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...).