Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So many of us are overwieght

Seeking inspiration recently, I Googled "real life weight loss success stories" and the first hit was Fitness Magazine... a story about women who have actually lost weight...which, when I clicked on it, immediately led me to a recipe for macaroni and cheese.

Such are the dangers of seeking advice on the Internet. You cannot lose weight eating macaroni and cheese. I'm sorry. We have been told that diets don't work, and this is sooo true, but there does have to be an element of restraint in one's eating. Last night I talked myself out of a dozen different eating scenarios. I wanted ice cream, I wanted mindless eating. In the past, I have given into these habits faster than you can say "eating like this will make you gain weight."

Why are so many Americans overweight? Maybe because we are all working two jobs, or unsatisfying jobs, or are battling energy draining commutes, which sets one up to look for a make-me-feel-better-fast "reward." Fitness Magazine offers a story about real weight loss, but switches to a recipe for macaroni and cheese, because, obviously that is what we really want. And, cheese is something an advertiser can sell, whereas, nobody makes a profit, or buys advertising to promote, "just not eating so much."

Not quite off the subject, I have been thinking lately how problems in our schools are a reflection of the wider community. Our kids are not succeeding academically, but its also true our society is not succeeding. I think there has been a growing sense in our nation, while our jean sizes grew, that our nation is stumbling. Didn't we all feel uneasy when housing prices were sky high? Turned out our wealth was based on derivative trading, a Ponzi scheme of an economy, we were not so much a powerhouse of innovation and valuable businesses as a nation of con artists. I think the recession is bringing us all down to reality, to trying to innovate and grow something besides our fat cells. I know I am trying. That's my rant for the day.

1 comment:

  1. Great rant! I get frustrated at all of the dietary information out there (and I've been reading about it for more than 20 years now).

    "You can't lose weight on macaroni and cheese". Well, sure you can, if you use whole wheat macaroni and fake (fat-free) cheese, and turn the dish into something that doesn't resemble food.

    For every person I know who says "I grew up eating like that, and I'm not fat", I'd bet that they grew up eating reasonable portions, at home, with very little junk, in a town where they could walk or bike everywhere too.

    You can't separate the lifestyle from the diet. Our lifestyles are exactly as you said...long work hours, long commutes, little opportunity for outdoor exercise, bigger portions, fake food.

    Why have the dietary recommendations for fruits and veggies gone up in the last few years:
    1. we don't exercise
    2. we don't eat enough produce anyway
    3. the produce we do eat isn't very nutritious (picked too soon, bred for shelf stability).

    Even when I was a kid in the 70's I ate endive and dark greens and squash and cabbage and carrots in the winter...which were a lot more nutritious than what counts for a vegetable these days - sliced mealy tomatoes and iceberg on sandwiches. And french fries.

    (I think in the winter, if you are eating kale, butternut squash, cabbage, apples, and oranges, you can probably get by on 5 servings a day, not 9.)

    *rant over*