Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christina Hendricks is living proof that dieting is a sin

As a food blogger, I cannot avoid touching two of the most burning food related issues: dieting and exercising. My position, in brief, is this: say that you go to the gym three times a week and that by the time you die you will have spent a total of 1 year of your life exercising. Say that as a result you live exactly one year longer than you would otherwise have lived. Would have it been worth it? Keep in mind that the extra year you live is the year you spend at the gym...To me, the answer is a clear and resounding nope.

And now the longer version. In 1997, the year I left Tuscany to move to Brussels, Belgium, I was a 150 pounds (69 kg), lean and muscled young guy. I was practicing sport five times a week (I was captain of a local volleyball team competing in national tournaments) and I was eating like an absolute pig. The term diet did not belong to my vocabulary.

At the end of my first 10 months in Belgium I was weighing 80 kilos (176 pounds): you will agree that 26 pounds in 10 months is no small feat. I blame it on the change of diet (butter everywhere...), and on having stopped doing physical activity (apart from that specific physical activity that every healthy 25 year old boy gets by living in a boarding school with 200 boys and girls of the same age...)

Since then, my weight has only been up, until my personal record of 94 kilos (208 pounds) in January 2008. By that time, I had kept 50% of my Italian habits: I was still eating like a pig, exactly like I was doing ten years before, but heavier Belgian food rather than Italian food. But I had also stopped entirely doing any type of sports. Now and then I did subscribe to a gym, did my exercise, and lost even 30 pounds. But ultimately sadness always hit me like a train: I would watch all these people around me, running on their tapis roulant, like little hamsters on a wheel...and I would think: what if by the time I die I have spent 1 year exercising in a gym, and as a result I have lived just one year longer? Would have it been worth it? No, it wouldn't, was my answer.

So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place: on the one hand I still eat like a pig, while on the other I hate exercising in a gym or running. For a long time I struggled, still submitting my self to boring gym session. And I can run even 10 miles in reasonable times. But I hate it. And let's not forget, that there is a theory out there that says that exercise is actually bad for you: according to this theory every man is born with a certain quantity of energy to spend. So by exercising, you actually spend your allotted energy quantity faster than the guy who is doing absolutely nothing. I like this theory, obviously.

My main problem is not a health issue or a looking good issue. I honestly think I am sexy irrespective of my weight (yeah, baby - although I do sometime discover my wife whispering, looking at my photos of when I was a lean stud. I wonder why...). But my issue is my clothes. I LOVE the English, slim cut for trousers and suits. The problem is that you need to be thin to look good in those. And I have a few of these suits that I bought last time I lost many pounds, back in 2008. Unfortunately now they do not fit. I have been extremely annoyed about it for the past couple of weeks. But today I decided that the famous sentence if life gives you lemon, just make lemonade, could apply to this situation as well. So I went and bought myself a new set of nice pants that fit.

And so my advice to you, dear readers: if you are wondering about dieting because you think you do not look good, just go and get yourself a larger pair of pants. Life is too short to be living it like a hamster in a wheel. Beside, look at the Mad Men lady, Christina Hendricks: she is obviously not thin, but would any of you men out there object if she popped up in your bed? I most certainly wouldn't (if I were single, obviously...ahem...).

8 comments:

Fabrizio Cariani said...

Oh good... I look exactly like Christina! time to hit the Bacon Trail again. :P :P

Tuscan foodie in America said...

Fabrizio, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you really DO NOT look like her...and in your case, I think this is good news...

ilpikkio said...

Thank you, really. I decided not to have sweets at night...but now I think I deserve a chocolate muffin. (It's 8.38 PM here in Cape Town)

Tuscan foodie in America said...

I really think you do deserve a chocolate muffin.

Tarryn Tomlinson said...

Thanks Paola for passing on the link. Thanks Tuscan foodie for making me feel better! Ahah you have to check out an article I wrote on Intuitive eating!(www.rubenesquemagazine.co.za) We have to really stop the diet mentality and love food Gud damn it! Food just like sex are two of the greatest pleasures in life, why do we judge ourselves for wanting it and loving it!!!? mmm...(something to do with religion)lol...almost lunch time in Cape Town; and i can smell a indian curry on the brew....yum

valeasy said...

truth be told, most of us do not look quite like Christina Hendricks when we gain a few pounds - and most men who worship her are less forgiving of chubbiness in real life.

This said, please excuse me now: it is 2pm in Rome and I have some hot pizza waiting for me...

@Tarryn - great article, thanks for sharing! though your food philosophy seems to diverge from the Tuscan Foodie's on a number of fronts (exercise is one!)

Tuscan foodie in America said...

Tarryn, I am with you. And yes, I do judge myself for wanting food: I judge myself very intelligent.

Too often food is either considered a medicine or a poison: it is neither. It is a an essential part of life, which also happens to be pleasant (unless you are a health nazi, in which case, bad luck for you).

Save me a bit of Indian curry...

Vale, welcome! I am not saying that you shouldn't exercise. I am saying that I don't like it and I would rather do something else. But that's just me.

As for chubbiness, I have always preferred women that do not look like sticks: Jessica Simpson, Christina Hendricks...but again, that's just me!

Tarryn Tomlinson said...

@ Val..thanks so much for the compliment I'm glad u liked it! Yes for the exercise thing...i love doing fun things which work up a sweat such as dancing,and some other nocternal adventures.ahah. Sometimes it just takes a change of focus to find the pleasure in the most ordinary things. Ps. So jealous that you get to eat pizza in Rome! Amo Roma!! and i love pizza! but since i have been visualising myself thinner I discovered I have a gluten intolerance (I see it as an answer from the heavens-as I lose weight when i stop eating carbs). @ Tuscan foodie...'Come ti chiami?? Michele?' and the indian curry is finished! so sorry as I only read your response now! uffa! but I promise if u ever make your way down to cape town (if u want to taste some of the best food eva, then u will) Paola and I can take you to have some really good indian curry (chicken, beef, lamb, fish or seafood)! YUM!!

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