Diet for a Small Pleasure

Refusal of joy is the unhealthiest habit


| March/April 2002


FAT NATION
Fat Nation
-Andy Steiner
Diet for a Small Pleasure
-Philip E. Lefebvre

Is the epidemic of obesity in America a personal issue or a political issue? Discuss in Café Utne's new Fitness forum: cafe.utne.com
In our heroin-chic, Barbie-doll culture, dieting has become a chronic obsession. While it may have some health benefits, without a consistent regimen of aerobic exercise, you will merely be easing the load while slowly killing yourself with stress. You do realize that if you stand in front of the pastry case at the coffee shop and calculate calories in your head, trying to figure out if a chocolate chip cookie is going to show up on your hips, you are actually doing more damage to your heart from the stress than if you simply ate the damn cookie and allowed yourself to experience the joy of it, right? You do realize that happiness and personal acceptance are hundreds of times better for you than stressful self-denial, right? The only true blasphemy is refusing joy. Vanity kills. Happiness produces endorphins that keep you healthy. And even if laughter wasn’t the best medicine, I would still rather live 10 years in a bowl of ice cream than a hundred in a bag of rice cakes. The truth of it is that you can eat right, drink your bottled water, take your vitamins, and get plenty of sleep and still be outlived by the glutton next to you who didn’t step in front of that bus. But if you’re still convinced you need a diet plan to stay healthy let me offer my own Pan Diet. As with any diet, remember to stretch it to fit your own needs comfortably, and maybe consult a doctor. This diet has not been evaluated by any member of the medical profession, and I make no guarantees as to its effectiveness, except to note that I follow it, and even though I smoke a pack a day, I can still hold my breath for two minutes.
  • Judge any diet (especially this one) by its effect on your health, not your waistline.
  • Accept your ass. Unless you are made out of plastic (as more and more people are, these days) you will not have a Barbie doll or action-figure physique. People have all different body types, and it is worse for you to stress out over having big hips than to actually have big hips.
  • Cancel your subscriptions to all beauty and fitness magazines. They have been proven in countless double-blind studies to make you feel ugly and leave you broke.
  • Take a multivitamin. This is a poor substitute for actually eating healthy, but it will keep your body supplied with the stuff it needs to function properly.
  • Eat uncooked onions and garlic often. They’re great for your heart.
  • Eat nothing within three hours of bedtime. Sleeping and digestion just do not go well together. One added benefit: You’ll save a bundle on antacids.
  • Drink a gallon of clean water every day. This flushes toxins from your system and will even help to carry out excess fat. Never let yourself dehydrate to the point that your piss has color. It should be clear.
  • Skip the elevator; take the stairs.
  • Start every morning with a bowl of oatmeal. Not only might it help lower your cholesterol, it will also keep your colon bright and shining like new. Use fresh fruit or whole fruit preserves to flavor it; no refined sugar.
  • Every so often, get the chicken instead of the hamburger.
  • Walk around the block after your evening meal. This will aid in digestion, elevate your heart rate, and burn calories. As you progress, move up to a brisk walk, but never jog. Jogging is bad for just about every joint in your body.
  • Unless you have an addiction, have a glass of red wine every day. It’s good for your heart.
  • Don’t be motivated by laziness. If someone asks if you want to order a pizza and you think, "It’s easier than cooking," say no. If you think, "Pizza tastes good," say yes.
  • Instead of three square meals a day, have five triangles. Eating smaller meals, more often, with fewer food types at a time is a lot easier to digest and won’t upset your stomach.
  • Avoid—at all costs—diet foods. The crap they put in that stuff to approximate real food flavor will do you in.
  • Avoid food that won’t spoil if you leave it out. Food is organic, and organic things are supposed to decay. If they don’t, it’s a good bet that they won’t digest well, either. This also goes for the stuff you feed your pets.
  • Reduce stress in your life. High blood pressure is immeasurably worse for you than high cholesterol. There’s a good reason why most heart attacks occur between the hours of 8 and 9 a.m. on Monday mornings.

From the anarchist zine Clamor (Nov./Dec. 2001). Subscriptions: $20/yr. (6 issues) from Box 1225, Bowling Green, OH 43402.














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