Live longer

Fat men are more likely to die suddenly than the slender.

Every day you see plenty of fat people and lots of old people, but have you noticed how few old, fat people you see? All those geezers who make it into their eighties and nineties and call it the "prime of life" seem to be the lean, wiry type, don't they? This isn't because people suddenly feel compelled to lose weight sometime in their fifth or sixth decades. As the original hipster pointed out 2400 years ago, it's because the fat ones are dying off early.

This is the most fundamental reason to lose weight: to live longer. Whatever you value in life, you can't enjoy it if you're dead! What's the trade-off between a few bad days in the course of a diet, or even low-level irritation for several months, against living for five or ten more years? Of seeing your grandchildren grow up? Of seeing your life's work serve as the foundation for the next generation? Of finally getting the money out of your IRA? Of a happy retirement on the Moon? Whatever. . . death disqualifies you from every activity.

Dieting is unpleasant and bad days are wretched, but dropping dead is worse. Tomorrow will be better.

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