I had lunch with a cousin the other day, someone who had been very fond of mother, and she inquired whether I had a picture of mother. I have very few, and this is for a reason: she immediately tore up any and all pictures of her. I have a picture of a little girl with one arm--the little girl was me and the other arm was around mother and subsequently sacrificed to the Gods of Not Getting Your Picture Taken Looking Fat.
She also refused to be seen in a bathing suit, and then to try on a bathing suit, and then to go swimming altogether, although she loved to swim and was good at it. Thus she denied herself a pleasure which would have been good for her health and maybe helped her to slim down.
I am beginning to see this as a manifestation of family wackiness. The aforementioned cousin had a salad without dressing and four cups of coffee for lunch. Another cousin regularly eats a can of sardines for lunch. A third cousin met me for breakfast and had an English muffin without anything on it. I would as soon eat the box the muffin came in.
Being fat is a sin for which you must be punished by going hungry. That seems to be the reasoning. I have another theory. I think weight gain for some people is like the gusher in the gulf. Do nothing, and the oil will continue to spill and the fat accumulate. Heroic measures are required to contain the oil and curb the appetite.
I used to believe that Americans were physically slothful and that if they got up off their butts the butts would get up off them. My visit to Dublin cured me of that belief. Our bed and breakfast alndlady, Mrs. Marr, ran up and down the steps of her establishment all day every day, making beds, bring things up, taking things down, dusting, cleaning, cooking, laundering, yet she was a large woman, at least 180 lbs at 5'6. If exercise didn't keep her slim, it wouldn't work for me.