Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2001


Battle of the bulge continues

As I sit here thinking about dieting, the hungrier I am getting; or should I say, the more I am thinking about eating, because actually, isn’t that what most of us do? We think and then we eat, which means, we think we want to eat n even when we are not really hungry. And that leads me to the subject – you guessed it n of diet. Are you on one since the new year started? It’s almost a tradition with many of us. Anyhow, welcome to the wonderful world of dieting. There is so much information on the internet that you can find almost anything you want to know about food and eating. What I was mainly interested in is how many people in this country, at a given point in time, are dieting to lose weight. Sure, perhaps like many others you have lost one, two or three people in the past. I don’t mean “lost” as in “can’t find them,” but as in the fact that we have lost so many pounds in the past, if they were added up, those pounds could equal several whole people. And isn’t that a discouraging thought! Well, it should give us enough guilt to never do that again. But you know, it doesn’t. Unfortunately, the number of overweight adults in the U.S. is continuing to rise. As of 1991 eight million Americans were considered overweight, so add 10 years to that and the figure probably doesn’t look any better. Each year, it is noted, more than half of all Americans try to either lose weight or maintain a recent weight loss. That’s a lot of people fighting the bulge! What is worse is that America’s children are adding to that number, probably thanks to computers, Nintendos, Game Boys and the like. Unfortunately both children and adults are lured by the temptation of easy entertainment indoors. Still, as I understand it, as our technology advances we are creating an unhealthy monster named “fat.” Who feels like going out to toss around a ball or two or going for a run or long stroll after several relaxing hours with the electronic creatures that live in our homes. I sure don’t. Personally, I just try to keep the body moving before it discovers what relaxation is, and that isn’t the best solution, either. Diet and exercise equal weight loss, they say. It’s true, too. If so many of you are like so many like me, the new year brought a firm resolution to do better this time and achieve that weight goal. It’s already the middle of January and, frankly, I am not doing very well with the diet, but I know of several who are. Exercise has never been a problem for me, but weight loss is and some of the people I know who are dieting don’t do much in the way of exercise but are losing weight. So, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Just don’t believe that stuff about “calories don’t count.” You can bet your last plate of jambalaya, they do. And, they say all diets are not the same and don’t produce the same results; some fad diets are exactly that; what works for the goose may not work for the gander; and so on. How much do you want to bet that weight loss programs like Weight Watchers, TOPS, Overeaters Anonymous, Diet Center, health clubs, etc., have increased their membership this month? Probably just as they always do at this time each year. You know what I believe, really and truly? I believe we all want to have the weight where we can look our best, but we just don’t want it bad enough to give up food. Makes sense to me! See you in the diet food section! ANNA MONICA is a resident of Garyville. She writes this column every Wednesday for L’Observateur.