Category Archives: fat

Looking cool in a penguin costume does not make you a literary giant …

If there isn’t already, there should be a law which states clearly and firmly that fit, healthy 21-year-old lads are not allowed to always be first on the WiiFit leaderboard. This is particularly pertinent when the WiiFit actually belongs to Rocco’s mother. She should be allowed to be best at something

The Hunter Gatherer gave Rocco’s mother the WiiFit for Christmas. The frightening part was that it wanted to weigh her. Naturellement, she thought NOT. Who in their right mind wants technology to tell them they are obese?  You could argue that machines don’t know everything – and Rocco’s mother did. Therefore, she closed her eyes while the machine did its worst, and didn’t ever click on the WEIGHT button. A little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing – and Rocco’s mother wanted to venture forth into 2009 without much knowledge at all. Especially the kind which might impede her prior knowledge regarding how excellent chocolate and sea-salt potato crisps taste. And icy cold iced coffee by the gallon. And we’re not talking the low-fat kind. Why would we?

Rocco’s mother made herself a nice little avatar person and had a few happy hours trying out the games and exercises. Her nice little person happily zipped into a fetching penguin suit to compete in Penguin Slide – and was doing very well at that, and several other things. Rocco’s mother found she had surprisingly good balance. Because of this, she stupidly bragged to Rocco. A bad mistake, because Rocco has a competitive nature – and being a surfer, scoffed at the fact his aging mater might consider she could out-balance him at anything. He was sure he could do better. In a penguin suit, even.

Rocco set about making himself an avatar. A very cool one indeed – with spiky hair, sunglasses and a lime green outfit. Rocco’s mother *sigh* had to admit it was the height of coolness. Surreptitiously, in edit mode, she removed the spectacles she’d given herself. After all, she only wears them for reading and there are no reading activities to compete in. The fact she could whup Rocco’s arse in a spelling bee is her own personal and heavily guarded secret.

Rocco’s avatar zipped itself into the penguin suit – and even looked cool thus attired. He flashed backwards and forwards on the iceberg with gay abandon – not falling off once. Rocco’s mother, on the other hand, spent a fair bit of time flailing in the water. And was too obese tired to leap elegantly to catch the prized red fish (10 points each).  At the end of his turn, Rocco’s penguin leaped and cheered and punched the air. He then took his place at the top of the leaderboard. By this time, Rocco’s mother had broken out a packet of biscuits and settled down to watch whilst he took away, one by one, her records for Table Tilt, Ski Slalom and Tightrope Walking. In fact, he had so many turns at Ski Slalom that Rocco’s mother dropped off the leaderboard completely and will possibly forever remain unranked.

‘Look at it this way,’ Rocco smugly assured her, ‘It will give you something to aim for!’ There actually was something his mother would have liked to have aimed for. But one doesn’t do that to one’s only son. No matter how great the provocation. It also rankles slightly that Rocco’s body fitness test placed him right in the middle of IDEAL. In fact, it then proceeded to tell him he should aim to gain three kilos. There was no facility for file sharing – or Rocco’s mother would have happily downloaded some of hers into his fatbox.

On a happier note, Rocco’s mother is top of the leaderboard in Jogging. This is because Rocco can’t be bothered doing that. It would be beyond his dignity to run on the spot for 10 minutes in the middle of the living room when he could reap greater rewards in far shorter time at other activities. Nor will he try the yoga poses. To be perfectly honest, Rocco’s mother hasn’t attempted these either. She will wait until the holidays are over and she has the house completely to herself in order to pose in private.

There is some light on the horizon, however, Flygirl and Roo will both be visiting towards the end of the month. Flygirl has her own WiiFit and a very active, sporty partner to compete with at home. Roo is a gym junkie and jogs for miles and miles. Rocco’s mother hopes these two will prove formidable foe. Watch out, Rocco – your time may almost be up.

