Fat Fight (Declare Victory and Go Home)

by jkatejohnston

19 May 2013

Dear Max,

I read in Oprah Magazine that fat people actually live longer. You can’t be too fat and it has to be in the right place—your ass—and I was like Bingo! Turns out thin old people get frail, but fat old people, whose entire lives are a weight-bearing exercise, are sturdier. Hurrah, hurrah. (The rest of the magazine was devoted to dieting.)

Anyway, as part of my campaign to be less of an idiot in the second half of my life, I’m going to delete my Fat Fight spreadsheet, throw out the scale and start eating like a normal person. I have no idea how to do that, but I thought I might start by having raisins in my oatmeal.

I’ve written before that if you’re a natural-born fatissima like me you have to choose between putting on weight and running a low-grade eating disorder. My low-grade eating disorder is Carbophobia, especially of hidden sugars. Like raisins. Raisins! Mind you I’ve eaten plenty of non-hidden sugars along the way. And I always have almonds in my oatmeal. And real milk. It’s not like I’m starving here.

The crazy-or-fat dilemma reminds me of an article in Mirabella (now defunct) that I read years ago: Your Face or Your Ass?—We Choose For You! I’m pretty sure they chose your face, to their credit. I think the premise of the article was that past a certain age, if you diet your way to a skinny ass, your face is going to look like a skull. So don’t bother. That’s probably why the magazine folded or was suppressed.

What really brought this on is that I have a quite a few pals my age with serious health problems. These are people with small children. And it made me think that I should be more grateful to my body and be nice to it, like take it to a few yoga classes and feed it some whole grains. Shit, I might even meditate. (Please no, don’t make me!) Because if you’re so scared of starch that you don’t even eat whole grains, you are probably shortening your life. Hence my campaign to be less of an idiot.

All this is leading up to, I would like a non-bullshit recipe for whole wheat bread. Because god damn it I am going to start eating bread again. It really is the best vehicle for butter.

By non-bullshit I mean mostly whole wheat flour. Oh, and it has to be really, really easy, ideally an adaptation of the Jim Lahey slow-rise. Something that can be baked in a normal loaf pan would be nice too.

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