On the VB6 Week 7: All About the Numbers

I won’t bore you with the exact details, and you might also think, “uh, Kauf, that still ain’t so good,” but the overall news is, pretty good.  I had to do a wellness check for my health insurance.  We get a screening, weight, BMI, blood pressure, blood test.  It isn’t the whole battery that one gets at a general physical, but it is, well, a check.*

*Speaking of: I probably need a physical with the GP.  I had a change in my blood pressure meds and I haven’t had a visit from Dr. Jellyfinger in about a year.  What a great time middle age can be!

So I got my numbers and pretty much every number since last year has gone down; cholesterol down, blood pressure down, glucose down, weight…well not down.  However, the more I read and learn about BMI and what is and isn’t healthy I’m less worried about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy with the number or more importunely, my body, but I’m also not unhappy with my body.  Basically, I don’t FEEL fat or overweight, but there is work to do and that is a good place to be.

So how much does the VB6 have to do with this?  I don’t know, to be honest.  The screener at the check up seem to think that it had a something to do with my improvement. She did seem to think it was an odd approach to diet, and I get that.  A part time vegetarian? What, trouble committing?  Well, I’ve been pretty committed to being part time.  Honestly, I seriously can’t believe that I’ve stopped drinking soda on a daily basis.

It’s funny, thinking about it.  The VB6 in many ways is a very old concept.  Even Bittman presents it from a historical perspective when discussing the amount of meat and processed food we once ate as Americans (not much) and how much we eat now (a freaking lot.) As he states in the book, meat wasn’t the center of a meal.  It was a treat.  Processed food wasn’t even much of an issue because there wasn’t nearly the amount of processed food available as there is now.

What Bittman is really proposing for all of us is temperance.  Having studied the old temperance movement leading up to prohibition, it quickly morphed into an abstinence movement, not just for the individual, but for society.  Ultimately that shift became a shibboleth for any movement that had the goal of changing societal behavior.  Even if the idea of temperance, of moderation and a reasoned approach to something is called for, using the actual term brings up images of the WCTU, gangsters and speakeasies, even if those that brought about the eighteenth amendment were far from the goal of temperance.


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