When I was growing up, people got Dunlap Disease – when the spare tire around their middle had Dun Lapped over their belts. Now, people have muffin tops. How cutsey! Right?
You and I have been together for a couple of months now and, friend, I’m going to tell you the truth – a muffin top looks like just what it is: an inner tube of fat right around the waist. It’s not cute. It’s not fashionable. It’s abdominal fat. Abdominal fat leads to abdominal obesity and that, my friends, is Trouble with a capital T.
Abdominal obesity has been linked to increased rates of Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The implications there are far too serious to refer to their cause as something as innocuous as Muffin Top. That’s like calling John Wayne Gacy “Johnny Giggles.” It just doesn’t fit.
Abdominal obesity can kill you or (perhaps even worse) keep you alive but incapacitated, debilitated and even a burden on your family. Think about that for a second. I don’t know anyone who truly has the goal of being the center of their family’s life. Maybe there are people out there who want every person thinking about them all day, every day. Maybe they do want to be a duty, a burden, a millstone around someone else’s neck. They may be out there, but, because you’re reading this, I’m fairly confident that you aren’t one of them.
On 24 July, when my nurse practitioner broke through my weight delusions, I asked myself if I wanted to meet my grandchildren. That’s a real question. I’m in my mid-forties and I don’t anticipate becoming a grandmother in the next several years; so, I had to ask myself if I planned to be around by the time they got here. Or, will my son have to tell them about me? Will he have to tell them what kind of person I was because I died too young of a heart attack brought on by my own refusal to push away the french fries? Really? How stupid is that? How embarrassing! How utterly tragic.
Or what if my unhealthy food choices and poor exercise habits lead to a debilitating stroke? What if he never has children because he has to spend his adult life taking care of me? In that scenario, he is forced to give up a promising life of his own to take care of me when I was too selfish to take care of my own self.
I realized on that day that neither of those eventualities interests me. I want to be healthy and active well into my 80s. I want to be the grandmother that rides bikes, gardens, rock climbs, rides roller coasters, reads bedtime stories and cooks all kinds of weird vegetables. I want to be around to meet those children. I want to pass on the knowledge that I’ve gained and learn things anew by looking through their eyes.
Maybe I won’t be around. Maybe I won’t meet them no matter what lifestyle choices I make. However, I’m going to work on stacking the odds in my favor (remember? I’m the House). If I don’t meet them, it won’t be because I let Muffin Top have a say in it.