And bear in mind, your mother will always be able to whup your arse in a spelling bee. No amount of looking dashing in a penguin suit will ever change that …



I sing the body demented …

Quite a few years ago I started going on a morning walk. It was before my eldest daughter’s wedding, and I’d noticed I was a bit (nay, a lot) boombah. There really wasn’t very much time to do anything about it, seeing as the wedding was only a couple of weeks away – but I decided I would force myself to walk for half an hour each day in the interests of health, happiness and the Australian way.

There’s nothing interesting or unusual about someone going on a daily walk, but it’s had its moments. Some of which are worthy of mention. After all, if you’ve read this far, surely you can humour me and manage another 600 words or so. (Thanks in anticipation, for that.)

At one stage, because I really did hate the thought of having to do that damn walk each day – I got it into my head to do it really early and get it out of the way. I’m a very light sleeper, so really early meant 4.30-ish. I’d wake up around that time and lie there thinking about how horrible it was that I was going to have to do that walk and how I wasn’t looking forward to it … but if I got up and did it NOW, I’d have the rest of the day to read the papers and sit in the sun eating chocolate, cake and potato crisps mung bean sarnies and soy crackers.

So verily it came to pass that one morning I hauled myself from my deliciously warm and marvellous bed and out into the darkling night. It was actually fantastic out there, as it happened to be a beautiful moonlit night – cool and still and enchanting. The start of my walk entails a diagonal stumble across a sports oval. It’s quite elevated, and I noticed with delight that even though all around me was pitch black, off to the left I could see the lights of the whole town glittering in the distance far below like a magical little firmament purely for my edification. It was quite fabulous altogether, so I stood there and had a good long look at that, and thought about how I was the only person awake in the whole wide world. Woo.

After a little while experiencing this unlikely epiphany, I trotted off again, and nearly shat myself in horror when all of a sudden something loomed ahead in the darkness and I found I wasn’t the only one awake in the whole wide world after all. Some druid in a cowl and blanket had laid out his gran’s spare chenille bedspread on the grass in the middle of the oval and was assuming a yoga position and doing druidy things under the cloak of darkness. I think a noise of surprise and/or horror might have emanated from me – but not a word from the druid, who was obviously on a much higher plane and swathed in a mist of sandalwood and myrrh from the incense sticks he’d poked in the grass around him. I did a sort of crablike movement in order to avoid trampling his patchouli cones, and trundled up to the highway with my poor old heart hammering away with the sheer shock of it all. I’ll never know what the druid thought. And neither, probably, will he.

Once I got to the highway, there were streetlights. Those really big overhead bright ones, which could have lit up an Olympic stadium. There were also trucks trundling past in fairly regular succession, and I was thinking how nice it would have been if the Mickey D’s on the corner was a 24 hour one and I’d thought to bring some money and could have lobbed in there for a warming thick chocolate drink with double cream skim latte and sat watching the trucks going past and the sun coming up, etc., etc., etc. And while I was contemplating this, I put my hand in my pocket to check whether maybe I did have coinage – and realised with horror that I was standing on a main highway in my nightie, dressing gown and a pair of crappy slippers.

At this particular point in the walk, I’m either halfway there or halfway back – so there wasn’t anything much to do except go forward into the fray. I didn’t particularly want to encounter the druid again, because if he’d come out of his trance long enough to realise the madwoman in the bed gear was returning to accost him from yet another angle in a surprise attack, there might have been a nasty encounter of the zen kind.  So there was nothing for it really than to shuffle on home.

And so, eventually, to bed …


A moment’s silence for the camels of the world …

            A few people have asked lately whether I happen to be jealous – of Elle. Oh, haha. Not. These queries have no doubt been prompted by a few things I’ve written which were apparently not very nice. And gave the impression, furthermore, I might perhaps be a tad bitter. Well, no. FYI, I’m not. I’m happy as a clam looking like this, as you would be. I’ve developed it into an art form.

            There are multitudinous advantages to having very short legs. It’s likely to be terrifically handy one day when Osama or someone decides to come over and start attacking. Yessiree – I’ll be closer to the ground. Providing my reflexes are in order, I’ll hit the floor a damn sight faster than Elle will. After the holocaust, there’ll be plenty of wombats left, but alas – not too many giraffes.

