a fat suit

^ Melissa Gorga can unzip herself out of this fat suit. For me, starting an “unzip” recently at 60 pounds overweight, it’s not so easy. the fat suit is inside me.

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Sixteen days ago I began a diet, a regimen, by which to take control of my body. Being sixty (60) pounds overweight focuses the mind. There is hardly anything in life as personal as being grossly overweight. You carry that sack of fat around with you in all that you do, sleeping included. There’s never a moment’s peace from its clinging to the insides of your skin like tics in a neck. You can’t pretend it isn’t there, can’t will it away because once the willing is over, the overweight is still there, mocking you, daring you.

It knows how much you love food. BBQ, ice cream, pastries, a generous day meal of pork and onions or a feast of Portuguese delights at Antonio’s or The Roasted Pig. Your personal fat suit knows this, and it smiles knowing that your food lust is its ticket to ride.

Why does fabulous food exact such a price ?

The question hangs in the air, I have no answer. What i do have is a solution : eat no food — be a body neat freak. Not forever, of course, but for six to seven months, maybe more. People warn me to stay healthy : but they get it wrong. I am trying to BECOME healthy. Lugging a 60 pound fat suit inside me is not healthy. It also looks like crap. It looks crappy to me even more so than to others. they can stand apart and smirk; I have to live with it. i have to neat freak my body, clean every nook of it and dust my shelves, floors, table tops, bedsheets of my corpus.

So there I was, inundated with food, until sixteen days ago I decided : “enough.” that day I took in only two glasses of cider, a bowl of soup and a mocha latte at Starbucks (my one distraction). And so have I continued to do every day since, adding some glasses of white wine ona couple of occasions.

It’s quite stunning what can happen to a fat suit when it gets only 900 calories a day to sustain. Quite rapidly the fat suit sheds layers. Sixteen days of NOT feeding the beast has shrunk him good.

Yes, he’s still there, the fat suit imp, but he is definitely leaving. When I began this diet I could barely button my size 38 jeans. Now they’re quite too big, next week I set them aside for a pair of 36’s I haven’t worn in three years.

The goal is to lose a full sixty pounds. that will evict every square inch of my fat suit, and not only will my 38 jeans be well gone (“could I have really needed those ?” will be the puzzle), so will my 36 jeans and even my 34s, which have lain in my dresser so long they’ve probably given me up for hopeless.

Hello, size 32 jeans, the size that I wore in college, when I weighed 160, and it seemed quite normal rather than a goal so ultimate that reaching it now taxes all of my will power and time.

All of this effort I live with day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, and seen at that petty a level, the seven months it will take to lose sixty pounds seems almost unbearably long to go without food feeding. It is unbearably long, but I bear it because I must. every day of my diet I become that much more invested in its success, that much more determined not to give up.

The hardest is that there’s no escape. This is my body, even as i write this i am doing so with my body, it exists in real time and there are no shortcuts, none at all. None at all.

Onward, then.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere




^ answering questions, as here at a recent Mayor Walsh town hall, will be something that Superintendent John McDonough will have to do a lot of, with a big food scandal on the menu

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That the Boston School department’s food operation was seriously flawed, we already knew, well before the Boston Globe’s recent front page story. John Connolly, in last year’s Mayor campaign, made an issue of finding spoiled food in the Department’s food works. The issue didn’t commandeer the campaign because much larger forces rolled into the arena; yet it forecast something we now are paying large attention to, an issue that Mayor Walsh has to deal with whether he likes it or not.

Thanks to a full review of the School Department’s food operation commissioned by interim Superintendent John McDonough, what seemed the entire story was fully bruited. Yet it proved not to be the entire story. Only a few days ago we learned that the Boston school department has eliminated its salad bar, healthy food program from those schools that had it, citing costs. In its place, snacks — the very snacks we don’t want to see kids eating in school (or at all).

Costs matter a lot to John McDonough, who was the Department’s chief financial officer for 20 years, before he became interim superintendent. They do matter. Still, diet seems to me a poor place to economize. Parents already pay for school lunches, if they can. Surely the department can give them value for their money.

McDonough notes that next year’s school budget includes lots of layoffs from the Department’s central administration. These we approve. reports abound of mismanagement, duplication, even no management at all. Problems are reported, then not dealt with. Sometimes it seems as though the managers working under McDonough have but two job goals : first, keep the “super” unaware of the problem and (2) make sure they don’t become news. Surely that mindset will not survive the layoffs, or the story now on every Boston school parent’s reading table. I doubt that the Boston Globe is going to back off at this point, simply because the story is so ripe.

Meanwhile, as my own State Representative tells me he thinks school nutrition is a local, District-level matter, I ask the thirteen good folks on the Boston City Council : can we not pass an ordinance requiring healthy foods at school lunches and banning sugar snacks entirely ? And funding the ordinance, if need be ?

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere