Friday, January 20, 2017

Blogger Health Challenge

Right. I just poked the hornets' nest of trolls and flame-warriors at The Blaze, but an absolutely fascinating observation yesterday prompts me to issue this challenge. Michael Moore has had this page on his web site for a few years now:

A recent photo of Moore was not exactly a good advertisement for walking. I liked the husky but healthy-looking, passing-for-21-years-old Mike from Roger & Me and would like to see Moore reclaim that look. Something tells me he's been neglecting his walking resolution as badly as his fans have been neglecting his allegedly interactive (but where's the interaction?) walking/fitness blog.

Well...yesterday I was wearing fat pants, with paint stains, the fashion statement being "Will paint houses for cash." (I looked dreadful, yes.) And I'd go into the restroom and unbuckle my belt, and the waistband wouldn't even slow down as the fat pants slipped down toward the floor. I was thinking, "When and why did I buy these? What are they, size 40? This waistband is at least two full inches wider than my hipline." Went home, looked at the label in the back; it read "36x21." That's the "roomy" size I've worn, belt optional, at more sedentary times in my life when I had 36" hips. The way I got back to that girlish 34" hipline is walking.

There are just two ways people beat the downward migration of the fat cells known as "middle-aged spread." One is expensive, somewhat dangerous surgery that has to be repeated every few years and leaves painful wounds that form scars. The other is walking.

Starvation doesn't do it, because the body burns muscle before it burns fat, and after a period of starvation the body stores more fat while waiting for you to exercise and build more muscle. You can starve biceps and bustlines away, but when you resume eating all the calories line up around your waist and hips. The more weight lost and regained through "dieting," the more bottom-heavy a person becomes. (This is why anorexics, who zoom-focus on the pockets of flab that cling to their emaciated frames, are still able to pinch a half-inch or an inch of flab and whine "I'm so fat" while weighing 85 pounds.)

I've not done any marathon hikes in the last year or so. Most days I walk about five miles. Most days I walk slowly, taking time to look at birds and flowers and lost coins and dead animals along the way. And yes, that's why I've never been fatter and often been thinner than 36-26-36, these more than fifty years.

Fat-shaming is not the purpose of this post. My mother was disabled by hypothyroidism for years; I know most fat people don't have that disease, but I also know that, when I see an individual fat person, I can't tell whether s/he has it. Some people who currently need little "Wide Load" signs to hang across their backs would have decent shapes if they walked five miles a day. Some people who currently wear two or three sizes larger than their doctor says they ought to wear (never mind what New York says) are in decent condition, and have a right to be proud of the shapes they're maintaining, because they walk five miles a day before breakfast. Every body burns fat in a different way. Your mileage will vary.

So the challenge is: Walk five miles a day, five days a week. (Alternative for wheelchair users: roll five miles a day in a motor-free wheelchair.) Take pictures of yourself, the biggest pair of fat pants you were wearing when you started, the day when you notice that you can no longer keep those fat pants off the floor without a belt, the coolest/prettiest/grossest/funniest/trendiest things you see on your walks, the shoes you wear out and the mileage you get with different kinds, and whatever your digital camera and batteries allow. Post the ones that look decent. Share them with Michael Moore. Share them with me. Make "walking" and "weight walked off" Trending Topics on every site on the World Wide Web.

And if you are walking five miles a day and you still don't look like Melania Trump, well, congratulations--nature did not intend most of humankind to look like that. Nature intended Michael Moore to be big...but not fat. Let's see if we can motivate him to get back to big.

Whether you agree with him or not, admit it...Michael Moore was a good-looking specimen of his type once, and he could be one again.