Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fat Farm

   It is (I suppose); considered poor form to refer to "weight loss resorts" as fat-farms, hey, call me gauche! If you go smurf the web, there are places advertising which you can go to, and lose (prepare yourself) 20 lbs in one (?) week! At least, that is what they say. Gosh, I guess that in ten weeks you could end up weighing "negative pounds" at this rate? Doubtless, weighing negative pounds could get a bit dicey. Like a little kid's balloon, you would require a string or tether of some type, so that you wouldn't just float away!
   The last I heard, a pound of fat is worth about 3200 calories. So, losing 20 pounds, would entail (we think) 64,000 calories burned. Bust that by seven, and we get an average loss of 9140 calories per day. I am guessing here, that the typical fat-farm-fare would be (let's say) 1500 calories intake? So, am I correct in saying that with a net gain of 1500 (the food you eat per day); and a desired net loss of 9200, we would need to ADD the numbers? Wouldn't you need to burn a total (in one way or another) of greater than 10,700 calories per day, in order to lose weight at the advertised rate?
   If you jogged about a mile, think of losing about 200 calories. At this rate, two marathons PER DAY, is not enough to yield a 10,700 cal. per day loss! So, 20 lbs per week loss, appears to be a tad optimistic at the very best. I don't doubt that some people do lose 20 pounds in one week, but what, with water weighing in at 8-plus pounds per gallon, we (much more likely) discuss an unhealthy case of dehydration. Realistically (in my opinion at least); if we burned 1000 calories in excess of our intake (add a five or six mile walk) a day; you could drop around two pounds a week. So, possibly 1/10th the advertised rate is humanly reasonable then? Moreover, such a rate of loss is itself optimistic, in that it would be the very unusual person who runs negative calorie numbers EVERY single day...and that is what we must have, for a mere 2 lb loss!
   Why are we even talking about this? Who in their right mind cares? And I think that part of it, is that; as a "modern", there is very little in what we have said thus far, that is even a little "alien", or difficult for us to grasp. The entire idea of "counting calories", so as to "reduce", is readily understood in our world. But, go back and read "the old heads", the minds of the past. Who else ever talked this way? I have read a lot of ancient authors, and do not recall a single example of our kind of discourse here. I am not certain, but my supposition is: If we could travel back in time, and address our great, great, - grandparents, and begin speaking about food as a series of ... "numbers" (?), I think they would laugh in our faces! The hubris and ugly nonsense of speaking about food as "energy units", or as "numbers", is not the historically normal way to consider the topic. No generation but ours, talks this way.
   From another perspective, look at old photos of people in streets, or those at work. How many of those pictured are overweight? How many of those in old photos are grossly obese? So, there is another thing to note. Our elders did not normally think of food as a series of "numbers", nor were they typically overweight. Is there a connection to be made here? And we are just-about "sure" that there could be none!
   The connection that I am making, is an odd one indeed! In the first place, I would like to say that we have been brainwashed. We moderns insist that "over-weight" is one and the same as "too-much-fat", and that is plainly insane. Our elders spoke differently, say I. They said that you were "too big", or that you were "large", and my premise here (that we have indeed been brainwashed); is that we ourselves do not understand that there is a difference! Fat is but one component, one "ingredient" (of perhaps 50?) of your make-up, of which there is just too-much. Our elders recognized, as we also do, that weight and fat are linked. But unlike us, they regarded the problem realistically, whereas we are whimsical, and downright superstitious. In order to "reduce", we need less-of-me, not merely less fat-in-me. They (our elders), "got it", and we ( by in large) just don't. You cannot simply "lose fat", you must also lose "the" weight! Weight includes muscle, add in some bone, toss in a chunk of skin, pitch in a gallon of blood or so, and don't forget all the other sorts of other interesting pieces and parts which are going with them onto the fire! In brief, the loss of "the" weight, is! The modern will not willingly face the truth. To ''reduce", we are (by definition) "eating"...our own selves! And as we are metabolizing ourselves, we are literally shrinking! There remains no room in the modern mind for such thoughts.
