Over the years I've collected a few additional pounds. I dislike being overweight intensely but struggle to deliver on my occasionally formed pillar of good intentions. So I stoically hold on to the extra 20 or so pounds that straddle my middle and strangle my self confidence.
Travelling back from Greece on Friday I encountered all manner of shape and size. From the worryingly thin (is she ok do you think) to the grotesquely fat (shouldn't she be made to buy two seats) and I begin to wonder if I am alone in my self flagellation about the undesirability of my shape. Am I the only one being emotionally destroyed by my fat cells?
To be honest, I know I'm not alone, there are loads of people who constantly delude themselves about their ability to govern their weight and then suffer emotional humiliation when they finally realise they simply don't have any power over it at all.
But what I do marvel at are the hoards of overweight folk who seem utterly content to be porkers.
On the plane I sat opposite two girls in their mid twenties, both massively overweight and already, at such a young age, having embraced the black leggings look - fat of face, chubby of hand and enormous of arse. There was also a simply huge woman, so large she could only navigate the centre aisle sideways and then with a squeeze; I have no idea which poor sod sat next to her but it must have been excruciating. And yet, all these ladies seemed happy and relaxed. They showed no embarrassment for how they interfered with 'normal' folk trying to go about their business and (probably) showed no embarrassment when exposing their flab on the beach.
Yet my obesity causes me angst everyday. I look at myself in the mirror and think about what used to be. I constantly beat myself up for not sticking to my food goals, I insult myself verbally (in my head) I refuse to buy new clothes even though the ones I have are falling apart and I can afford a new wardrobe. None of this does any good.
My wife tells me I look fine (I don't, she loves me so she lies) and just to be content like all these fat folk we encounter every day, but I can't and she knows it. I'll just have to read a few more rubbish science papers and quack diet books before realising that all I have do is eat less and move more. How simple is that! Well, regrettably, it's nigh on bloody impossible. But we live in hope.
So, over the next few weeks I'll rediscover that counting calories is the thing, that eating as much as you like as long as there's no carbs really sheds the pounds, that fasting every third day is our natural state and reflects our primeval diet, that staving yourself for even one day panics your body into storing fat and makes you more inclined to illness. Of course what I won't do is admit my angst to my mates.
You see, whilst women seem to talk about their weight worries openly and constructively, men don't. If I admitted my concerns to my drinking buddies down the pub they'd look strangely at me and then say "well lose some weight then you fat twat" or some other highly constructive words.
And I can't do with the power thinkers either. Middle aged men in Lycra (MAMILs as they are wonderfully called) are simply hummungeoius twats who seem to have anger issues and a point to prove. Then there's the guy who's 60, still runs 5k everyday and is built like a whip - am I alone in hoping he dies before me so I can look smug?
The fact is I, like most men, don't understand what we can do to change. Unlike women, men have no stomach for nonsense yoyo diets that plainly don't work. It needs to be simple.
I have to get back in shape for my own sanity and I've resolved to do the following:
steer clear of carbs, they are clearly evil. I'll also dump the starchy stuff
exercise a bit. Not running that's just dumb, but I'll get back in the routine of doing sit ups and lift a few weights
swim, I like swimming and there's always the chance of seeing something pleasant in a bikini so we can live in hope
Sleep more, evidently getting a good nights sleep is good for your metabolism. Don't know where I read that but who's going to argue
And stop eating sweets, chocolates and biscuits. Tough one that
You'll notice I didn't mention beer. That of course would be a step too far towards being one of those sad thin people who can get into skinny jeans but have nowhere to go once they've done it.
Probably the three fat ladies I encountered on the plane are lovely, bubbly sorts. When they're not eating that is........