Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Dieting

We live in an age where most girls dream of being ‘skinny’. Most boys appear relatively content with their appearance and if they’re anything like me, they find the notion of skinny girls quite repulsive. Exposed ribs, protruding shoulder blades, scrawny arms and shapeless legs – so surely what these girls really mean is ‘slim’…

Or is it? Have you seen the state of the current batch of supermodels?

Supermodels. Ha. Modelling clothes that hang from their skeletons and which wouldn’t even fit a regular, healthy physique. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these women’s rights advocates who believes that a girl is unhealthy unless she’s flaunting a generous size 16; who when faced with a picture of a gorgeous, slender woman says something generic and uninspired like: “Oh, that’s just an unrealistic expectation…” and who attributes every attractive figure they see to airbrushing – quite the opposite. I am a big supporter of the slim woman. For most females under the age of 40, there is no excuse for being fat: you have the metabolism, you just do not have the discipline.

For the record, ‘baby weight’ can be easily shed. You just have to want to do it. Also, earning yourself a ‘treat’ each time you do something favourable in this regard, is not ‘wanting to do it’. You are not a dog.

On the topic of harbouring excess flab, don’t worry ladies, men are equally as pathetic; given that the terms ‘male’ and ‘baby weight’ are utterly contradictory, they have no excuse. So why is it that over half of New Zealand’s male population under the age of 30 are packing a paunch, or worse? Once again, lacking disciplined eating habits, lacking self respect, lacking self control – but there’s something else. An inherent aspect. Possibly the most intrinsic aspect of human body condition. An aspect which the majority of us see as an onus to be avoided, claiming time constraints or some other fabricated excuse, but which if done correctly enables us to eat whatever we choose in practically whatever quantity, and still look good…

In a word, exercise.

The more exercise to which we commit ourselves, the more calories our bodies require… calories?! Yes. You see, calories are not engineered by the Devil solely as a Hellish ploy to ruin the figures of the weaker among us. Calories are energy. Plain and simple. Energy. Same can be said for carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are essentially calories in solid form, that is, starch before it enters the body and begins metabolising. Calories, carbohydrates are vital for adequate bodily function. Some believe that a lifestyle devoid of physical activity, providing they abstain from carbohydrates and often food in general, is still conducive to an optimal shape. In some cases this might be true. Here’s the problem with essentially starving oneself: one will find themselves constantly broken down, devoid of energy, bereft of vigour; with no motivation, no drive, limited brain power and ultimately, living a life shrouded with apathy. (The risk of spontaneous collapse is also heightened.)

The worst thing that you can do in an attempt to drop a size or two, is to undergo a ‘starvation diet’. While this might prove an effective means of achieving your goal in the short term by slowly, painfully slowly burning every modicum of fat (also muscle tone) in your body leaving you flabby-skinned and cellulite-ridden – as well as monumentally unhealthy – for how long do you expect to keep it up? The next time that food enters your stomach you will absorb everything – all the energy, all the sugar, every skerrick of fat that your malnourished body can squeeze from that particular binge. What’s more, your digestive system will have naturally ensured that it has taken much more (carbs, calories; fat) than it needs, in preparation for next time this happens, thereby rendering you even more of a fatty than before.

Fat: good. Carbohydrates: good. One just needs to burn them at around the same ratio at which they ingest them. Sugars: great; even better if they’re the natural kind. Food is good. It is one of life’s necessities. Everything in moderation. Exercise. For God’s sake, don’t skip breakfast because you think it’s giving you a head start on burning that unsightly excess. If anything it’ll act as a handicap. Fact. Starting the day on an empty stomach means that your metabolism is still effectively asleep. Water: yes. Keep up fluids all day. No time to eat – genuinely this time? Fill your stomach with fluids to act as a food substitute, tricking the metabolism into at least partial function.

Honestly though, if somebody is that distressed about the state of their physique, surely there are worse things than a few minutes of exercise a day..? Come on, it will do wonders for your health, your self esteem, your confidence and will engender in you an all round feeling of well-being. Admittedly when it comes to the thought of exercise, most people become entangled on that psychological barrier but once you’ve surmounted that, exercise is a drug. Literally, it is. Dopamine, adrenalin, endorphins, they’re all part of the pathway to a healthy body.

Dieting is shit. Who wants to have to be cautious about calorie intake; to have to watch what they eat? Personally, prefer to eat with my eyes closed. Don’t avoid the best things in life, don’t avoid carbohydrates; don’t avoid fat. Besides, fat is not what makes you fat; sitting on that fat arse all day is what makes you fat.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by Hugh Jarse

Foreword by U. Lardo

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