If you’ve spent any time at all in a dieting environment — professional or amateur — you’ve definitely heard that “food is fuel.” It is not entertainment, damn it! This strikes me as just as dreary as the idea that sex is solely for procreation. Heck, even the Catholic Church allows another reason for sex: to strengthen the bond between wife and husband.
So I’d been advised in my former dieting days to view food for my body like gas for a car. Er, okay. I accepted this blindly as “great advice!” (Except I enjoy mouth-feels of food almost as much as tastes, sometimes more.) It sounded like a useful thing to keep in mind. But like so much diet advice clunking around in my head — like “eat and exercise like a thin person” — it just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. (Like, uh, there are many thin people who overeat and are sedentary.)
I began to ruminate on the food/body-gas/car analogy. Fuel, huh? Well, the dieting maestros swear that losing weight’s all about burning more calories than you take in.
Well, what happens if a car uses more gas than it’s been filled with? If your car runs out of gas, it breaks down, and you’re going nowhere. Supposedly even letting the gas tank get below 1/4 full is bad for the car.
I don’t think the human body is designed to ever burn more calories than it took in. That makes no sense. It’ll either use what it has or save any extra energy for later use/emergencies.
I’d rather have a car with just enough gas in the tank to get me to my destination. Actually, having extra fuel in reserve sounds like an even better plan. Running on empty doesn’t interest me at all and actually sounds quite dangerous.
[My blogging here has been -- well, sporadic doesn't begin to cover it. A real-life project has eaten up most of the time I used to spend blogging, and this will continue the rest of this year and possibly several more. So this could be my last post. I'd love to be able to come back. I'm just not sure when. But I thank you from my cockles for reading/commenting. You make the Fatosphere a hell of a community, and I'm grateful for your contributions and how you've informed my belief in fat acceptance.]