TIGHT BRITCHES SYNDROME
By Grant Hall
Weight loss commercials and discounted gym memberships are popular this time of year. I’ll bet losing weight is a
top New Year’s resolution. I could find articles that quote these statistics, but I won’t. I don’t feel like foot notes,
citations, reference lists, and quotation marks. Today, I’m writing about “tight britches syndrome.” I don’t know
if you call it an epidemic, a malady out of control, or a health threat. I expect it’s all of the above.
Contrary to popular belief, exercise just doesn’t cure “tight britches syndrome.” Exercise, especially, weight training
exercises-the kind gym sales people tout, increases the appetite. Walk into any gym today and you’ll see more
tight britches than in a Las Vegas buffet. I guarantee it.
IF I could fix the problem, I would, but I can’t. I can tell you that it is hard to find good food and water in supermarkets.
About 15% of the food in stores is fit to eat-if you want your britches to be loose, not tight, that is. Good food and
water is essential and scarce these days. But, I don’t want to write about a diet. Any diet will work, but few can stay
on one. Why bother with a diet?
I could tell you how I still fit in my 34’s, but I won’t. That would bore you.
When we hurt, we look for comfort. Food provides warm, comforting, sweet, carbohydrate rushes and we love it.
We thrive on extra food to fill us up so we don’t have to feel and hurt and “live” through our pain. We don’t have
to think about how many Christmas fights we’ve had with Mother in law, horrible memories of being ridiculed in
sophomore class, the failed business or a shattered marriage.
It’s easier to escape than to feel because feelings create emotions that have to be dealt with. If we didn’t overeat,
we’d find ourselves pacing and thinking and crying and dealing with our pain. And, that’s painful. It’s easier to eat
Fat people are everywhere today. The condition, “moderately obese,” must have moved up a notch to, “normal
bodyweight.” Is the population becoming an undisciplined, gluttonous society? If they are, who am I to judge? Even
if they didn’t overeat because of their pain, few would stand a chance of escaping “tight britches syndrome” while
eating 85% of the food and drink available in stores today. The only people who can stay thin on the refined,
carbohydrate loaded, soda pop and the salty, sugary, fatty, packaged, food that’s stacked on the isles of the
supercenters today are hospital patients and prisoners. That’s because diets work. Who can stay on one? And,
you don’t want to be hospitalized or stuck in the prison system so that your pants will fit. Trust me on that.
Are your britches too tight? What to do? There are meetings for dieters, pre-measured food plans and stomach
stapling surgeries. Come to think of it, my first job out of college was a job vacated by a man who died on the
operating table while having his stomach stapled. All things considered, if it were me, I’d rather not seek surgical
intervention. I’d rather go to meetings until I was forced through the fullness of time to spill my life’s story, be hugged
by twelve step strangers thrice weekly or sit at home and starve. And, deal with what made my britches tight in
the first place.
Copyright: James Clark King, LLC, January 12, 2009