Judging from all the recent media coverage on the subject, you'd think that we'd just uncovered the Obesity Holy Grail: JUNK FOOD IS ADDICTIVE!
Well I'm here to tell ya, that ain't news, Katie Couric. The Obesity Holy Grail, when it is found, will likely be an empty bag of Cheetos stuffed into the cushions of an old sofa next to a TV remote. I know this because I myself have been in possession of at least 138 of these particular (baked) grails in the past six months.
Most people who have struggled with obesity are Knights of the Fat Table, valiantly going forth in our stylish Lane Bryant sweaters and stretch denim to fight off the immortal Food Addiction Dragon every single day of our lives. Just like for our brothers and sisters who struggle to slay the winged Red Bull and Vodka Dragon, the dangerously jittery Meth Dragon, or the crazy One-Armed Gambling Dragon, it is a never-ending fight, but with a difference: Those of us bound to take on the Food Addiction Dragon must make a pet of our enemy at least once or twice a day. In other words, we gotta eat.
The fact that the rest of the world is just now acknowledging the sweaty, please-don't-make-me-walk-uphill battle of the Knights of the Fat Table is a laughable to say the least. For decades we've been lured astray by the siren Little Debbie, been defeated by the ubiquitous one-eyed Krispy Kreme Demons, and had our ship sunk in the Sea of Dominos. We've cried out for help, only to be told to call on the god Will Power, who, alas, was seriously injured when he attempted to aid Tiger Woods and is now resting comfortably on a beach in Barbados. More recent studies have shown that one of our best warriors, Sir Exercise, has been a traitor all along, making even the most brave knight a slave to hunger. There are those who say the secret to killing the Food Addiction Dragon lies down the twelve-step path, however some of us lack the proper shoes for that journey.
But the Knights of the Fat Table will rally their rag-tag, fugitive forces every Monday morning, only to be vanquished again the same afternoon. Maybe it is some small consolation that the rest of the world has now taken note of our struggle; maybe now there will be at least a nod of understanding when we inhale french fries like sweet mountain air or run our finger lovingly across the plate to gather pie crumbs. Or maybe they'll still roll their eyes and wonder why we don't just put down the fork, push away from the table, or go take a walk.
That's ok. We'll battle on, and maybe one day, when we've figured out what demon from hell unleashes the dragon against us, we can slay it for good and feast on its chicken-fried heart.
Michele Coppola is a Portland-based writer and radio personality whose most recent work has been published in the feminist journals So To Speak and Melusine. Find her blog at www.coppolawords.com
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