problem with that? Well kiss my skinny arse…if you can find it beneath the mound of blubber which has invaded and proclaimed itself emperor of the land of Gluteus Maximus, because WE’RE TALKING ROMAN NUMERALS, PEOPLE! It’s a predicament that can be expressed, in order for the blessedly slim among you to more easily relate, thus: imagine you have $1000. You spend a few dollars on ice cream here, a few on pastries there, and when you next look in your purse to see how many thickshakes you can afford, you’re shocked and appalled to discover you only have $50 left. Worse, you lose $10 without even realising it and then you’re down to $40 in loose change. 1000 --> 50 --> 40. In other, more brutal, words: M --> L --> XL. Where, I forlornly wonder, is my band of magic-potion-swilling indomitable Gauls to resist this corpulent conqueror? Alas, Liposux demands too much for his services, Aerobix and I have been estranged for some time, and Willpowa’s strength is unfortunately less than superhuman.

The sad thing about my increasing likeness to Jabba the Hutt – besides, you know, my increasing likeness to Jabba the Hutt – is that in our Western society my figure is nothing out of the ordinary. While no one is likely to confuse me for a waif who lives on cigarettes and diuretics, my daily routine does not involve screaming, “I am not an animal!” at a riled-up mob of people offended by my unnatural aspect, either.

In fact, I could probably tell anyone who was rude enough to point out my similarity to a suet dumpling that I’m still working off the pregnancy weight from my last baby and have them believe me, but in truth I’m a lot fatter now, more than five months after giving birth, than I was recovering in the maternity ward. My family’s concern that I was unhealthily skinny at that time, even at several kilos over my maximum ideal weight (calculated using BMI and plain common sense), seems to illustrate how normalised overweight has become in Australia. We’ve even supposedly acceded to the dubious honour of fattest nation in the world, although I find it hard to believe that our population of super-morbidly obese people who can only leave the house if carried by burly firemen through a hole cut in the wall, outweighs that of the land of deep-fried Coca Cola.

What really makes my chins wobble like an indignant Harold Bishop’s is when the jiggly among us insist they’ve tried everything to lose weight to no avail, even as they stuff their faces with a chocolate bar and chase it down with a packet of chips. And my pudgy little hands curl into fists of rage at the number of people who plead a thyroid or hypothalamus problem as if those fatty boombahs who aren’t afflicted with an unfortunate physiological condition making weight management difficult or near impossible are the rarity, not the lard-arsed norm. At least I can admit I got this way by being greedy and lazy.

But as enjoyable as being greedy and lazy has been for me these last few months, it’s time to reform my intemperate and indolent ways unless I want to begin buying clothes in shops with names like ‘Big Gals’ and ‘Muumuus R Us’. I know what I need to do – eat a balanced diet, consume fewer calories, exercise more – but as with so many things, getting into a healthier and less behemoth-like shape is easier said than done. I’ve just got to stop chewing the fat long enough to bite the bullet.