The VigilanceVoice
Tuesday-- March 5, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 175

Once On The Lips, Forever On The Hips
Vigilance & The Terroristic Fat Cell
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 5--Dieting, like Vigilance, is tough work.  It creates a battleground of temptation--a war zone between all the wonderful things I'd like to eat versus all the bland, boring things I try to shut out of my mind.  Like walking into a war zone without a weapon or flack jacket--I can't diet successfully without help, support.  I can't expect that  all the sweet, succulent, mouth-watering bullets filled with delicious fat cells will somehow miss my lips and I will escape the devastation of them roosting on my hips unless I prepare myself for battle, commit myself to fighting the Complacency of "cheating."
         Obviously, I have carbohydrates on my mind--ice cream and pizza and Heath Bar malted snacks swirl about my head--and, don't let me forget-- an Everything Bagel dripping with butter and huckleberry jelly exciting my vulnerable taste buds.   
      But all these items are gut-protruding booby traps.  They are Terrorists hiding out at every deli window I pass, excreting the not-so-foul odor of seduction toward my twitching nostrils, attempting to lull me into a state of Complacency so my will to drop twenty pounds will be overwhelmed by my desire to sate the aching of my taste buds.
       Ah, yes, sweet, sweet sweets.   I lust you in my moment of weakness.  I stand at the bakery windows and stare at the chocolate dripping off a Bavarian cream-filled cannolli, my eyes magnifying the pastry until it becomes a huge log begging to be chopped in many pieces by the saw-toothed mastication of my teeth.
       While many might think I am being humorous here, I'm really not.   Changing one's complacent eating habits is so much akin to shifting to a state of both physical and mental Vigilance that the parallels are frighteningly real.   
       What is an unnecessary fat cell?  It is an Osama bin Laden Terrorist cell, plotting to expand my body, to clog my arteries, to choke off the energy of life, to ultimately seize my heart's precious beating.  Unless checked, it wants to kill me.
      Emotional Terrorism comes to life in the mirror as I view the result of Terroristic Fat Cells at work in my body.   There is the extra chin or chins that droop or fold or waddle just under the neck and  the puffy cheeks.   There is the thickened chest, enlarged biceps ala  Pillsbury Doughboy as opposed to Arnold Schwartzenegger.   Sliding down the mountain of excess flesh on the chest lies the pooch, the belly, the gut, the tummy.  It expands out, around and down, forming a soft but obvious French curve, or, in some cases, the appearance that one is three to six month's pregnant. 
      Compounding this is the belt, the clothes, the shirts, dresses, trousers that no longer fit the man or woman under fat cell attack. 
      Oh yes, you can "squeeze" into things, but they glue themselves to you and make the folds and squishy rolls stand out as though your newest fat cell was being displayed in relief for the world to gawk at. (Note photo below of fat person who fell from a ten-story window).
      Your favorite shirt doesn't quite fit.  Your best trousers seem to have shrunk.   You find it awkward to bend over to tie your shoes.
       Society also alienates you when the Terrorism of fat cells dominate your life.   Airplane seats shrink.  The inch of comfort that  existed between you and an armrest a few months ago when you flew has disappeared.  Your hips now struggle to wriggle into the plane's seat, and you feel as though in an emergency you would never be able to eject yourself from it.  You know you don't need a seatbelt.
      In narrow aisles in stores your hips bump displays, items tumble and clatter to the floor behind you as you create a wake of disruption.  You  try to ignore them because to reshelf them requires you bend over. 
     Sidewalks get skinnier.  
     You duck and weave to avoid passing two people walking abreast.  
        Instead of just "plopping" into a chair to relax, you cautiously clutch it and check its stability, its ability to handle extreme load bearing weight before you sit, fearful it might collapse under the added strain of the army of Terroristic fat cells marching around in your body with rocks in their backpacks.
