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Warning Computer Over-Users:
The padding on your seat may cause your system to crash!

by Robert L. Seltman

Adopted from an article in Kinki Times March 1995

The padding referred to is bounded to our butts and its source is the indiscriminate consumption of high-fat, low everything else, food. Statistically fat-related disease is America’s number one killer... bigger killer than our beloved cars and guns. Our lust for animal products [meat and dairy] and an automated life style [electric doors, elevators, escalators, TV remotes, etc.] has made our love surrogate an insidious exterminator. Cloaked in our psychological shield of sloth and gluttony, we abuse the one we love dearly, ourselves.

We have all known the facts on fat, but it took a visit back to New York after a 10 year hiatus to bring home the message for me. When I left New York my friends were in their 30’s and my parent's generation in their 50’s. My friends and I once prided ourselves in being able to eat and drink whatever and ‘as much’ as we wanted and still be up and running the next day. These same friends now are of two kinds; potbellied, puffy-faced, walking convalescents… or radiant sexy survivors, who watch what they eat and drink and find fun ways to keep active. My family (that very common East-European stock where dietary decisions is choosing between more kielbasa or a second pie and exercise is walking from the TV to the toilet) has fallen into two categories also, the dead and the crippled.

Did you know that bad eating can lead to diabetes, and this in turn to the amputation of limbs and blindness? I spend my visits home in a Heart-specialist hospital (strokes and heart-attacks) where three of my relatives died, and still more have served time. Everyone, and in my family I could find no exceptions, is suffering from the sins of excessive fat consumption and a lack of aerobic activity (15-30 minutes of continual activity, as in walking, cycling, dancing, etc. three-five times a week is needed to lose and then maintain a healthy body).

First step before the last crude awakening of a stroke is to overcome denial (Me … Fat?!) and educate ourselves to the facts and options for change. There is no shortage of books on the subject, but I found, after reading a wide span of authors, an underlying agreement on process. Though all vary somewhat in the details and level of sacrifice needed for survival, the basic rule of thumb is become food aware. What exactly is in the food you are eating? ‘How much’ and ‘how often’ should you be eating it? Exactly how much useful motion is in each day and how can you increase it? How to begin, without setting yourself up for failure? We need a plan of action. Unrealistic goals or exercise plans which do not compliment our life style and personal needs just won't last the long haul.

We are talking about some very personal-psychological stuff, when we talk about our eating and exercise habits i.e. sex, mother, womb, oral gratification, some easy reading before setting out to the gym is in order. A popular and amusing character is Susan Powter author of Stop the Insanity (1993) and Food (1995) both published by Simon & Schuster. Her work, though targeted at women, is both inspirational and entertaining . Her more recent books show her coming to maturity in our own quest for balance.

A radio-personality sports-doctor Gabe Mirkin, MD, has Fat Free, Flavor Full (1995), published by Little, Brown and Company, this gets into the sports, home training side with vigor for the sporty want-to-be.

A nutritionist, Jamie Pope, MS, RD, who helped author The T-Factor Fat Gram Counter, The Low Fat Supermarket Guide, and The Low Fat Fast Food Guide with Martin Katahn, Ph.D. has a book called The Last Five Pounds, How to Lose Them Forever (1995) all published by Pocket Books. This is less radical, and so less entertaining than Susan Powter or Gabe Merkin, yet covers more information for living in the real world of super markets and vending machines.

Another ‘real world’ directory is Eating Leaner and Lighter by David G. Schardt which lists and categorizes many of our favorite foods to help us make healthier choices when faced with several evils. Published by Warner Books.

Most of these books contain many low or no-fat recipes geared for busy (energy needing) bulk loving (high in fiber, quality-quantity) Americans. Though the Japanese have had a much better statistical advantage (the lowest of the ‘developed’ countries) in avoiding fat-related diseases, I'm afraid that has gone the way of wooden houses. All Asia is falling victim to fat. Take heed, for the new American ‘wider-angle’ family photo ain't a pretty picture.

Copyright©1995 R. L. Seltman. All Rights Reserved.

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