Fighting the F Word

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By DeeDee Corbitt Sauter

Bigger is not always better. A bigger house usually means more cleaning and a higher price tag. A larger family can increase the level of laughter and joy but also makes the grocery shopping a nightmare of time and money needed to keep everyone happy.

When you’re born, people marvel at your size. The larger the baby, the greater the bragging rights. Then come the growth charts and comparisons. There is always one kid in the kindergarten class who is the largest by at least a head, or the smallest, making him or her the cutest simply due to diminutive stature and a usually squeaky voice. In fact, there are a load of reality TV shows where the stars have been chosen simply because of size.

Cars, homes, technological devices, pets, money and investments are all part of the continuum that supports the “more the merrier” philosophical lifestyle. Pants size and bills are part of the subgroup that speaks to the benefits of “smaller is preferred.”

Pounds lie between those worlds. Pounds of gold, bacon and British currency are always desired. Pounds of cellulose are less coveted.

We all have heard that your height/weight ratio needs to fall between a range of numbers to maintain a healthy and happy future with a long life and few medical complications.

Long ago—I have no idea how long ago, but definitely before I was born—people were judged by their girth. The fluffier your middle, the more you could afford to eat. Since this was before the age of mass potato-chip production and the invention of Twinkies, these people plumped out on supposed “healthy for you” food.

But it’s 2015, and too many pounds means you will be relieved of some of your superfluous financial savings if you want to embark on a commercial, non-guaranteed, weight loss program. Atkins, The Zone, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers are just a small sampling of the programs that exist to help shed you of both your cellulose and money.

It’s a battle I have fought since the days I thought I was fat. I was about 14 when I first convinced myself I would never have a flattering figure. So I wallowed in my sorrow, secretly flipping through the backs of magazines, looking for a magic pill that would turn me into a slinky superstar.

Decades later, having lost my delusions. I no longer look for a secret weight-loss scheme, but simply avoid mirrors. It’s cheaper and easier.

Then I discovered the best diet in the entire world. Forget Hoodia and Green tea, ignore Dr. Oz and his cranberry tablets; the answer is cheap and simple.

Simply get rid of your fridge.

Our family recently experienced what could have been a travesty when the behemoth of an appliance, one that is supposed to keep our food cool or frozen, decided to reverse the process and actually try to heat them up for us. Perhaps it was the first step for machines to take over the world, but it failed because we were quickly on our way to procure a new one.

Delivery could not be immediate, and since we were looking for a deal, we decided we could wait. A small secondary, hardworking refrigerator waited in the garage to temporarily house our food until our kitchen could be complete again.

It was the greatest week in our lives. The first home-use fridge was not built until the 1920s. And before that era, everyone seemed to have a better handle on excess weight gain. Now, we know why. It wasn’t because they were following a Paleo diet or sucking on lemons all day; it was because they only had access to ice boxes at best. These wooden, portable storage units packed blocks of ice in sawdust or dirt as an insulator and kept fresh food cool for a day or two.

The boxes were small, the ice melted relatively quickly, and people could not store their snacks indefinitely for future consumption. So, they did not keep opening the “fridge” door, looking for an energy boost. They did not grab some juice on the way out the front door, and they most definitely did not have a bowl of ice cream while watching TV.

This is also what we experienced. My husband and I learned that digging our way through the garage to find a morsel of food from a poor substitute for the family fridge was far too much work compared to the little gain.

So we stopped eating for several days.

Our waists may not be smaller from our experience because we have since made up for that lost caloric intake, but our wallets are thinner with the acquisition of a new and improved Kenmore appliance. Bigger is not always better, but with this fridge, it certainly holds true.

DeeDee Corbitt Sauter is a resident of Northern Virginia.


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