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Book #15 – The Hungry Years by William Leith

This is a memoir, well-written with an unflinching style, about food, addiction, and to a lesser extent, current culture’s consumerism and  emptiness.  Leith’s story of food addiction comes to a head when he meets Robert Adkins for an interview.  Much of this book is about carbs: their addictive quality and how they’ve insidiously become the cornerstone of nutrition and economy.  This last bit is something I’ve been thinking about recently myself, just how easy and cheap calories are these days.  There is a dichotomy though in the narrative, that is also something I often deal with.  Leith finally faces his addictive nature and the problems behind it through therapy.  That carbs are addictive, that Adkins was or wasn’t a fad, is left behind at around the book two-thirds point.  But I have to ask,  for the general population that is facing weight problems (and there are a lot of us), are there less deep seated reason for their growing waist-lines? 

I do eat when I’m bored or stressed, but I can easily not.  I’ve have my weight under control for about five years now.  It takes a tight rein, but I don’t suffer from an emptiness of spirit (if you will).  I lead a pretty contented life.  If I fell off the wagon, it would be because it is very easy to do so.  Jogging isn’t fun, it would be easy not to jog.  Totino’s Party Pizzas are tasty, it would be easy to have them for lunch, and better tasting then kippers on crackers.  For how many people out there is *that* the problem?  It’s just so easy not to be healthy.

On a related note, Eric and I got our Wellness Reports in the mail.  The numbers are good, good, good.  We’ve been eating more fish and fiber and cutting out the trans fat.  While my weight/BMI is at the top edge for my group, Eric envied my LDL levels.  With numbers like that, I can deal with never eating a Party Pizza again.