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Understanding the belly curve

Is it just me, or do people actually bloat with age? And when I say ‘me’, I don’t refer to the obvious inflation that my body has undergone over the last decade or so! I mean to ask whether I am the only guy who’s surrounded by people who grow fatter as time passes?

You know what, don’t answer that. Either response isn’t going to make me feel any better about myself anyway!

Of course, people don’t continue to fill up with air like Aunt Marge from Prisoner of Azkaban! Though our body does indeed sport an elastic encasing called skin, that stretchy membrane does have its limits! Hard to visualize? Think of a tyre that’s continuously being pumped with air. Beyond a point, there is no tyre, and there is no air. Get my drift?

So to refine the idea further, I’d say that I’ve observed MOST people around me grow fat with age until they reach a MODEST diameter or a MODEST age.

I love how ambiguous language can get when you want it to be! ‘Most’ could refer to anything from 51 to 99% of the entire human population, while ‘modest’ could mean anything from 25 to 45, years OR inches!

Unsurprisingly, as does every phenomenon in nature, the age-to-fatness paradigm also follows a normal distribution, or what is commonly known as the ‘[bell curve]

Why is it called the bell curve?

Duh! Because it looks like a mountain, and most mountains have monasteries, and what does every monastery have? A bell, of course!

What does it mean?

The curve says that whatever the phenomenon being measured, most of its observation points tend to oscillate around the ‘average’, which is also defined as a person who loves Harry Potter, hates Twilight, prefers Google to Yahoo, and enjoys listening to Trump’s debates in private. (courtesy: the urban dictionary, with a slight modification for the non-church-going audience)

So yes, the age-to-fatness obviously looks like a bell curve, and not just concerning the number of people who show this tendency, but also ‘how’ they show this tendency. And to explain this nifty piece of information, we’ll make use of a brilliant analytical tool called ‘the matrix’

I didn’t say ‘The Matrix’, I said ‘the matrix’. There shall be no foolish pills, pants or phones in this one! Just rows and columns of data. Pretty much like The Matrix. Wait, what? I’m confused now…

Anyway, let us assume that the columns represent age, and let the rows bear the weight of our bodies. Now most people, and I mean MOST people, follow the peculiar bell curve across their age, as you see on the left, and these are the folks who had way too much fun in college, lived way too flamboyantly in their early career, and got way too sober in their middle age.

Agreed, this curve does look more like a valley, but then valleys have monasteries too, and those monasteries, you guessed it, have bells of their own!

But we also have this odd group of people who are direct descendants of [Zeus]( is the god of,and queen of the Titans.) himself. They can eat a whole cheese burst pizza, wash it down with a keg of stout, take a nap to take the edge off and still look like greek gods with eight pack abs.

Fine, I exaggerated this a bit! But those damn anti-fat-machines won’t just put on! They are exactly like the friends you had in college who went “Oh gosh, I’ve put on a kilo since last year!” when all you were thinking was, “Phew, only half a kilo more this week!”

Lastly, for every one of those anti-fat-machines, we have the fat-magnets. No, no, don’t think of magnets on a high carb diet! I am talking of people who attract fat like magnets, provided the fatty substance in consideration is magnetic by nature or provided you understand the metaphor! These folks are just the sorry bunch of losers who couldn’t help themselves!

(Disclaimer: I am well aware that obesity is not a joke, and for some people, it is an unavoidable health condition, and if you are one of those people then know this – there is a term in statistics called ‘an outlier’, which explains stuff that occurs beyond the boundaries of our naive understanding. That’s you. )

But, you know the ridiculous part of this observation about the three categories of people? If I had to plot the number of people who fell in each of the three categories, guess what I’d see?

Three rather gigantic piles of humans that are high enough to reach the moon.

Just kidding! Jeez, not all my jokes appear in quotes!

I’d see another curve quite like the one pasted below. Red being the average folks, yellow being the mythical figures from Greece, and green being the people who resemble the Hulk or She-Hulk, just so that you don’t think of me as a sexist.

This is what I proudly christen the ‘belly curve’ of life. Being on the left side of the curve is a high-pressure task with everyone expecting you to look like Chris Helmsworth until inevitable death or until you act in The Avengers: Endgame. Being on the right side of the curve is, well, just sad.

The middle zone is where you truly want to be, and it’s okay to be ‘average’! People often underestimate the merits of being average – A. Averages blend in B. Averages have strength in numbers C. Averages run the economy at both ends! They’re the ones who eat all the junk and then later pay large sums of money to get rid of the junk. A self-sustained ecosystem!

You see, I’m especially advocating for the middle zone because I hope to end up there in the years to follow. After all, I’m already sitting atop the peak in my curve, and whether the journey is downhill from here or whether it literally goes ‘downhill’ from here is something that is yet to be seen!

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