            In the event of famine falling on the pillaged land, those of us more generously padded will be able to live on our stored energy for quite some time, thank you very much. Supermodels, on the other hand, will not last much past morning tea. Look at how convenient this arrangement has always been for camels. Oh yes indeed, the gazelles had a fine old time sneering at them back at the corral … but who managed to cross the desert, hmm? And with their thighs still intact – go, you good dromedaries, go!

            In times of difficulty, people of my ilk won’t care if we can’t get chartreuse nail varnish. We’ve never varnished our nails in our lives. We won’t have to worry about getting ladders in our non-existent stockings or give a rat’s whether anybody can lend us a Silky Mitt. We won’t give a stuff if the hair under our armpits is dragging on the ground, because it usually does anyway and nobody died.

            In times of hardship, beauty will become trivial. Nobody will be looking at Elle with their tongues hanging out, I can assure you. They’ll be asking me if they can please shelter under my stomach. Begging, even. They’ll be borrowing items of my clothing to set up a tent city. Elle’s clothing might possibly be useful for tying tomato plants to stakes – but she probably won’t part with it without a struggle – particularly the designer label jobbies. You’ll have to kill her first.

            ‘But,’ Elle will cry, wringing her hands. ‘You boombahs will eat all the supplies!’ Well, yes – we probably will. We’ll need it – we’ve got more space to fill. If there are any celery sticks, she can have those. If things get really desperate and the community has to revert to cannibalism – who would be more popular then, hmmm? Elle … or moi?

            What Elle and her cohorts do comes under the banner of ‘decorative’. In an emergency, it’s not terribly useful. When you’re having your home bombed and can’t find your children, who are you going to long for most? A thin woman in gold latex hotpants or a Dominos delivery lad? Will you want to know what to wear this autumn, or how much tinned crap we’ll need to get us through until Christmas? Indeed, will the smell of Chanel No.5 manage to permeate the stench of rotting bodies and charnel houses?

            Sure, it would be okay to look reasonable, I suppose. I don’t deny it. But we’re still all going to end up with maggots crawling through our eye sockets – and after all, the whole lot of us will ultimately attain thinness when we’re reduced to bones.

            It’s astounding how supermodels and sportspeople earn more money than leaders of the country and great scientific minds, who struggle for handouts to cure disease and benefit mankind. What does that say about us? How intelligent is a country which showers accolades on drunken yob footballers who can’t string two words together coherently, and stick-insect clotheshorses who earn more per hour than it would take to feed a Somalian village for a year? The world has gone crazy, and it’s not a good look.

            So don’t just sit there and feel bad about the extra pounds you’ve stacked on – have that slice of torte! Take a second slice, even! Go on … sooner or later, when it comes to the crunch, your country will need YOU.

            One hump or two?


Days of milk and chemical enhancement …

            The Warrior Queen has been a bit peeved. She wants to know why you can’t get real food anymore. There were so many different types of milk on offer down at Food-o-rama, she didn’t feel qualified to make an intelligent decision.

            Manufacturers obviously wouldn’t know a cow from their elbow. It was either skim, trim, lite, brite, lo-fat, no-fat, soy, protein enriched, thigh-enhancing or joggers’ delite. What are you supposed to do? All you want is a drop of white stuff in your coffee –  is it too much to ask? Well, yes, actually. It either comes with everything taken out of it, or a whole lot of other stuff put in. You can’t just get it the way God intended, because that would look as if nobody had bothered. No matter how much trouble the poor old cow went to, trying to ensure a fresh, nutritious product – the human being has to get right in there, stuffing about with it.

            It doesn’t stop with milk, either. There’s the bread enigma. Not content with it being merely white or brown, you can now get it with hidden grains. Secretive ones, even. Grains you have when you don’t want anyone to know you’re having grains. Grains your kids can’t see, so they think they’re having bread that’s bad for them when you’re really fooling them into having something nutritious. Like grains. That’ll be 50c extra for the hidden goodness, please – and sucked in because you can’t prove whether you’re paying for anything extra at all!

