The flipside


I am going to talk about New Year’s resolutions, but only in a roundabout way. You see, I have a lot of vague resolutions, but there is one very concrete one I can talk about.

This year, I am going to gain weight.

You read that correctly, and no, this is not opposite day. Unlike the thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of Americans who are resolving to lose weight, doing so would probably kill me. If you are among the majority of people who would love to have that problem, you need to read this post.

Our society is obsessed with weight….primarily losing it. Understandably, since we are among the most obese countries in the world. Surrounding you every day are messages about losing weight. Pick up any magazine. I dare you to pick a magazine off the checkout line and not find one thing about losing weight. Look at any health website or article. In every restaurant, look at the menus, the advertisements, and the nutrition guides – they are all filled with statements about how the food will help you lose weight. Low-fat options, hints for how to ward off hunger, diets, calorie burning exercises…they are all over the place!

Imagine for a moment that you are skinny. Not ideal weight skinny. Your ribs are visible and you are classified as underweight skinny. That might sound like paradise. But consider. How does one become so small? What if you never eat enough? Stress, picky eating, any number of factors might play into your constant hunger, but it is there regardless. Your friends don’t ever allow you to complain about needing to eat healthier or exercise…they just tell you there is nothing to worry about. You walk around hungry every day. Have you ever gone two or three days without eating a full meal? I have. Have you ever bent over with hunger pains, feeling as if you can’t stand the agony? I have. And now, tell me if that sounds like a dream.

There are people in the world, right here around you, who need to gain weight. They are constantly surrounded with information about how to lose it, information that could kill them. There is no one to tell them how to eat more, which foods are high in healthy calories, how to stay healthy. They won’t tell you their struggle, because you’re likely to be jealous and brush them off. You have no reason to be jealous. They are struggling as much as you are. You do not want what they have.

My New Year’s resolution is to gain weight. My health depends on it. This year, when you are working to lose weight, remember the flipside. Next time your skinny friend guiltily eyes your salad and looks regretfully at her pizza, notice it. Tell her she should have a second piece. Don’t make comments about how you just wish you had her body. You don’t.

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