Cynical people are not my favorites. I get the feeling they are just sitting around thinking the worst of all of us. And even when we try to be good, they are sure we have ulterior motives. But then, there are days when my own cynicism creep up to the surface. Then I just think it is natural and useful.
Right now I have one of those days of extreme cynicism. It has to do with diets.
The new craze
There is a new craze that many of you may have heard of, and even tried. What do I know. It may help you lose a few pounds. But to me, the talk of this diet, and what it promotes, has again reminded me of the sick world we live in.
The 5.2 diet is great. It is great because for five days a week you can keep eating as much as you want. Then for two days you eat very little. In other words, you can keep up your unhealthy life style for five days a week and starve yourself for two. You can indulge in meat and caviar, in wine and truffles as much as you want. And on the two fasting days you can dream about what you are going to eat next week.
What is wrong with our world?
We live in a world that is beautiful. It is inhabited by people who are miraculous. ( I say this hesitantly, because right away a list comes to mind with names such as Mugabe, Putin, Thein Sein, and Kim Jong-un) At the same time we are so messed up!
What is wrong with a world where more than 1,4 billion people are overweight? What is wrong with a world where people make millions from trying to help people lose weight? What is wrong when in the same world, children die every second from lack of food?
The 2.5 diet
This is when I want to say: I met some mothers some months ago. They came up to me carrying their infants while their toddlers tugged on their skirts. With their fingers they showed me how many days it had been since they last ate. Some of them showed me five fingers. It is not unrealistic to say that for those women in the refugee camp in Rakhine state, their diet consist of eating for two days and fasting for five. They live the 2.5 diet. This is not so that they would lose weight. This is because there is no food to eat.
This is what I want to say to all of us who have a hard time eating just the right amount when so much is offered. This is a word to all of us who find it hard to resist temptations. This is to all of us who have a few too many pounds:
Two simple tricks
Eat less. Exercise more. There are no shortcuts. When you want that bowl of ice-cream you know you shouldn’t eat, put the money it would cost in a jar and send it to Partners. When you are tempted to take a second helping with gravy on top, think about the mothers who haven’t eaten for days. When you feel you deserve a bag of chips with your Friday beer, then drink some tea and give the beer money to the poor (I know, this one hurts).
This may sound like I am guilt tripping you. And you know what, I am.
Just in little Norway with our five million people we throw away a staggering 377,000 tons of food every year. Reports from the US and the UK suggest that as much as half of all the food that gets produced gets thrown away.
This at the same time as 21,000 die every day from starvation or other diseases related to lack of food.
Add that to all the overweight related diseases people suffer from, and even die from, and you will have to agree: Something is seriously wrong.