            The WQ wants to trot down to the shop with her pail and have it filled straight from the udder. She wants to take her burlap bag and have them weigh out a pound of faggots and a few grams of broken biscuits. She wants to go home with a lump of cheese wrapped in muslin and stuck solidly under her armpit. Such were the halcyon days!

            It’s all becoming too complicated by far when you need a chemistry degree to go to Food-o-rama to choose ingredients for a simple family meal. What’s worse, most of the stuff we’re getting these days tastes like crap. That’s because chemicals taste like crap – and they’re supposed to – they’re medicine. Chemicals were not supposed to taste like roast beef. When you pump cows full of them, roast beef doesn’t taste like roast beef. But it’s supposedly immortal. You can keep it in your refrigerator forever. An eight-year-old cheeseburger found recently under the seat of a car still looked edible. Bully for it.

            Not satisfied with having destroyed the very essence of milk, bread and meat, there are people – thin people – employed to create smug little labels to stick on everything. If you check out the labels you can see exactly how many calories you’re going to pack on if you eat the whole box – which, let’s face it – was the general idea. Sometimes the amount of calories is thousands. The front of the pack says ‘Baked not Fried – 97% Fat Free’. It’s still thousands. This is something I really need to know.

            There is absolutely no enjoyment in a Mars Bar if you are forced to read first how it has 100% fat, 10 million calories and the potential to render you incapable of fitting into a bus seat unless the one beside you is unoccupied.

            There is no fun in having to read a list of numerals which indicate whether or not your children will trash the house and try to kill each other if they eat the product. Why not skip the additives in the first place? Who cares if the stuff won’t last until the middle of next year? Who wants to stare at a packet of bacon in the fridge for longer than a few weeks anyway?

            Nobody used to die from eating fresh food. They didn’t crawl the walls either. They didn’t need to fill themselves with prescription chemicals to override the effects of food additives. We were perfectly happy with a bit of botulism every now and then, and the odd attack of dysentery. Chickens were free to lay their eggs wherever they damn well pleased, in the sunshine, under trees, in the privacy of their own yard – and you didn’t have to pay extra for them having the pleasure.

            Eliza … where the devil is my burlap bag?



The holiday’s not over ‘til the fat lady sinks …

            Because he’s that kind of guy, the Hunter Gatherer once gave me three nights in Cairns for my birthday. After the initial excitement had  worn off, it occurred to me I had less than a week to drop 20 kilos – and other than amputating my legs with a buzzsaw there really wasn’t much I could do about it.

            Location is part of the problem here. For three nights in Alaska I could wrap myself in walrus blubber, put on a furry suit and drop little gems like; ‘Hard to imagine I’m wearing size 8 knickers under this lot, eh?’ Or with three nights at Uluru there’d at least be something bigger than me.

            But no – I get three nights in the fun and sun capital, where one day’s perfect, the next is obese. Have no fear, I thought. There’s big, colourful tent thingies to wear. And besides, I don’t need to go in the water if I don’t want to.

            ‘We can go snorkelling!’ said the HG gleefully. I should have punched him out. So there we were, in the fun and sun capital, fronting up to the booking office to go out to the reef. By helicopter.

            ‘What worries me,’ I said to the man behind the counter, ever mindful of personal safety and remembering recent events, ‘is being left behind out there.’ He sized me up. I had a feeling he was trying not to laugh.

‘I don’t think that’s likely, Madam.’ I should have punched HIM out. If I’d known what was coming next, I would have. ‘It’s a requirement,’ he continued, ‘that you provide your weight. For the helicopter pilot.’

            Slight problem looms on the horizon. Found the bathroom scales drowned in the bath one morning many years prior, and hadn’t been able to weigh myself since. Actually, I liked the scales that way. They were so rusted up they never managed to creak past 40 kilos. But I digress.

