The lessons in fat are terminal

FAT has crept up on me.

It started out as a small and insignificant sapling on the lawn of my wellbeing but when I looked yesterday it had become a tree of considerable girth that is about to drop big dangerous branches on my roof.

There are lessons in fat and lots of them are terminal, but that comes later.

Before it kills you it destroys your self esteem. It has taught me that I am at least as deceitful as a politician. During the past six months I have told myself:

  •  it’s because the weather’s hot and it’ll come off when it cools down (like a coat? Where’s the zipper!)
  • it’s because my trousers are shrinking
  • the scales are wrong
  • it can’t be fat because I don’t eat enough
  • it is fat but, hey, when you’re old-ish a little fat is cuddly. 

Why then, is no-one cuddling me?

I tell myself it’s nothing to worry about because I can still run upstairs, even if I now arrive at the top the colour of a ripe boil and clawing in air like a shopping centre air-con unit.

In a very big shopping centre.

It’s also taught me I have the self-control of a puppy. I mean – I don’t want to look like this. I want to curve inwards in a few places besides my neck and my ankles. I want my trousers to fit me again.

It’s the lack of exercise. I sit at a desk all day and I never get any exercise except chewing food. I tried toffee on the basis that at least my jaw would be getting a workout but it didn’t make any difference.

Actually that’s not true. I put on a kilo and I had to visit the dentist.

I wonder how much teeth weigh?

But even if he took them all out I’d still be the wrong shape – like a bowling pin.

Let’s face it – it’s the food. A stick of celery for breakfast is fine, but it does not make it okay to eat six lamingtons for morning tea. A Greek salad is a good idea for an evening meal, but not if you eat 35 kilos of it (and then consume the lemon cheesecake for dessert because “I only had a salad…”).

It should be easy. I’m an adult, for heaven’s sake. I can say no, can’t I?

Well… as it happens, no.

I appear to be on the same path as a hot-air balloon. I am swelling up, the wrinkles and bags and saggy bits are smoothing out and when I can consume no more my feet will lift off and I’ll be bound for the heavens.

Or for heaven, anyway.

I have taken to sucking in my stomach when I talk to the neighbours. This gives me the appearance of a fat person sucking in his stomach in a bid to deny reality. I go out when it’s dark (for a little exercise) so children with no guile and no manners won’t say, “Mummy, look at that fat man.”

I think of this furtive evening exercise as jogging but really my limbs move with the reluctance of tree trunks and it’s only my fat that jogs – so not only do I have fat, but it’s fitter than I am!

My wife says she can’t help me until I learn to help myself, so I am.

From the fridge.