x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Observing life: The weight of the worry

Are those of us insanely obsessed with losing weight any better than the woman who wants to be the world's fattest?

As I sit at my desk thoughtfully chewing on a piece of celery, I wonder if I'm not entirely unlike the New Jersey resident Donna Simpson, who aims to become the world's fattest woman. Granted, at 140lb I'm lagging somewhat pathetically behind in the wake of Donna's 600lb frame, but is my obsession with food - while a polar opposite to Donna's - not just as bad? We might mock and sneer at her ambition (she aims to get her weight to 1,000lb to break the record) but what makes us - a world insanely obsessed with losing weight - any better?

How many of us can say that we haven't felt a little bit of glee upon seeing that an acquaintance (read: someone we never got on with) has padded out since the last time we saw them? Who truthfully hasn't felt a bit better after a bout of the flu has knocked off a few pounds? Why is it that we equate being that perfect size 10 to being a happy and successful individual? The Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried may have an enviable figure, but does her recent revelation that she survives on a diet of "running, working out and raw vegetables" (which, incidentally, she hates) sound anything like fun?

Like most women (and increasingly men) nowadays, I spend most of my time thinking about food. From how I'm going to get my five portions of fruit and veg each day, to making sure I drink two litres of water, to making a mental note about how many white carbs I've had, the way I eat has become a never-ending pain in my life. But who wants to get to 70 and realise they've forgotten what chips taste like? How great is it to slurp on a huge ice-cream cone on a blazing hot day? Do we honestly think Victoria Beckham likes living off a never-ending supply of edamame, sushi and strawberries?

While I'm not saying the process will be an overnight thing, I think today is as good a day as any to pick up a Krispy Kreme and stop worrying so much about nothing. I'm happy and healthy, so why should I spend hours fretting over the fact that my thighs wobble slightly when I run?