Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I find characters in the damndest places

I have a subscription to Wired, which I save to read "when I have time," which means the back issues are piling up like autumn leaves. This week, Wired sat on the kitchen table and I glanced at it as I ate my nutritionally incorrect lunch (cheddar and triscuits) yesterday. The letters to the editor had to do with something called "metabolic syndrome." Not sure what that is but the discussion went on about reduced calorie meals, exercise and diet pills and (perhaps) why they don't work.

The dirty truth: I was always slim to the point of looking slightly anorexic until I quit smoking, at which time I packed on the pounds, edging toward, but not quite plump. I dieted and exercised, hell I still diet and exercise, but a look at the women in my family will tell you that a) it's a hopeless battle and b) I look pretty good compared. . .
I love to cook and I love to eat. Used to be I'd race thru the meal to get to the nicotine reward, and now, well, you get the picture. Not fat enough for pills or even plus sizes but I ain't shopping in the size sixes anymore, either.

Now does this relate to finding a character? I've never liked nutritional nazis and find them sanctimious bores. Back to the letters to the editor of Wired. A nutritionist writes in. Visualize this, if you can. You are her new client. You have been pudgy all your life, and your siblings and parents are likewise. You've tried weight watchers, Dr. Atkins, Dr. This, Dr. That and are still packing 50 extra pounds. Your well-meaning Dr. pooh poohs pills and sends you to the letter writing nutrionist. This is what she said, verbatim:

"As a hardcord-exercising, strict-diet-following registered dietician, I am relieved to read a scientifically based theory on metabolic syndrome. The people I see who have been diagnosed with the five symptions all refuse to take full responsibility--all have horrible diets, and all are lazy. I will never believe in weight-loss drugs, regardless of what we dieticians are taught about the factors that contribute to obesity. The real problem is gluttony and sloth.
Travicek from Mesa, Arizona. " Wired, p. 39, 12/2006.

So wouldn't it be fun to be a client of Ms. Travicek, you gluttonous sloth? No 2%, no 1%, you only get skim, and non-fat cheese and non-fat half and half, never mind if the chemicals don't kill you, and egg beaters and lettuce and garbanzo beans (2 tablespoons, not three ) you gluttonous sloth! And get back on the treadmill for another 2 hours and then head for the weights! After that we jump rope. Then you can eat the rope. High in fiber, low in fat.

Sympathy? Reason? Logic? Compassion? Humor? "Nein, frau nutrionist, I only ate non-fat unflavored yogurt, yesterday."

Makes you want to eat a quarterpounderwithcheese and large fries just to thumb your nose at these people. But I won't. Writing well is the best revenge. Hmmmm. Literary characters turn up in the damnest places.

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