Gut Instinct: Daddy Issues

09-gut-instinct_daddyissues.jpgGut Instinct: Daddy IssuesAngioplasty? Colonics? What does the future hold for an unrepentant overindulger?

Just like lusty men fantasizing about performing pretzel-like acts with Barbie blondes, I sometimes daydream about colonics. Or doing the Master Cleanse detox diet. Or following the path blazed by my pal the Nucleus.

Nucleus: “I went to a month-long yoga camp in Arizona where I drank gallons of warm salt water.”

Me: “And?”

Nucleus: “I vomited. Repeatedly. Then we did yoga. I’ve never felt so pure and clean.”

Me: “…”

Nucleus: “I’d do it again.”

Me: “Goodbye.”

These are extreme remedies for overindulgence, that peculiar affliction enabled by venti mocha Frappuccinos, batter-fried Mars Bars and Wendy’s Baconator. Nearly one-quarter of Americans are classified as obese blimps, eliciting knee-jerk reactions like Herr Bloomberg’s trans fat ban. Newsflash, Mr. Mayor: Banning trans fats won’t diminish our shameless love of unhealthy grub and tasty, tasty fat. Sweet lollipops, my hangovers demand crispy sesame chicken, not wheatgrass juice and salad. Grease gives me the happy.

Thus far, I haven’t needed the Master Cleanse’s toxin-ridding, belly-slimming power. My furry body’s magical inner machinations have kept me at my buck-40 fighting weight, despite a diet heavy in dumplings and enough daily alcohol to help me anesthetize my neuroses, disrobe and engage in conjugal relations. With other people. And myself.

“Oh, you go to the gym. You’re a stair-machine maven,” you whisper, feeling my taut calves. “Up down, up down, up down.”

Scout’s honor, I’ve never been a Crunch bunny. Wait, scratch that: At 19, I puffed a very potent joint and played ping-pong at a gym. However, I counteracted any minute cardiovascular benefit by ingesting a family-size Cheetos bag soon afterward.

Like the game show of yore, I’m pressing my luck. Sure, my hairline hasn’t gone missing on a milk carton, and shaving my five o’clock shadow helps me pass for 25. (This almost makes it socially acceptable to eyeball subway-riding high school gals. Almost.) Yet I can see the writing on the scale, the whammies waiting to pop up. A nutritional intake centered on high-proof Dogfish Head beer and deep-fried Mama’s Empanadas will doom me. My heredity demands it.

My father was once a svelte scamp. Every day, he pedaled from Riverdale, the Bronx’s Jewish stronghold, to work at a West Village shoe store. Several hours of riding kept off poundage provided by his mom’s brisket. Then came college, medical school, marriage, three kids: At 35, his job whisked our family to Dayton, Ohio, land of suburban sloth. He developed an affinity for quarter-pounders and curly fries. He jonesed for jelly donuts and cheese steaks, too. His inseam expanded. His belts were re-notched. He looked like he swallowed a globe. “I’ve got my own built-in computer table,” he said one burned-into-my-brain evening. I was 14. My father was supine on his king-size bed. He wore clingy tighty-whities, his chest pelt scraggly and thick, with his laptop resting on his stomach mound. He typed away happily, contentedly, oblivious that in a decade his gut and arteries—as clogged as L.A. rush hour—would conspire to create agonizing chest pain. Shortness of breath. A frantic dialing of three simple digits. And miniscule balloons sent flying through arteries to cleanse a lifetime of super-sizing.

“I think I should start eating better,” my father announced during his convalescence.

“No shit,” I said. Jittery sarcasm is my preferred coping mechanism.

“And exercising more,” he added.

He kept his recuperating-bed pledge. My dad bought Spandex workout clothes and joined a YMCA. Chips were barred from the snack cabinet, and meats vamoosed from the freezer. Four years later, he’s made a mole hill out of his mountainous stomach.

A smarter me would view this saga as reason enough to curtail my double-cheeseburger addiction. But sweethearts, we’re living in a gilded medical age. If Hugh Hefner can have a hard-on, I bet I’ll receive a cloned, unclogged heart by middle age. I’ll spend my golden years recklessly indulging in Nathan’s cheese fries and dim sum at Chinatown’s Golden Unicorn, devouring early-bird dinner specials with a ferocity reserved for feral tigers.

And if science fails? You’ll find me in the desert performing the Downward-Facing Dog, chugging salt water and upchucking uncontrollably, as the hot sun beats down on my unrepentant back. del.icio.us digg NewsVine