I was scanning my Yahoo! News a few minutes ago and read an article about weight loss. Maybe I should say yet another article about weight loss. In it, I read this paragraph:
And yet obesity figures have risen dramatically in the same period: a third of Americans are obese, and another third count as overweight by the Federal Government’s definition. Yes, it’s entirely possible that those of us who regularly go to the gym would weigh even more if we exercised less. But like many other people, I get hungry after I exercise, so I often eat more on the days I work out than on the days I don’t. Could exercise actually be keeping me from losing weight?
This is appalling. Point of order people: you eat because you are hungry? Come on, tubby. Babies eat when they are hungry. You are a sentient adult; you don’t have to suckle at the teet of Twinkies and Whoppers just because your poor little chubby tummy says you’re hungry. Put down that hot dog!
I know: deaf ears, a nation in which, according to this article, only a third of the population is a healthy weight.
Have you seen images of U. S. soldiers at the start of World War II? Most of them were farm kids who had just spent 10 years growing up in the Great Depression. The food they ate was basic: the corn and onions they could grow. The work they did was hard: cutting timber, loading trucks. Few of them had even been to a restaurant. None of them worked at a computer all day.
So, here is my point: people in the information age are fat because it’s the information age, and they won’t get thin using the machinations of the information age. Gyms won’t help. Diet foods and low-carb diets won’t work. The only way out is very, very hard work, and work that means something. I would be willing to wager that part of the reason our fat Yahoo! writer is so hungry after exercising is that chugging along a rubber treadmill in front of reruns of CSI:Miami is, like so much we do in the information age, a fundamentally empty experience. Of course he needs to feel full in his stomach: his spirit is empty.
Try raising a barn or chopping some firewood (preferably that you will need in the winter) instead of riding a bike that doesn’t move. Maybe afterwards you won’t be hungry, in your stomach or your heart.