Living dangerously

Wednesday November 23, 2005

I saw a printed t-shirt today that made me laugh out loud:

GIVE ME
COFFEE AND NO
ONE GETS HURT

There should be an award for ingenious t-shirt sloganning if there isn’t one already. This one would get my vote. In fact, next time I’m in Skegness I may well have one printed with this little bit of genius.

Sums up my approach to life, it does. I’ve given up the ciggies. I’ve cut down on the booze to the point where I go days without a tipple. I’m even trying to give up eating more than I need to match my exercise levels, which are severely diminished by arthritis. Anyone suggesting I should give up coffee, or even reduce my intake, is liable to get a short, sharp response.

The weight thing is a problem. I have the increase under control, have had it so for over two years now, but an actual decrease is incredibly difficult when you can’t work it off. I can’t blame anyone but myself for my condition; I should have taken steps long before I did to reduce calorie intake to match my steadily diminishing exercise abilities, recognizing the the simple inescapable fact that, for an adult, calorie intake minus energy output equals ‘x’, where ‘x’ is the factor by which body mass increases.

Having more or less won the battle on smoking, or being within sight of having won the argument, the health fascists are now attacking obesity. It seems that, in at least one area of the country, hip and knee replacement surgery is being denied to those who are ‘obese’.

I have a problem with this. It’s not a simple black and white question. A firm belief in the necessity not to impact on personal freedom is a given. At least, it is for me. I also believe that personal freedom comes with a burden of personal responsibility. However, we are all of us imperfect beings, and punishing the individual for life-style imperfections seems to me to be unsupportable in a civilized society.

Hey ho. I shall continue best I can, grateful for my one or two ounces a week of reduction in body mass, and hopeful that my progress will match my future need for joint replacement. Short of going on to a starvation diet, there’s not much else I can do. I suppose that, should I need surgery and it was denied me on grounds of self-inflicted obesity, I’d have sufficient incentive to live on lettuce and cottage cheese until my weight came down to a level acceptable to the surgical team but, until then, I shall keep on thinking that this is a problem that will never happen to me.

Mind you, diet or not, anyone who attempts to deny me my coffee is living dangerously.

 

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