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July 16, 2004 - 11:57 am

OBESITY

Iím trying to lose about five pounds Iíve put on over the last few months. That may not sound like much, but Iím small and I can really feel five pounds. So Iím on this crazy new diet called, ďEat Less and Exercise More.Ē I know it sounds radical, but itís worked for me before, so Iím sticking with it. I have friends who have done the ďCentral Adirondacks Diet,Ē or the ďOrganic Yellow Foods Diet,Ē but the idea of thinking all day about what you are going to eat at EVERY SINGLE MEAL is inconceivable to me. No wait - the only reasons I can think of for dwelling on the content of your diet that much is if you have a medical condition (real ones like diabetes or heart disease) or if you are a lioness.

Fortunately, Iíve never really had to watch my weight. I like good food and I like to eat, but I believe youíve got to have an appetite to fully enjoy food, and then Iíd like it to be worth the effort. The only problem with this is I have a low tolerance for hunger and get really pissy if I donít get a snack immediately. At those times, Iíve been known to chew a manís head off if nothing else is available. Hey, kind of like a lioness, I guess.

In a related story, I heard on the news this morning that the Department of Health and Human Services has just reversed it's previous position and is now considering obesity a disease.

I have some thoughts on this.

If you are extremely overweight - not just a little chunky, which is totally okay and, in my opinion, preferable to being emaciated - and it isn't simply because you eat too much, then it is the RESULT of some other disease, like a damaged thyroid. Being overweight is not the ILLNESS itself. The HHS isn't calling obesity an addiction either, they're calling it a disease. This decision could have serious ramifications on our already screwy medicare/medicaid system. Will private insurance companies also now be required to pay for tummy tucks? For liposuction? For gastric by-pass surgery?

Come on, are we honestly at the point where we can no longer accept responsibility for what we put into our own bodies of our own free will? STOP EATING SO MUCH. If you can't do it on your own because you lack the will power (or is that a disease now, too?), call Jenny Craig, not the federal government.

I'm leaving for Key Largo on Monday for a week with my family. And you can bet I'll be eating well and enjoying it.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
viewing - Hairspray
listening -"Tunic" by Sonic Youth

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