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My Big Fat Weight Column

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


There's a very fine line between weighing the "right" amount and being "a little chunky." You need only to look at the tabloids and celebrity-drenched rags like "Us" and "People" to realize five ounces can make or break someone's "hotness" factor. At least, it seems like as little as five ounces. I picked up an Enquirer, and was informed that Tyra Banks has packed on 40 pounds. Did she look morbidly obese? No. Fat? No. Just a little heavy in the thighs, but considering the way a lot of overweight people look, these folks would kill to look like Tyra Banks with heavy thighs. I know I would.

Okay, so five ounces is a lot less than 40 pounds, but some Hollywood actresses are so bone-thin, a 40 pound gain would actually make them look human, instead of walking skeletons. And the first thing a celebrity gets hit with is how much he/she has gained or lost weight. Never mind any new film or music projects. It goes to extremes: Clay Packs on 30 Pounds! Mary-Kate Looks as Thin As Ever! Friends Fear She's Slipping Back Into Her Old Habits! Is ANYONE in Hollywood at a normal weight for their height and age? I think the answer to that is a big, fat, NO.
A year ago this past summer, I went to the movies with a friend. We went to see a foreign film, the name of which escapes me. It was called Chocolate and something. Chocolate and Ginger? Anyway, the film focused on a teenage girl jonesing to get laid and her aunt, who is in charge of her for a few days. The teenager is focused on one guy in particular, and since it takes place in the summer, she's wearing a bikini. As I watched this film, something nagged at me. What was wrong? Afterward, my friend and I discussed what seemed weird. The actress playing the teenage girl was actually healthy-looking. She wasn't fat, but she wasn't bone-thin either. My friend made the observation that the girl could never be successful in films in the U.S. precisely because of that fact. Sadly, she's probably right. We're so used to seeing ribs and hipbones jutting out on actresses like the faces carved into Mount Rushmore that when we see someone who isn't skin and bones we automatically label them as fat.
On the other hand, I'm not saying being fat is a good thing. There's different levels of fat, ranging from a little chubby to fat to borderline obese to morbidly obese. I didn't make any resolutions to lose weight for the new year, but before January 1 I was already on a 25 minute a day exercise plan. I had to do 25 minutes a day, or make it up the next day, or on the weekend. And just so you know, as I write this, I'm 100 minutes behind this week. I plan to make it up, just as soon as I get this column finished. Really.
We Americans are obsessed with weight. It doesn't help that the media focuses on every pound a celebrity gains or loses. We are also bombarded with dire warnings from the American Medical Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Center for Humans Underfed, Needy, Knife-wielding and Young (a.k.a C.H.U.N.K.Y.). Okay, I made that last one up. But there's some group out there that would be happy if every adult American ate nothing but raw veggies, water, and three ounces of grilled chicken once a week. But that would thow a lot of cardiologists out of business, not to mention speed Jenny Craig's demise, as well as throw every weight loss guru into joblessness. There's got to be a healthy balance somewhere.
I admit I'm doing what I can think of to lose weight. I don't think I'll win the battle. If I drop 25 pounds, my knees would thank me, but according to the charts, I'd still be fat. And even at my smallest jean size (7/8 back in 1989 or thereabouts) I'd be considered "obese" by the fashionistas. I'll never step on a scale with both feet and see 120 pounds again. But I think I can live with that. What I can't live without is my occasional box of Twinkies. Yeah, I said BOX. Want one?

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