Fat Summer

Still water. A nearly full moon. A hamster with pinkeye. Fresh basil.

Recent news suggests that obesity is passed from friend to friend. I say most things are passed from friend to friend, so why not that? Why the hell not a drive toward eating, or a love of smokes, or zest for scaling mountains?

Exactly how ARE we wired? Most people believe that our habits are learned, reinforced, then reinforced again. If we have a bad habit our options are to get to revising it; relearn, practice, practice. Become.

An elegant idea that just doesn't seem to work.

So what to do with news that heavy people are heavy because their friends are heavy also? "Fatties seek fatties, it's cultural," some might say. Others prefer something softer, such as: "What a shame, how hopeless." And then the do-good extroverts will chime in, "We have to do something about this!"

But one small lonely voice might be heard whispering: "I knew they would finally understand. This is bigger than me!" And some relief may - for a moment - ripple through that soul's giant body.

Obesity is a global economic force. In fact, while most of us look at obesity as a tragic, life burden, I wonder if our b/w lens of judgement isn't missing the point entirely.

Could obesity actually be about acquiring social power? Much like currents deep down in our oceans, human affiliations move dynamically and always toward connectedness. The current of obesity is one rip, and I'd like to shift my lens to bring into focus what being obese accomplishes for the millions labeled as such.

Like the ocean depths, there must be something to it that we just can't yet see...

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