I have a mirror in my hallway hanging on the wall adjacent to the bathroom door and one above the toilet. Unless I choose to wear clothes in bed, which I have no desire to do, when I take that hazy matutinal stroll to the toilet to empty my bladder I am faced with the body I was ‘blessed’ with, or more to the point, one that I ‘shaped’ over the years. The slightly rotund stomach, the adipose tissue clinging to the sides making ‘love handles’, the ubiquitous ‘Dad’ bod, that women apparently love. Let’s face it, I have my fair share of avoirdupois.
I am not particularly ashamed of this. I feel no insecurity about it. And I certainly don’t suffer from the modern prevailing disease of ‘comparison’ that seems to affect so many in this world of ‘ME’ culture. I am quite happy with ‘ME’ and have no desire to look like anyone else.
My weightiness is the result of dining out in restaurants which I enjoy as much as physically possible, as I constantly search for a reason:
“You passed your mock exams. Excellent, let’s go out for dinner?”
“You got the new job. Let’s celebrate and go out for a meal tonight!”
“My friend Thom, his ex-wife’s brother’s friend’s sister just got promoted to head cashier at Tesco, we can’t eat in tonight!”
Such are the lengths I travel to find a reason to dine. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be waited on hand and foot in a beautiful surrounding, cooked for and freed from having to wash up the culinary equipment? I also like to bathe in alcohol and quite the connoisseur of cakes and confectionary. I have an incredible sweet tooth which I attribute to the long walks with my Father when I was a child through the labyrinthine corridors of London, the sugar-coated metropolis of my youth.
But if I am honest there are times when I try to lose weight. As a 47-year-old, I would say I am fit and healthy. I run on average 3 times a week covering between 15-30 miles, I cycle 10-20 miles at least once a week, weather permitting, and I can also drop and do 70-80 press ups without stopping. My aim is to do 100. So, as you can see, I am pretty fit. If you heard me describing my daily exercise routines without seeing my body, you would perhaps have a picture of a less subcutaneous fellow.
When I go through a less gluttonous period, my weight drops quite quickly. My body takes a different shape and it’s interesting to witness the relationship of food and wine vs weight and the edible effects. My days tend to start very well. I go for a run, then a swim in the sea, meditate on the beach and then return home to lie in the bath for an hour to read, followed by breakfast, usually natural yoghurt, homemade granola and fruit covered in chia seeds with a glass of fruit juice. What a glowing example of health, I should be on an advert. And maybe for 2-3 weeks I keep this up and bask in the compliments about how much weight I’ve lost…
And then boredom kicks in and the morning can quite easily start with chocolate. Who can live a life without chocolate? Who would deny themselves such a treat? The joy of life is increased with fine wine, delectable dinners, appetizing aromas and calorific cuisine. It’s simply a trade-off. Do I want to be thin, lissom and muscular like the airbrushed photos on magazines, the filtered figures on social networks and eat tediously dull, mundane, uninteresting, characterless food or do I want to enjoy the comestibles of Kings and accept the corpulent, portly paunch?
Of course, there are many incredibly healthy foods that satiate and electrify the old taste buds, I’m not ignorant to this, and cook them frequently, but my addiction to the mouth-watering meals and flavoursome snacks that don’t add any value to my health still won’t release their tight gormandize grip.
I guess, in short, I’m not desirous enough for the six pack as I am for the calorific cuisine I repeatedly return to. I would, honestly find it more embarrassing to parade my perfect pecs and muscles in photos or on the beach if I had them, than disrobe and display my current avoirdupois anatomy which, if I’m honest, find somewhat fun and humorous in the face of those who wouldn’t dare celebrate their physique for the fear of societal judgement.
So, the chances are I will never have a six pack, not be accepted by the ‘beautiful botox filtered people’ and have less ‘likes’ on social media. But I will have a wine fuelled, palate pleasuring, luscious lunching, divine dining, saporific satiating well-seasoned mouth-watering ambrosial seat at the table with a few more calories than some, and a few less ‘likes’ on social media.
Sounds good to me. Who wants dessert?