Temptations abound

Posted 01.04.05

The statistics are frightening. The Associated Press reports that obesity is responsible for many of the medical costs related to Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer.

We're all getting fatter, despite our best efforts. Could it be sabotage?

The government will require nutrition labels on all foods, although that won't become effective for a few more years. Unfortunately, they've rejected an outright ban on trans-fat. That's too bad, because even thin people are in danger from trans-fat, which is the primary culprit in clogging arteries.

Temptation, however, is everywhere.

A magazine features "10 Ways to Curb Your Cravings" followed by "Irresistible Chocolate Desserts."

Television bombards us with ads for pizza, chips, and beer.

More sabotage comes in the form of women's clothing sizes. Someone has decided that size 16 is now considered 1X. That's extra-large, which means that all the neat clothes in the main sections now only go up to size 14, and the rest of us, a growing (if you know what I mean) segment of the female population has to shop in the "Plus" area.

Evidently there are real women who actually wear a size 2. I've never actually met one, but I have my suspicions. We read that celebrities and other Obscenely Rich achieve this via liposuction, stomach-stapling, and custom-made undergarments, but I wonder if size 2 isn't actually what we used to call - in the old days - size 10.

Is there anyone else out there who remembers when there were three ranges of sizes for grown women? Misses ranged from 10-20, Juniors (for the short-waisted) from 9-15, and Women's for sizes above 20. Extra-large was the more considerate designation for a Women's size 22.

Sizes below 9 were found in the children's department. Where they belong.

These unrealistic clothing sizes add to the frustration of those of us who are trying to eat more healthy foods and keep our weight within normal ranges. But what is "normal" today?

If I dig out some of the things at the back of my closet, I can still fit into the blouse marked "large" and the slacks in size 16. So why is the outfit I bought just a few weeks ago too snug at a 2x?

I don't clip recipes any more. Instead, I keep only whole grain flour in the house, sweeten (sparingly!) with maple syrup, use only 1 percent milk, buy non-fat yogurt instead of ice cream, and try to stay out of the cookie aisle when I go shopping.

But it isn't easy. Maybe if I just stay home until Valentine's Day is over, stop reading magazines and turn off the TV, I'll survive. But then comes Easter, and the temptation starts all over again.

Barbara Floria Graham is the author of Five Fast Steps to Better Writing, Five Fast Steps to Low-Cost Publicity, and Mewsings/Musings. Her website: www.SimonTeakettle.com

Copyright © 2005 Barbara Floria Graham/Log Cabin Chronicles/01.05