Last week I wrote a piece in the Family section of the Guardian about why I don’t have children but do nevertheless like them. Of course it isn’t necessary to like children at all. Why should you? Why should anyone? Anymore than some people like dogs, some like cats and some hate small animals – or wouldn’t want a pet. It’s all a matter of personal choice and preference.
Well seems I hit something of a nerve. To date the piece has been shared on Facebook a staggering 7,341 times and in just three days while comments were open below the line it got a staggering 538 posts. That’s a record for me. I’m chuffed but also somewhat stunned. I never expected this big a reaction. When I wrote my original article about being childless 12 years ago that was before the days of “below-the-line” commentary. But I knew it too had struck a chord because I received tons of emails about it. And I still get them. I guess people are doing a Google of “childless” or “childless and happy” or something.
Anyway it’s very gratifying to receive such a big response. And it’s especially nice for a writer that articles now live on forever. No more is today’s big story and tomorrow’s fish’n’chip paper.
Speaking of fish and chips… since this is supposed to be a diet blog, only because I can’t work out how to change the heading and make it a more blog of everyday things, how am I getting on with it? Well I’m not dieting at the moment. I’m not even trying to be “careful” but I have decided to try to make November NOvember. No to as much sweets and sugary carbs as I can. Not saying it’ll be a success but I’m going to give it another go.
Obesity has been in the news a lot lately in the UK with the NHS five-year plan being announced and strident moves being made to try to get people to eat less and exercise more. Actually neither are necessary to be a healthy weight. Cut out or cut down on the carbs and that’ll be sufficient to lose weight. But course we can’t ever be told this because the government remains wedded to the eat less/exercise more regimes that we know don’t work. If they did, there wouldn’t be so many fat people around.
Truth is, we eat carbs because we love them. They are gorgeous. And in the UK with the clocks going back this week, we crave our carbs ever more. For comfort and solace in the darkest days of the year. So eschewing carbs in November – sorry, NOvember – won’t be easy. But I’ll try. I do want to lose weight and I do still believe that going carb and sugar free is the best way to attain this without going to the gym, running miles on the spot and getting nowhere or starving myself.
In yesterday’s Observer Barbara Ellen says poverty, not gluttony, is the cause of obesity. I disagree. I’m not desperately poor and nor are many others I know who struggle with a weight problem. Nor does it cost a fortune for the well-heeled to keep slim as she argues in her piece. Yes poor diets are cheaper and yes the poor have less inclination to lose weight for much the same reason they find it harder to give up smoking, though that isn’t what Barbara is talking about and she doesn’t mention this. The poor find it hard to lead healthy lives because they tend to live for today and if your life was so wracked with money worries that you never had a moment’s peace, even when supposedly asleep, you too would shove Jammie Dodgers and cigarettes into your mouth just to get some instant but temporary relief.
The answer for the overweight, rich or poor, is to stop listening to the usual rubbish about cutting down on fat and calories and exercising more. This doesn’t work. Hasn’t worked for more than 50 years of dietary advice and yet it’s still peddled. Cut down on sugar is all people need to be told. Don’t eat low-fat products because they’re full of sugar in fact, don’t eat ANY so-called diet products. Eat food. Eat what your grandma would’ve recognised as food.
With the Big Four supermarkets facing a crisis as we face up to how much and for long they’ve been ripping us all off, maybe now is a time to stop eating the sugary-laden rubbish they peddle to us and eat properly instead. Yes, I know I know. Sounds good in practice but that’s all it takes. As a fatty I’m going to try – again! – to put sensible measures in place to reduce my girth. NO for NOvember!
I’ll be back next month to let you know how I go. Meanwhile, keep on keeping on and if you did, thanks for reading this.