TRIED AS AN ADULT: My Big, Fat, Fatty Fatness

My first meeting with a clinical dietitian was similar to the first conversation you ever had about sex. It involved a lot of explanation about things I was pretty familiar with but didn’t completely understand, and then a series of mind-altering revelations that made me feel embarrassed for not figuring it out earlier.

For instance: You know the serving size on all the food you buy now, from cereal to lettuce to pork chops? That’s not arbitrary. Those are actual serving sizes as given by the FDA. So if you look at the FDA’s dietary guidelines and find the number of servings of each type of food you’re supposed to be eating every day with each meal, that corresponds with the serving size on the food packaging.

Right now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well, no shit.” You can eat yourself four servings of your daily allowance of dick, good sir, kind sir.

There is no way you’ve looked at a bag of popcorn and thought, “Oh yeah. This is 2.5 servings, so I’ll just consume 1 cup of this when popped and smile contently through the rest of the film.”

If serving sizes were something we as a country really understood, then simply placing them on all the food and menus everywhere would be enough to unfatten this fat-ass country.

 

You don’t eat one cup of popcorn ever. A baby can’t get away with one cup of popcorn. It comes in tubs, for Christ’s sake, with the option to pump fake butter-flavored oil all over it to your clogged, oversized heart’s content.

If serving sizes were something we as a country really understood, then simply placing them on all the food and menus everywhere would be enough to unfatten this fat-ass country.

I’d like to say all that information on the food has done us good. We were once the fattest country on Earth. Today, we’re the ninth-fattest. The first seven are all Pacific islands that we strip-mined so they have nothing to eat except Spam and other imported, processed foods. No. 8 is Kuwait for much the same reason. All that freedom we brought them with Operation Desert Storm came with a side of fries.

After all of these countries — which the CIA fattened up just so Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, after each of them had eight years in the White House, could each say American kids are no longer the fattest in the world — are taken out of the equation, we’re still No. 1.

“I heard Mexico was the fattest.”

You heard wrong, gringo. Mexico is 10 steps behind us, after countries like Greece, Egypt, New Zealand, and a few others you swore were fully inhabited by skinny people.

All of it is due to the same reason: an overabundance of inexpensive, calorie-rich, readily available junk food. Human beings are no different from any other animal. Put a bowl full of bacon bits and a bowl full of dog food on the floor, and your Labrador will eat them both. But the bacon bits are going first.

I didn’t think I was eating that poorly. I tried to have oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast a few times a week, a salad or sandwich at lunch, and dinner wasn’t ever too crazy. Sure, when we’re busy, the wife and I pop out for pizza or chicken fingers. But popping out like that was actually happening three or four times a week, and why not? We can get a large meat lover’s pizza for 10 bucks, feed both of us, and then have leftovers for breakfast.

That’s 450 calories a slice, almost a quarter of what I need a day in one go, and I never had just one. Hell, I never had just two.

I’d hit Raising Cane’s at least twice a week. It’s chicken! Chicken is better than burgers. My go-to Caniac combo has 1,200 calories and 2,100 mg of sodium, and that’s before the large orange soda.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that if you balance out the rest of your day with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and exercise. I was not doing this. I was sitting at a computer all day, eating breakfast biscuits (fat and sodium) or doughnuts (carbs and refined sugar) with orange juice (crazy amounts of sugar) in the morning, sandwiches (carbs, sodium, fat) and a Coke (sugar) at lunch, then pizza or Cane’s for dinner. Then not exercising at all.

That’s 450 calories a slice, almost a quarter of what I need a day in one go, and I never had just one. Hell, I never had just two.

And I had Type 2 diabetes.

My dietitian gave me the obvious answer to this problem: “Nicholas, I want you to check your blood sugar in the morning when you get up and at night before bed, and then two hours after you eat, as well. Keep track of all your food and try to stick to the guidelines we went over. Then I want you back in a week to look at everything again.”

MyFitnessPal is a free app from Under Armour that has just about any food on Earth in it for you to keep track of your diet. I already had it on my phone, and it’s the one my dietitian suggested. The blood-testing thing looked to be more of a challenge.

When I got to my car, I opened my shiny, new blood-testing kit and prepared myself to steal my own blood for the second time that day. Lancet to the finger and fire. No hesitation, slight wooziness, but it passed.

Got it down.

With this hurdle jumped, I decided it was best to go ahead and go crazy with my new kit by taking the same approach that had failed me with the blood draws, i.e., testing my glucose a bunch of times in one day to get over the whole thing.

That meant self-administering a glucose tolerance test. When I asked my dad whether this was a good idea or not, he said, “Sure, might as well go all fighter pilot with it.”

Danger Zone, baby. Danger Zone.

 

“Tried as an Adult” is a series by Knick Moore chronicling his recent health issues. You can follow the entire series here.

About Knick Moore

Knick Moore
Knick Moore hasn't been a smoker since 2007. However, this picture is just too stylish to replace.

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