Spring 2: A Conversation with My (Fat) Body (May 2016)
“It’s time to wake up and get serious here.”
“What, what? Who are you?” I look around but see nothing and hear only a disembodied voice.
“I’m your body, and I need to have a conversation with you.”
Here we go again.
Another pointless exchange with yet another nosy Parker, my own body, no less.
BODY: We are reaching critical mass, excuse the pun.
ME: Ha, ha. You’re funny.
BODY: I’m dead serious.
ME: I thought this was all settled; all you busybodies would leave me alone, and I would grow fat, eating whatever I wanted and couch surfing in front of the boob tube for the rest of my life.
BODY: That was before the sleep apnea and the CPAP.
ME: What of it?
BODY: This is the “what”: Do you want to balloon into one of those 400-pound people who will absolutely die without being hooked up, 24/7, to a breathing machine?
ME: That will never happen to me…
BODY: Yeah? You said that back in 2011, when you started regaining your weight.
ME: It’s not that bad; the CPAP technician said I had just a mild case of sleep apnea…
BODY: You’re delusional. It’s a moderate case; 11-pressure is smack dab in the middle of the spectrum. You’re slouching toward death.
ME: Got to die of something…
BODY: Might be sooner than you want.
ME: (Pause.) That CPAP is a pain in the ass. It takes up space on my nightstand, where I used to keep my books. Ugly, too, with that snaky hose and Cyborg mask.
BODY: Cyborgs wear one-eyed masks, not mouth masks…
ME: But they should.
BODY: Wouldn’t you like to get rid of it altogether?
ME: Of course!
BODY: Here’s a clue: 90% of CPAP users are overweight or obese.
ME: And you know this how?
BODY: It was on the internet…
BODY: If you want to ditch the CPAP, you know what you must do.
ME: Oh, yeah. Go on another pointless diet, doing the same-old, same-old all over again and expecting a different result.
BODY: Yeah. That’s about right.
ME: What makes you think it will be any different this time?
ME: HA! Gotcha!
BODY: (Very softly.) I’m not trying scold you for getting and keeping us fat and sedentary, but something’s got to give. We’re not getting any younger. We’re on Medicare, for God’s sake.
ME: (Tearing up.) I know.
BODY: Let’s make a deal.
ME: What kind of a deal?
BODY: Go back to Weight Watchers, and, for the next two months, give this sensible program another shot.
(Pauses.) And if it doesn’t work, just quit. What do you have to lose?
ME: And what do I get in return?
BODY: I will do my darndest to get us off our CPAP.
ME: Can you guarantee I’ll be able to ditch this – thing, once and for all?
BODY: (Pauses.) No. There could be genetic variables at work.
ME: (Sighs.) I need guarantees…
BODY: (Softly and with great sadness.) Listen, Jennifer, I don’t know how much longer I can keep us going.
ME: I just don’t know…
BODY: Let’s figure it out together.
Reluctantly, I enter into a healthy eating and exercise agreement with my tired and beleaguered body.
For the umpteenth time, I screw up my courage and propel myself to that first Weight Watchers’ meeting.