DARE TO BE FAT!
Spinoff from a 1997 dream, Trusting Foxes; leaf-shaped acrylic painting, 12" x 4", by Chris Wayan.
Decades ago, a guy named Napoleon Hill wrote a cheesy inspirational book called "Dare to Be Great." I stumbled across it and, well, the title hit me. There are lots of areas of my life where I'm not at all modest--shy, maybe, but privately, I know I'm good. Maybe even great.
But there's one life-area where I'm NOT great, and I know it: my body. My health's always been fragile, and for years I teetered on the edge of anorexia, dangerously thin, despite all my efforts to eat more. But something in that title "Dare to Be Great" made me laugh. I started going around at parties announcing in a stentorian TV-announcer voice:
"Dare to be fat!"And I ate shamelessly--natural but fattening foods, deliberately reveling in the glares and hisses of jealous dieters watching me scarf down all the almonds and guacamole my little heart desired (that is, a hell of a lot). And it worked--a little.
But the real breakthrough came when I realized that for thin, sickly people, exercise isn't the slimmer it is for 90 per cent of America. What exercise is, is a NORMALIZER. It fattens me. No question about it. Whenever I work out, I eat way more, and more sticks to me. So now I lift weights, and every time I think I can't lift that much, I announce
"Dare to be fat!"and up that sucka goes, as my nice sexy now-existing tummy heaves with effort...
but more importantly, up my weight goes, too.
A FOOTNOTE FOR SKINNIES
Allergy and EI sufferers particularly benefit from heavy exercise, especially brief non-aerobic muscle-building work. Most programs and doctors habitually recommend aerobic exercises that benefit the overweight majority, but studies and anecdotal surveys of severely allergic patients suggest we're a minority that really needs to push our bodies to the limit of their strength, but only briefly, not working up that aerobic sweat the chubby love to hate.
No, we need to pump iron, and... Dare To Be Fat.
The dream Trusting Foxes, full of friendly little fox-women, got me drawing myself as one. This started as one such pencil sketch. Scanned, increased the contrast, then tinted it digitally, with the result you see above.
But I felt the need for an image I could hang in my kitchen, to encourage me to pig out! Given the heat and steam of a kitchen, I figured I better paint a more durable version--acrylic on wood with several layers of varnish! Hence this piece. I took advantage of the fact it's wood to make it an organic shape; I'm tired of the way canvas and picture-frames box you in.
The photo to the right is flipped so she's not facing off the page; the closeup below is correct.
Making a "hard copy" (very hard: wood!) succeeded. Both the painting AND my weight have been stable for seven years now. I think it's time to let this one go to some other fox-spirit out there who could use a reminder to...
Dare To Be Fat!
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