So apparently in Britain researchers have found a gene that causes a predisposition to overeat. Ripped from the headlines, read all about it here:
At a first glance, this makes sense. We all know people who eat "fattening" foods with reckless abandon and stay skinny despite perhaps only moderate exercise. More than a few of us have felt that life is unfair. I put myself in the category of gaining a couple of pounds merely THINKING about (say) pizza. It's always been that way for me, and for better or worse I am used to this elemental genetic unfairness.
It would be all to easy to blame my parents, Uncle Sidney, whomever in my ancestry for my near-lifetime of obesity. And to give up, as one cannot (yet) change one's own genetic makeup. Maybe its even genetic that some of us enjoy hit-fat, high-salt or excessively sweet foods more than others. Certainly evolution has hard-wired into all of our brains to eat heartily while food is available because it might not be in the future.
Obviously, in the East African Rift Valley of 2,000,000 years ago, there was not a Royal Farm selling their aromatic fried chicken every few miles along the trek to modernity. Certainly the Fertile Crescent was not dotted with Starbucks, selling our loin-cloth clad forbears Cappuccino Macchiatos. So while we are hard-wired to munch on camel jerky until the caravan is pulling out of the oasis, I refuse to accept this as our unalterable fate. This is not an excuse for backsliding, for quitting, or for giving up.
Ahem Brits and your genetic testing, we Americans don't need it anymore than we needed taxation without representation. My view is to hell with genetic obesity testing. I don't need no ^$*&^(@ needles, for a genetic test, to tell me I am obese and need to lose weight. I don't need blood-work to tell me that my family has the "fat gene."
Dealing with it remains my challenge to deal with every day, at every meal. Usually, since joining Spark, I win that challenge, one calorie at a time and one pound at a time. Sometimes, because humans (myself as prime example) are inherently stupid, reckless and prone to insanity (making the same bad food choices over and over, and expecting a differing result), we backslide.
(Hey, fellow backsliding Sparky reading this - get back on the horse. There is no "i" in Quttng or in Gvng Up!) We can and do have self-determination. For us, so much sweeter the reward (in the non-food sense of "sweet") when we achieve and maintain goals (even the modest intermediate ones).
In the enlightened era of the 21st century, we choose what and how much we eat and drink (societal pressure and economic means aside). And last night, when my strapping 15-year old son and I had "Boys Night Out" and we visited a local Sports Bar to watch the American League Division Series, with enlightened cognizance I ate and drank too much unhealthy food. Not because I'm genetically hard-wired to do so, or because I felt obligated to order a lot after cajoling the manager to put the National Pastime on the big screen rather than (ugh) college football, but because I was a stupidly, bad Sparky.
The baseball gods continued to exact their laughable revenge on me, of course. Both American League teams I have temporarily adopted, lost last night. Tampa Bay and Detroit lost their games. Baseball is the perfect sport, as the losing teams pick themselves off, dust themselves off and play again today. Just like me....
Make it a better Sparky day today. As for me, I will (genetics or not).