       Your feet hurt.   Your ankles expel the extra weight in an inverse proportional manner.   For every additional ounce of weight, they amplify the load ten times, causing your navigation to be lugubrious.  You become an oil tanker versus a Ferrari.
     When you're putting the fat-filled food in your mouth, you're not thinking about the result--only the effect.   The words:  "Once On The Lips, Forever On The Hips" are drowned out by the Terrorists chanting--"Eat It!  Eat It!  Just One Bite!"
     The mirror of Terror :   Millions of people each day wake to the Terror of the mirror--especially after they shower or bathe and are compelled to glance  at the cuts and folds and new wrinkles the crop of new flesh has created overnight.  If you look closely you can see the remnants of the Ben & Jerry's, or double helpings of potatoes and gravy, or the candy that sated the sweet tooth's cry to be fed.
      Then you read the news.
      Health & Fitness News Updates reported recently that 55 percent of Americans are overweight, and around the world, 1.1 billion people are being Terrorized by fat cell accumulation.
      The problem of being too fat is not just overeating, the March 10, 2000 report says.  It is about nutrition.   It tells how in the past the rich got fatter and poor went skinny.   Now, that's not the case.  
         Wealthy people are eating better--more nutritionally--while poorer people are eating fast foods rather than healthy substitutes because it is more economical.  The result--the poor are getting fatter, the rich are getting skinnier.  But it's bad fat, not good fat. It's Fast Food Fat!
      The Terrorism of Fatness is not easy to eliminate, just as finding bin Laden has proved to be a "needle in a haystack" search for the United States military forces.   Imagine  General Tommy Franks  briefing reporters on fat cell attacks and what the U.S. is doing to destroy them. His briefings would be continuous, 24-hours a day.
     My point is  that Vigilance to protect one's self and one's family and loved ones from the effects of Terrorism, is similar to dieting.   It ain't easy.
     One of the reasons is the two most popular books purchased in America are first, cook books and secondly, diet books.   Hmmmmmmm!
     I know it's hard to diet. I'm fighting the urges daily to "eat" things that aren't good for me. But there is Hope--because there is Vigilance.
       To defend myself I must have forethought.    Before I act upon a desire, I have to stop and think.    That's a challenge.  Being creatures of habits, we like to live in the comfort zone--or, some might call it the Complacent Zone.   The Complacent Zone is simply--"I'll deal with that tomorrow!"  "I'll go on a diet tomorrow!"  "I'll start saving money tomorrow!"  "I'll become Vigilant against Terrorism tomorrow!"
     The elements of Terrorism--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--put off the decision to protect one's self and others to another day.  Fear of changing one's eating habits, of sating the desires for sweets or over consumption, or chewing on the "yummies," makes us not want to give them up.   Then, there is the Intimidation Factor--"What if we start dieting and then gain all our weight back? Hmmm.   We'll end up like we were, so what's the use?   Besides, I'm not THAT FAT, YET!"
      Complacency--the lack of action--summarily falls into place.   We buy the glamour magazines and look at what we could be, or join the health club and don't go work out.  Instead, we carry our membership card just to make us feel better.    We eat a piece of apple pie with ice cream and wash it down with a Diet Coke.  There, we have been Vigilant, we say.
      Our current attitude toward Terrorism is akin to dieting.   Our nation started off after September 11 with everyone wanting to go to the gym and workout to fight Terrorism.   Slowly, over the past 175 days, the energy to fight the "enemy," to shed the excess weight of Terrorism's threat, had dissipated.
       "Why," we say, "we haven't been under another attack.   Terrorism was just a flash in the pan.   America isn't a primary target otherwise we would be inundated with attacks like Israel."
       So, we stop going to the gym.  We stop counting Terrorism calories.   We top worrying about our "hips" and begin to ingest Complacency rather than stave it off with Nutritional Action.
       The flags that once flew so brilliantly and with such stature, now are being stored, or tossed when they "get in the way.".   The news of gun battles in some distant land are no longer major headliners.   Bin Laden's face has disappeared from the front pages.  
