I am pleased to announce that I am now officially overweight. Although it has been my ambition to be overweight for some time now - I first wrote about this almost two years ago - I did not start taking real steps towards my goal until after our recent holiday when a tripartite agreement to lose two stone each was sealed over post-dinner cocktails and beers one balmy night whilst we were sailing across - what my friend Mark calls - the Bay Of Biscuits.
In case anyone imagines that my struggle has been with anorexia I should point out that my journey towards my overweight status has been from the position the medical textbooks classify as either "extremely overweight" or "obese". But I have now lost sufficient pounds for my Body Mass Index to fall below the critical dividing line which is why this particular overweight person is walking around with a spring in his step and a smile on his face.
So will I be marching on towards ever-greater feats of weight loss? Much as I would love to I am slightly constrained by the research I quoted in my last post on this subject which indicated that the mortality rates for the overweight were lower than those for both the "normal" and "underweight" categories. The study in question found that although "overweight" people had a higher chance of dying from cardio-vascular disease than people of normal weight, the situation was more than reversed when diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, infections and lung diseases were taken into account.
I cannot abandon my diet just yet however : I have still some way to go before my two stone target is achieved. And before I get too carried away with medical statistics, perhaps I ought to remember the story of Tom Castle, the young lad who appears in the postcard at the top of this post. He worked for the local Sugden's Brighouse Flour Mill and featured in many of their advertising posters in the early years of the twentieth century. "Age 15 years, Weight 15 stone .... the result of eating Sugden's Flour" the postcard proclaims. Sadly, by the time he was 30, Tom was dead : uncomforted by any mortality statistics. Perhaps I will give the celebratory chocolate biscuit a miss.