Bad advice. Obese people are at higher risk of many ailments, particularly diabetes.

Personal: I was on Zoloft for 15 months and ballooned up to 230 lbs. Since the stuff saps willpower I stopped exercising too and so put on about 120 lbs and lost 60 of muscle. I’d been weightlifting since I was 18.

I finally got disgusted with myself, chucked the Zoloft, went back to the gym, and went on a hard diet. I ran enough treadmill to reach the moon. In nine months I regained my physique and dropped the weight. Not a typo, not a lie; I lost a dozen pounds of fat every month. I know the math of fat and glycogen and applied these all day. My waist went from 38 to 30, down to 28 at one point because I kept it up ten pounds too far and got critically thin.

And here is the final contradiction: I kept it off. I let that last ten pounds come back and settled at size 32, where I have remained for the 23 years since. I can’t pinch a centimeter where most men have “love handles.” I eat two meals a day, not three, and I don’t eat a lot of grease. I’m in great shape and I love it.

I look better, I feel better, I smell better. At 65 I take stairs two at a time, i don’t ride escalators, and I am at the gym 4–6 days a week. Most men my age have had a favorite chair for ten years. Yes it took some willpower, but the night I saw the first horizontal division in my abs I experienced joy; the other two appeared in a week. i had a six-pack again. Motivation was never an issue after that.

And I am not any Mr. Willpower you-can-do-it scold.

But I am not going along with your thesis that it’s OK to be fat. It isn’t. And of all the afflictions we endure, being obese is the easiest one to fix. So fix it, stop justifying it.

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American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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