Sam Anderson in the New York Times:
There were a few bad moments, over the course of a few bad months, that led me to download the weight-loss app. These will probably sound trivial to anyone who is not me, and of course they are trivial — but we are talking about bodies here, and about my body in particular, and one of the defining features of having a body is that it is a fire hose of tiny humiliations blasting you constantly in the face, never allowing you to look away, even when you most want to.
One bad moment happened in Los Angeles. I had flown out, during a lull in the pandemic, to visit my great friend Alan, a friend so close he is basically a reflection of my own soul — and as Alan and I wrapped each other in a big hug of ecstatic reunion, he suddenly reached down to my waist and playfully pinched my love handles, probed them in the way a fishmonger might assess a large hunk of priceless tuna, and he said: “What happened here? Did you eat my friend Sam?” I chuckled, but in a complicated key.
Like many Americans, I put on serious weight during the pandemic. How much? No idea. It had been years since I’d stepped on a scale. We were suffering a worldwide supertrauma, and my approach to calamities has always been extremely simple: I snack. Do you know the saying “Don’t fill up on chips?” That saying is about me. I am the guy who fills up on chips.