Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

MY PERSONAL WAR


I have been fighting flab for forty years.  This is not a world-historical struggle against the concept of overweight, simply my own personal battle.  At my tallest, I was 5’9” and with the advance of age, I have shrunk [rather like the Wicked Witch of the West] so that I am now a mere 5’6½.  Periodically I go on diets, drive my weight down to an acceptable level, and then watch it slowly, inexorably rise.  Since this all gathers around my middle, it is happily not visible when I sit at a table lecturing on Kant or Marx or Freud, but it is there, bulging in unsightly fashion

When I returned from Paris a week and a half ago, I topped out at an alarming 184, so I decided to devote the summer to slimming down in preparation for my Columbia University gig in the Fall.  I immediately stopped drinking red wine and bought two batches of carrots to substitute for my usual snacks.  [A pound of body fat equals 3500 calories, and a bottle of red wine is 620 calories.  Since I drink a tad less than half a bottle a day, a week going without wine, which is hell, only saves me 3/5 of a pound.  It doesn’t seem fair, somehow.]

Well, after a bit more than one week of dieting, I am seven pounds lighter.  How is this possible?  One answer is that my scale is wrong, but I only recently replaced the battery, so that’s not it.  The second answer is that I have somehow managed to eat, in eight days, 25,000 calories less than my body needs to function properly, which is nonsense.  The third answer is the real one.  My body really hates it when I diet, so it does everything it can to persuade me that it is not necessary.  It sheds water frantically, virtually crying out “See?  See? No need!  No need!”  I have been through this before, so it does not fool me.  In a day or so it will give it up and behave normally.  Long experience teaches me that over the course of the summer, if I can last that long, I will lose one and a half to two pounds of real weight a week.  Since this is probably the last diet I will ever go on [I mean, who tries to lose weight at ninety?] I better make it a good one.

5 comments:

David Zimmerman said...

At an equally alarming 185 pounds [on a 5 ft 5 in frame], at age 76. I empathize with your plight, Sir..... But give up red wine....No.
Best wishes.

Jerry Fresia said...

I agree with David. One of life's true pleasures is a great bottle of red wine, "corporso" as the Italians say. It must be 14% or use it for the salads.

Interestingly, I too got disgusted with my flab. I lost anywhere from 25 to 30 lbs. Now it has been 6 months and I fear the weight is creeping back.

Only solution: you've got to starve. And feeling light is wonderful, plus old pants actually fit again. But starve to the point where
you enjoy hunger pains. I tell ya, that's the solution!!

Anonymous said...

I have crohns disease. No booze--though this is a blessing in disguise because I have always had an aversion to alcohol. This was often interpreted as moral superiority. But I cannot muster the interest.

As for food: haute cuisine is out. I can tolerate fruit and vegetables,

Écrasez L'infâme said...

If you’ve just changed the battery on your scales, perhaps they were wrong before but right now?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I can see you have the right approach to reality.