Should Weight Wait?

January 4th, 2013

I can see 2013 is shaping up to be a doozy of a year.  Not only are my taxes going up, but a new government study is throwing my annual New Years Resolution (going on ten years straight this year) into a tizzy.

According to this study, you can lower your risk of premature death by 6% if you’re up to thirty pounds overweight.  If true, not only will this new scientific fact allow me to mark off my “lose weight” resolution in record time (usually it just falls off gradually by itself), but it also gives me the rather perverse incentive to put on a few extra pounds just to be on the safe side.

I’m almost not sure what to do with myself now.  In the past, it’s been pretty easy.  One year, I joined Lifetime Fitness.  All that January, I attended daily spin and aerobics classes (although the latter didn’t quite work out–I ended up relegated to the back row so I wouldn’t step on and/or run into people).  By February, sadly, the novelty wore off and so had my “welcome” in aerobics.  Another year, I signed up for a physician supervised weight loss program.  I quit that after noticing that my purchases in vitamin supplements and soy based “diet” food weren’t being offset very well by weight loss.  At about $100 per pound it became pretty evident that I was more likely to go broke than to be thin before I was done.  I’ve also joined Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.  I did lose weight in both programs, but I couldn’t ever keep it off.  Also, I felt that Weight Watchers was bringing out the worst in me.  I found myself becoming something of a snob in the meetings.  As people received a bookmark for five pounds lost or shared their favorite low calorie crab dip recipe for the holidays, I could feel myself rolling my eyes as though I was somehow above it all.  I soon realized that this was causing me to fail at another annual goal (being a better person), so I quit.

Like all studies, this new study requires further review before it can be taken as a license to eat.  For example, it says that you decrease your chance for “premature death” by weighing more.  It doesn’t say you’ll necessarily live a long life if you weigh more.  This leads one to examine the various ways one might sadly experience premature death.  One way is to be hit by a bus.  Now if you’re a bigger object, naturally the bus driver will be more able to see you.  Could this be the reason you survive and some stick thin waif who can barely be distinguished from the lines in the crosswalk isn’t so lucky?  Another way you might “go before your time” is falling off a ladder.  If you fall on your head, I don’t care how big you are, it’s likely you won’t make it.  But what if you’re well padded everywhere else?  My guess is your chances are better.

So where does this leave me on my New Years Resolution?  I think the answer lies in my closet.

Part of my resolution this year involves my ability to dress–preferably in a stylish manner but at a minimum not to embarrass myself in public.  For some reason, I’ve noticed that my winter clothes shrunk since last year.  (Must be the dry air in Texas this past summer).  Anyway, for this reason alone, I will begrudgingly continue my weight loss quest despite the clear scientific evidence counseling against it.

Thus, against my better judgment, I will throw this cookie I’ve been eating while I write this away and be very careful when crossing the street.