            I pulled my stomach and cheeks in while the nice man made a few brave guesses. It would have been less embarrassing to give birth with the Iranian Army watching.

            Anyway, we front up the next morning at the helipad. The nice pilot gets out, opens up the back and starts removing ballast. More stomach-and-cheek sucking-in, to no avail. There’s nowhere to suck it into.

            We managed to get out there without the nice pilot’s helicopter plunging into the briny because I’d had a happy winter in the company of potato crisps and Whitman’s soft centres – and we had a happy afternoon feasting on seafood and other stuff before HG brings up the snorkelling again.

            Well, I had to admit the water looked pretty good. Warm, blue and inviting. Couldn’t find any walrus blubber to pack under the lifejacket – but no matter. Borrowed a pair of HG’s board shorts to pull over the worst bits, and in I went.

            The water was packed with neat little Japanese people gliding gracefully around. And me. Not gliding – floundering. I don’t know how anyone breathes through those pathetic little tubes. It was beyond me. In my mind’s eye I could see my lungs, thrusting in vain against the fat as I tried to draw breath.

            Once home, there were three options.

1.      Diet. (And make my life a bloody misery – not likely!)

2.      Amputate my legs with a buzzsaw.

3.      Book the next holiday – to Alaska.

Yeah … bring on the walrus blubber and the furry snowsuit. And the size 8 knickers to wear underneath …



Dodging the molecules …

            That which is lost will invariably be found – and not always by the one who lost it. A case in point – fat.

            People lose fat every day. They literally work their butts off doing it. They do not consider for one cotton-pickin’ minute where it goes when they lose it. They have absolutely no consideration whatsoever for those of us upon whom it falls.

            Somewhere out there, intangible in the atmosphere, are fat globules on the move. Transparent, invisible and downright deadly. They’ve been banished from the tummies and buttocks of those who pound the pavements and shun Sara Lee, and are, even as we speak, winging their way sanctimoniously toward those of us lying back on our banana lounges with our contented, dimpled thighs supporting trays of Chicken Delight and Whitman’s boxes with only the hard centres left.

            How does the fat know where to attach for maximum effect? Simple. It doesn’t pick a moving target. This is why people exercise – not because they’re burning up calories, but because they’re dodging fat molecules. Always remember – fat molecules don’t land on the person jogging past Krispy Kreme – they land on the person staring wistfully in the window deciding whether they could put away half a dozen glazed before lunch.

            Non-smokers get riled all the time about passive smoking. They don’t like it when a passerby blows smoke in their faces or fills a public place with noxious fumes. It’s probably never occurred to them the amount of fat they accumulate when a thin person trots by. Smokers with diseases sue tobacco companies after they’ve made themselves ill. Fat people should be able to sue Cadbury’s or the smug, stick-insect woman next door in the size 8 hotpants.

            Because fat is such a problem to so many of us, scientists are kept frantically busy working on ways to create fatless fats. The day will come when fat is no longer fat and we can all be thin. Hooray! Human nature being what it is, when thin is easily attainable and everyone has it, it will probably no longer be desirable. In the meantime, society delights in giving us handy hints and guidelines on how to cope if we happen to be one of those upon whom other people’s unwanted fat molecules descend.

            . Don’t wear wide horizontal stripes. You will look like the grand staircase at Tara. People will walk up the front of you and down the other side.

            . Don’t hang around with thin people. It will make you look worse. It will also put you in a prime position for inadvertent fat-catching. Make sure all your friends are equal-to or greater-than.

            . Don’t EVER be sucked into trying things on in changing rooms. They do something with the mirrors. When you walk in, you actually feel quite attractive, albeit in a fat sort of way. By the time you walk out you’ll be wondering why you bothered heaving your sorry carcass out of bed that morning and taking a breath. (Why do they do this? If mirrors were flattering, it stands to reason they’d sell more stuff.)

            . Don’t ever let anyone see you eating anything. They’ll immediately assume you got that way through greed. We all know this is not a fact.

