This I Believe

andrea - Marina Del Rey, California
Entered on April 4, 2007

I believe that, if you lose weight, someone else has to gain it. I call this the Universal Weight Theory, and I thought of it many years ago after surviving a bout of the flu, which as we all know, is similar in that you cannot begin recovery until successfully infecting someone else. I was so sick that I had lost a few pounds, which on me, can make a significant difference in whether my pants stay up or not. My mother, who says she just has to smell something delicious in order to gain ten pounds, joked, “If only it was that easy to lose weight!” that I, “could not possibly be her daughter,” and that she would gladly give me a pound or two of her own, “where would you like it from?” I laughed and then coughed and then, still on flu medicine, imagined for a moment or ten how great it would be if we could direct where our weight went to or from, as I’ve always been particularly armpit deficient. This thought quickly progressed to my theory: that for every person that exists on earth, there is a pound allotment, and to maintain this balance, weight fluctuates through people.

Living in Los Angeles again, trips to my local supermarket, Ralphs– a store that apparently isn’t possessive of Ralph, but containing many Ralphs—only serve to advance my belief. The problem is, sometimes the weight doesn’t go where it should. The only people I see there, aside from the many Big Lebowski-esque “Dudes” are either bingers or anorexics and ironically, they participate in the same activity; obsessive label reading. I saw a two hundred fifty pound woman staring at a Healthy Choice box, lips silently moving, calculating just how many cookies IS a serving. I continued to the next aisle and watched a seventy-five pound woman whose spandex pants were baggy, trying to decide between a bag of baby carrots or a container of celery sticks (cause both would be gluttonous?). Ultimately she went for the celery, no doubt because it uses more calories to chew than they contain. I felt the kind of satisfaction that only proof provides—that woman with the devils food cookies might very well be responsible for that other ladies ability to shop at Gap Kids because she is monopolizing the weight. They should meet! Be friends! SHARE.

When I pointed this out to my mom, she called me, “Ridiculous!” Having just lost thirty pounds on Nutri-System, she wants no culpability, only to hear how proud of her I am. I, of course, congratulate her, let her know how great she looks in her new (size 8!) clothes, let three or seven seconds pass and then inquire as to where she thinks those thirty pounds went exactly.