        Instinctively, we fall back to our old ways.   Our Vigilance Closets, once filled with tools and systems of readiness, are shoved aside to make way for a new wardrobe--summer is coming.  Spring is on the way.  Who wants to make Terrorism or Vigilance a priority?
        In so many ways, the beveling of Terrorism over time is like the mad rush to diet right after the New Year.   We make a huge attempt, nothing motivates us as we struggle to change our habits, so we stop, or put off the necessity of depriving ourselves the luxury of Complacency until another crisis occurs.
        But Terrorism, like fat cells, creeps up.  It masses its power insidiously--until you wake up at the end of the belt notches, or can't squeeze into that dress size any more, or  huff and puff so badly your heart pounds in your ears--THEN, you act.  You race for the newest, faddish diet.  At least, that's the way I do it--and I know I have millions of other fellow travelers walking the same "yo-yo syndrome" path.  I'm afraid we deal with the real threat of Terrorism in a similar way.
        Vigilance can protect us from such Complacency.   It can keep the belt loop on the right hole,  reduce our multi-wardrobes filled with different sizes so when we expand we can shift from these trousers to those, without worrying about buying new ones.  If we keep two or more wardrobes, we know we have surrendered to the Terrorists of Obesity.
        If we haven't taken the Pledge of Vigilance, or addressed the future threat of its return on a daily basis, we have also surrendered to bin Laden's will.
        Vigilance in the face of Terrorism can be managed properly if we look at Terrorism as fat cells--non-nutritional calories that mass in our bodies, weighing us down, making us Complacent, ripening us for another attack.
        Imagining the bin Laden's of the world as chocolate éclairs, or as pints of Ben & Jerry's, or as heaping piles of mashed potatoes laden with mounds of butter and steaming gravy, helps us recognize Terrorism's nefarious nature.  It warns us not to consume Terrorism's favorite dessert-- Complacency.
         If we think:  Complacency, "once on the Lips, forever on the Hips," we might just stop and think about our attitude toward Terrorism and act with more Vigilance, more readiness to defend ourselves against its insurgency into our lives.
         And, I'm not just talking about Terrorism from afar.  I'm talking about the Terrorism of a child who feels alone, frightened about he world into which he or she is evolving.   The fat cells of Emotional Terrorism can laden the child with excess self-doubt, unnecessary self deprecation.
        A Parent of Vigilance recognizing the need to help a child "diet" from Terrorism's non-nutritional ingredients, might stop feeding the child with Emotional Fast Food, and instead of saying, "How was school?," carve out ten or fifteen minutes to go for a walk with the child or get down on the floor and enter his or her world, bridging the communications between the child's heart and the parent's heart so that in moments of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, the child feels comfortable sharing those demons of evolution with the one who is responsible for his or her well being.
      Our selfish attitude about our time is Junk Food.   Our unselfish attitude about giving our time, our wisdom, our hearts to our children is Nutritional Food.
       Since most of us diet in America, perhaps we can shift our thinking when we do to the idea of Vigilance rather than just becoming slimmer, or sleeker.   Maybe we can use the desire to diet as a time to look at our children, grandchildren, loved ones and ask--"What can I do to help remove the Terroristic Fat Cells growing inside the ones I love?"
        The answer lies in the question.
        It always has.
        It always will.
        While I would love everyone to take the Pledge of Vigilance, I know the Pledge could be nothing more than a health club card in the wallet or purse of millions.   Having something isn't using it.   To make the Pledge of Vigilance work requires Courage, Conviction and Action.   And, if you only think, as I am, in terms of dieting, and ask the question:--"What can I do to help remove the Terroristic Fat Cells growing inside the ones I love?"--then America and the world will put up a wall that will make it hard for the Fat Cells of Terrorism to scale.


      Go To March 4 "Sweet Smell of Napalm - The Heroes of 9-11 and Ia Drang"

©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design