These smug, condescending points are supposed to make us feel we are lesser  human beings – just because we are more. And something else which has recently come to my notice is the way certain little words have become attached to labels on clothing. Words such as PLUS, EXTRA and ALL WOMAN. Terrific. This is so larger people can have choices like ordinary people. Why don’t they just come right out and put HUGE-UM, BOOMBAH and BARGEARSE?

            And it’s our own fault. For acting like we’re ashamed of ourselves instead of embracing our wobbly bits and showing them off to all and sundry at every opportunity. I have every intention of going out and buying the biggest, brightest tent I can lay my hands on – with stripes wider than zebra crossings in colours never intended to appear together in the same spectrum.

            But I probably won’t. I’m too scared of having footprints going up the front and down the back …



Our operators are standing by to take your call …

            Home shopping is the revolutionary new thing. It appears there’s not much you can’t do from the safety of your recliner rocker.

            Just this morning I could have changed my life forever. I could have removed my unwanted hair, lost my unwanted flesh – and still had time before lunch to put some decorative little triangular plastic corner shelves up all over my house to hold my knick-knacks and potted ferns. Or my personal favourite – stayed on the sofa and had a bit of a hoot.

            You can’t help laughing, really, because all this is taken so seriously. The women demonstrating the products have never had hair or flesh problems. Nor do they have homes enhanced by little triangular shelves. They have a limited script consisting of condescending dialogue such as, ‘That’s right, Bert – imagine never having to wax again!’ Bert looks thrilled as he imagines it. You can tell waxing has been causing him considerable grief and he is champing at the bit to get his hands on the product in the privacy of his dressing room.

            The Hair Removal System (a razor), promises it will remove the hair forever. In which case, what’s to stop you sending it back after one go and getting your money back? Different hairs, however, must grow instead. From different follicles. Therefore, you will need the razor for the rest of your life, so it’s just as well it has a guarantee which will see you into your grave. When you are old enough not to give a sod about hairy legs and plaited armpits, you can have a go at your newly-acquired moustache and attempt a bit of a poke at your bristly nostrils.

            The Weight Removal System is equally enthralling. By ordering a handful of pills and a revolutionary booklet, I too will look like the woman who is holding the tablets. The small print on the bottom of the screen assures me, ‘when combined with a low fat diet and plenty of exercise, you will lose weight on this program’. This is a bit of a shocker, really. Tim Tams and Big Macs, when combined with a low fat diet and plenty of exercise, will no doubt give the same result. The small print fails to mention this. Neither does it mention the side effects if you happen to eat the booklet.

            The Say-Goodbye-to-your-Empty-and-Unattractive-Corner System consists of three beige plastic triangles. When you twist something underneath, small prongs dig into your walls. It’s just what you’ve always wanted, really – small prong-holes in your corners. Because you can easily move the shelves around at will (as helpfully demonstrated by the hair-free, flab-free smiling woman), you’ll probably have more prong-holes than a sinner in Hades before you’ve given up finding a satisfactory combination and hurled the offensive plastic crap into the potting shed.

            The product which caused the most mirth, however, was the Buzz Away Your Flab System, which is a belt you can wear discreetly under your clothing. The voiceover assures you it is SO attractive you can wear it OVER your clothing if you so desire. As you would – the battery pack merely looks like designer chic. The gist of it is, if you let your tum hang out if gives you a bit of a buzz. This is a gentle reminder to pull your fat back in. If you don’t, presumably it just keeps right on buzzing. This would do me fine, thank you very much. Very relaxing altogether, and where do you put the batteries? The best part is, your colleagues have no idea you are doing it. They wonder why the building is shaking and your keyboard has vibrated its way off your desk – but apart from that, they remain relatively unperturbed. Until you pass out from lack of oxygen.

            It makes you wonder what will be on offer next, really. Not that I give a rat’s. I’m just worried my knick-knacks will keep dropping off the edges of my little plastic shelves because my Buzz Away Your Flab System is turned up to maximum capacity.

            Anyway, I can’t be arsed getting out of my chair to order anything.