Now I suspect some of you might be thinking why am I talking about my Dad in my weight battle? A great many of you will probably also think I am blaming him for my current weight issues and that is where this is going. This simply isn’t the case. Did he introduce me to a great many foods I may never of otherwise tried? Absolutely. Did he serve massive portions of food? Yes. Did he over eat? Yes. Was his diet healthy? Certainly not. There is really only a handful of occasions where I could truthfully say he didn’t help my eating. When I lost several stone at the age of about 17 he was less than helpful in buying cakes all the time but ultimately supportive in my attempt to lose the weight. Throughout his later career he worked late nights and would often pick up kebabs and bring them home knowing I would get up and help him eat them. Besides all of this he was out of my day to day life by the age of 21 and so for the past 10 years and it has been my adult self who has gained and maintained the weight I am today.
I looked up my BMI and was surprised to discover this “new” category after “Morbidly Obese” called “Super Obese”. Now this I some how view as better. After all who wants to be morbid? I much prefer the idea of slapping on some lycra, a cape and crashing 2 floors to my death like a giant shit hitting the pavement. Super Obese. That is crazy. How did it get to this? I think most people see shame in my weight. Maybe they are right. It’s not that I’m not ashamed. I don’t know how to feel about it most of the time. I wish I knew if they were ashamed of me or embarrassed for themselves.
My point is that you can be big and lead an active life. Sticking a label on it is pretty dumb. You can see your 60’s and watch your kids grow up. You do all of that though by rolling the dice every time you have a meal. Every bag of crisps or sweets could be your last when you hit your 40’s. All the evidence is there. The startling new evidence has shot holes in the one benefit that doctors thought we had to cling on to. Our bones are not strengthened by this excessive weight they are weakened.
I’m trying not to make this blog post a lecture and I’m going to try and not make any of my other posts lectures. The harsh reality is we all make our own choices but contrary to what we may believe those choices do not just affect us. We leave behind loved ones and while we live in the silence of this fact we should all think about it a bit more. This goes for all of us who continue with destructive behaviours. I’m not qualified to call eating an addiction, if it isn’t then those with real addictions have my sympathy. I hope nothing in life is harder to give up than this.
I think my Dad knew how hard the battle would be. Perhaps that is why he ran away from it or avoided it for over 30 years. To me he could fix anything. To me he was the centre of my universe and like a god. I’m sad I couldn’t fix him but sadder still that he couldn’t bring himself to do it either.
So Superman…not my obsession with comic book heroes but a real life hero, for me anyway. My dad. Flawed, fat but ultimately fabulous.