Dr. Oz would be turning over in his grave — if he had a grave, which of course he does not.
I’m sitting here watching TV when the commercial comes on — it’s a cute little girl, maybe 8 or 10, saying to her dad — or some other grown up — something like “I can beat you,” and he’s like, “A footrace? No way — You’re on!” Now I’m thinking, “No way is right — this little girl can’t beat a grown man.” Next scene – they’re sitting on the couch with controllers in their hands and on the screen there are little figures running. Oh, okay, that’s how she can beat him. As I’m starring at this, the announcer intones, “And now we return to our special on obesity.” Uh, Dr. Oz? A little help, please.
I had seen something similar on NCIS when their staff psychologist was playing tennis with a young refugee. Sounds good except again, they were sitting on a couch with controllers watching the action on a screen. Obesity, here we come. If there is an upside to this it’s that their hands were occupied so they weren’t sitting on the couch dipping into a bag of Cheezits and stuffing them in their faces.
So, what exactly is obesity? Looking it up on-line, I’ve sort of figured that 10-15 pounds over one’s ideal weight is “overweight.” It’s all based on one’s Body Mass Index which seems to be a sort of complicated math equation — although don’t take my word for it. Math was never my strong suit. Anything much more complicated than 2+2 is out of my comfort zone. But what we need to start with, is who determines your ideal weight? Dr. Oz? Weight Watchers? A chart in your doctor’s office? Or how many tries it takes to zip your jeans? Once you pass the overweight category, then you’ve entered obesity. They say.
Now you and I can pretty well look at someone and see that they are more than overweight — they are obese. It’s frightening how many of them there are, too. In my doctor’s office they now have some super-wide chairs that look sort of like a bench with arms. It’s about 1-1/2 as wide as a normal chair. And in the hospital, the wheelchairs now are wider with lift up arms so that the extra fat can spill over the sides. Really.
A couple of weeks ago, the home health care people sent a young woman to assess my medical condition and see if I qualify for home visits from a nurse. (I don’t, thank heaven!) But the point of that is that the young lady who showed up was huge. Huge! She had trouble fitting through the door from the hall to the dining room. I was sad and appalled at the same time. How horrible. How uncomfortable she must be. And where does she buy her clothes? At the “Morbidly Obese” store?
Looking at her made me do a quick self-assessment. I confess my eating is a bit more, uh, undisciplined, than it was a year ago. I’ve watched my weight and BMI creep up. but at least I know why I’m picking up the pounds. And I’m not fooling myself that sitting on the couch with a controller and watching a little figure on the screen is the same as actually getting my sorry butt off the couch and moving it. Still, I know that I need to be moving more and eating less — but that takes will power (or, as my dad would say, “won’t power”). And what’s a person to do at the holidays when Trader Joe’s has all their “seasonal specials.” If I don’t get that peppermint bark or those pfefferrenus cookies today, it might be another year until they’re back. Okay, my jeans were a little tight this morning, but that’s only because they shrunk in the dryer, I’m pretty sure. I mean, it’s a once-a-year splurge, and how much harm can a couple of cookies do? Of course, there was that pecan pie, Oh, and some fudge and there were those chocolate covered almonds …
So it seems that I have a choice to make: giving up Christmas cookies (and Valentine’s candy and chocolate Easter bunnies) or getting used to jeans that cut into my waist. This really is a lot to absorb. I think I’ll go fix a dish of that holiday peppermint ice cream with fudge sauce and ponder the enormity of it all. (Wait — was that a pun?)