   Now the sketchy, (and flimsy) quasi-theological spin I am about to put on all this, is right here in this neighborhood somewhere. We sense, we know, that our body-image is just not right. How do we know this? Beats me! And frankly I don't much care about the epistemological foundation of self-image. And my reason is that the stinker is in a constant state of repair. It's like the interstate highways. They are in constant remodel mode, there is no final product to it! The interstates (like our body image); is by definition, a work in progress. No, rather; this is a discussion of the meaning of food.
   I am likely mixing things up here, but I think C.S. Lewis said something to the effect that: " a pretty good indicator that there is such a thing as "food", somewhere out there in reality". The drive within, corresponds to a reality without. The "in-here", and the "out-there" are talking about the same thing! When we think of "food", the stuff you push down your neck which you believe helps the heart to keep on beating, that "life-stuff" bears an emotional, spiritual freight. Food,..."means"...something.
   In the Prayer, there is a line about "grant us bread today", and then the prayer sails on to another stanza concerning forgiveness. But what if we read the prayer this way? Forgive us, as we are forgiving, so then likewise, grant to us bread, as we also are feeding? Air goes in, and promptly goes right back out. Forgiveness is received, and then, is plainly given away. This "in" then "out" pattern, is that of life! But food, supposedly the very stuff of life; proves to be the ONLY "life-stuff" there is, which goes in...(only to stay in), in our modern model.
   Do you see? Food, in this system has become a swamp, a miniature "Dead Sea" within us! Our receipt of food (with thanks) should also be mirrored in our lives, as a sharing-with the (other) hungry, and in our minds, that second step is just missing! For me to give-away MY food, seems silly, stupid, shortsighted, and merely "idealistic". That is the "why", of why we are fat; but we will never admit it! There are some things yet unspeakable. And as such, it is become "the (supposedly) life saving-thing", this "food-stuff" I mean here, and (in fact); it brings only death! Food has come to"mean" something it was never intended to, nor can it bear the "weight" we place upon it. To "share" my food, (to "lose" calorie-numbers, to "waste" our OWN life-stuff) means that we have come to value others, and so, we love "spending" ourselves, we end up "wasting our substance" upon them.
   And to mildly shift topics one final time, we are afraid. It is just that complex. Our whole fixation with solving the body image, and this bizarre fixation over food, it's our fear, but we cannot speak it! We are afraid that either our gift (to others) will not be received, or that it will, but without gratitude on the other's part. We will either be rejected, or simply used, and so to avoid both bad options we simply keep our "life-stuff" to our own selves! Spiritually then, this fear in us implies that we make no known connection between the "spirit" and food! We end up thinking that, "food can break our heart" and so; we eat junk which in reality, does destroy the heart. In our modern hearts then, not only do we (weirdly) consider food as numbers to be "normal", we never once link the "lack" of food, with the "feasting" of prayer. In fasting, we are metabolizing ourselves, but this shrinking of us, also corresponds to a "growing" of Him! We are wanting Him to live (in us) more-so than we want "us to live in us"! He becomes "more" and we "less". And this shows-up in our diet. This is the real difference between ourselves and our great-greats. We think nothing is more important than life, and they thought that His love was stronger than death! This makes us "conservatives" in the bad sense, (we the "keepers") and them "liberals" in the good sense, (they the "givers"). Unaided, we cannot believe that there are (or were, at minimum, once upon a time) "good liberals"!
   For us to become "liberal" with food, we must see that "their" portion is greater than "ours" ...consistently. We invite others "in" to eat us "out of" house and home(!), and we do so with gladness, for all this "points" somewhere better, cleaner, and far more sane! It points "home".
   Love itself then, is a kind of "devouring". Christ Himself then, a new type of "bread". And so, in that banquet coming (which we gladly await); He Himself is "the main course" and we have become the desert!       Bon appetit!

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