Starting the Process of Losing Weight, My House Makes me FAT

Street Graffiti. Iceland 2012

” I am tired of being chubby,” said the woman who turned 40. Yes, this is a milestone age coupled with promises of staying young, doing more to enjoy life, changing careers, and doing things we don’t normally do.

I am no exception. The goals I set out to accomplish are:

  •      * lose weight
  •      * change careers
  •      * Stop being so lazy

All of these goals should be tackled concurrently; however, I want to focus on losing weight.  Specifically, getting into a comfortable US size 10 pants.

When one starts the process to lose weight, the internet is the first place one goes. This was my first mistake. The many diet websites, gimmicks, blogs, and vast amounts of information is mind-blowing. At the core is an “epidemic” of massive portortions. American’s are fat and getting fatter. To show this in a real-time map, I found an interesting article on CNN  – the obesity map. It shows us an animated vision of colour how fat American’s became over the past 20 years.


Ok. Most people know that American’s are some of the fattest people on earth. I, for one, don’t need to follow this statistic. I don’t consider myself obese, I am over the proper weight (need to buy a scale) for my height (5′ 6″).  Looking closer into the CNN Fit Nation website, there are many articles and success stories for weight loss. I see that dining out my hurt your heart, one week to a slimmer me, and how I can work out on a budget. Frankly, I didn’t read any of the articles. Reading the titles was enough.

There’s a lot of conflicting information too. I read that I shouldn’t eat meat, butter is bad, egg yolks will raise your cholesterol, and fat is bad. I also learned that eggs are good, a little meat will not hurt me, and butter is my friend. One of the most ridiculous article I read was that my house was making me fat.

I’ll admit it—the title caught my eye: “Is Your House Making You Fat?”.  The idea behind this list was to fat-proof your home by, for example, hiding your unhealthy foods in “opaque plastic containers”. Or by putting away candy left out on the table so you don’t give into temptation by constantly grazing.

How I read this was: “we are weak people”, in need of constant reminders not to forage through the cookie jar or this morning’s cinnamon rolls left on the counter. We are unable to use common sense, and we cannot hold ourselves back from our fat-filled, snack-centric homes. I wanted to yell, “Quick House, hide the deep-fat fryer, I’m going into the kitchen!! And while you’re are at it, throw away the Halloween candy.” Bad house, shame on you.

Though they give us  well-meaning ways to quell feeling bad about ourselves, a few of them seem to be just silly. For example, the cheesy suggestion to “keep mirrors away from any area in which you’re working out” to not remind yourself that you are a tub-o-lard and maybe give yourself warm-fuzzy feelings that motivate you to stick with a goal. Also, you are apparently supposed to not sit in a dark room for fear of killer food.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. Even though I believe most of the examples to be nonsensical, one “rule” bars repeating, albeit with a bit of rephrasing: “Turn off the TV when it’s time to eat.”  An addendum should be added to this that says if your house is TV-centric don’t automatically assume the position when eating.

Whether or not your furniture surrounds the television, you don’t need to use the centricity as an excuse to eat dinner parked in front of it. But why should we dust off the placemats and move the bills from the dining room table?  The television may be much more entertaining than talking about your day but watching TV all and every evening will breed a sedentary life, which is hard to change.

You can balance your life with your favorite television shows and have dinner at the table once in a while. Maybe the premise behind the list is reducing the visible temptations around our homes so that we might not partake in an action that leads to damaging our health. But putting away the bowl of candy, doesn’t diminish the need to “cheat”. I know the bowl is in there; “out of sight, out of mind”. I sometimes think that we should refer to the hidden goodies as “absence makes the heart grown fonder.”

You be the judge. Use common sense.



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