I have a hard time with skinny people. And by “skinny people,” I mean ANYONE who doesn’t struggle with their weight. But I’m mostly talking about people who always look good because of some anomalous combination of lovely, perfect-weight genes. Men who live on chitlins and deep-fried cheeseballs but look like J.C. Penney models. Women who’d look stunning in a burlap potato sack tied at the waist with a length of baling wire.
For one thing, skinny people all secretly believe (some say it right out loud) that we could ALL be that lovely if we just had more willpower. It’s eeeeeasy! If “we” (not them) would just eat less and exercise more and be more disciplined and not be so lazy and get off our fat asses and quit stuffing our fat faces, we’d not only maintain a more sensible weight, we’d be better human beings—more deserving of our fat little splotch in the universe. Often, they make these comments while sucking down a butterscotch malt and brushing French fry crumbs off their perfectly skinny little form-hugging shirts. Sometimes they’re tall and leggy—I have an even harder time with these folks.
I know a guy, for example (who shall remain nameless but to whom I am married) who “struggles” with the terrible yo-yo of gaining or losing the 5 pounds he’s put on since high school. Whaa. On the other hand, I have in my closet every size pants ever made for women. One can tell where I’m at in my weight roller-coaster by the relative elasticity of my pants. And yes, I have a muumuu.
For another thing, skinny people like to hang out with fluffy people because it makes them look even skinnier. They use us like hideous beached-whale backdrops, to make themselves seem even more glowing, healthy, beautiful. You KNOW it’s true, Skinny People.
So lemme clue you in, Skinny People. For some of us, losing weight isn’t that simple. We’re big-boned. We’re densely packed. We’re genetic “keepers.” We have that “store & survive” gene (quite common in the upper Midwest, where, like bears, we sometimes must live off our fat stores during winter). For us, losing weight means deprivation, sacrifice, and Herculean effort.
For example, to lose ONE pound, I need to eat no more than a teaspoon of tabouli and a celery stalk per day, and I need to, with my bad knees and weak ankles, run oh, about 25 miles a day and/or spend 10 hours sweating with Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda. Do you know how hard it is to grade a paper or do your laundry while you’re sweatin’ to the oldies? Then, to keep the weight off, I would have to live for the rest of my natural life on an indulgent 6 Triscuits, 2 celery stalks, and ¼ cup of tabouli daily. On holidays, I could splurge by adding two Greek olives and a 1/3 glass of wine.
As you may have guessed by now, I’m on yet another diet and feeling a wee bit crabby about it. This one is called “Game On” and is designed like a team sport. Our team is called the Victorious Secrets, and we’re totally gonna kick the Fab Fems’ butts. But I am so hungry right now, I could eat…a skinny person (lightly sautéed in olive oil, with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, and a pint of the darkest beer I can find). I have hope, though, that THIS diet will be more successful than the 29 others I’ve tried. Because while my survival gene drives me toward bags of Doritos, entire blueberry cheesecakes, and enough pasta with pesto to choke a horse, I’ve also got an insidious and fairly strong competition gene.