Monday, January 04, 2016

One Pill Makes You Larger

The shelves of my local supermarket this morning were completely bare of yogurt.

It is January 4, so everyone in my county, apparently, has gone on a diet. They are joining gyms that they will attend twice, looking up apps for their cell phones, calculating calories, and watching exercise videos on YouTube or Netflix or wherever they can find them.

Dieting and eating well is so complicated that if you type in "dieting" on Amazon, you receive back more than 100,000 results. Type in "eating healthy" and you receive more than 50,000 results.

So there are more than 150,000 ways, at least, to go about trying to lose weight and be healthy.

I am fat. Obese. Large. I admit it. I hate it. Nobody likes to have to purchase plus sizes in the women's department. We just don't. Of course we're rather shop in the smaller sizes. We'd rather wear a dress with a waist and not something that looks like a tent.

Most people are not overweight by choice. I suppose there are a few who are, but I don't know of any.

Do people overeat? Sure. Do they know why? Probably not. Some are emotional eaters - they get upset and reach for the nearest candy bar. Some eat too fast and it takes them a long time to fill up. They don't stop when they are hungry because the message that they've had enough to eat doesn't get to their brain fast enough.

We live sedentary lifestyles now, sitting in front of screens. We don't sweat and work the land and walk behind a cow with a plow. But even people who do outside work, farmers, construction workers, and others, end up with belly overhangs.

I think much of our weight issues are environmental, and I include the "non-food food industry" in that assessment. Much of what we eat is stuff that pretends to be food. I was raised on it, and you probably were, too. My parents had a garden and we ate fresh vegetables, of course, but we also ate TV dinners, sandwiches, hot dogs, bologna, and whatever else. My mother wasn't a stay-at-home mom; she worked. Dinner tended to be whatever she could get that was quick and easy. I tried to help but hated (and still hate) to cook.

Those additives are addictive. Not just sugar, but the things with long names that certainly do not sound like "broccoli." Who knows what kind of changes those chemicals do to bodies?

I have a nephew who is into body building. He eats a strict diet and drinks gallons and gallons of distilled water. Because our water is all polluted, too, you know. We have no idea what we're drinking. My water comes from a well and I am sure there are chemicals - pesticides and such - leeching into the water from the farm. I use three sets of filtration systems on the water I drink, but I daresay that doesn't get it all.

Not all of us have my nephew's desire for muscles, or necessarily the ability and time to eat with such restrictions. And those restrictions apparently aren't healthy - my nephew recently went to the doctor with stomach pains and the diagnosis was his body building diet. So while he might be the vision of a small demi-god, he is not entirely healthy.

For me, my weight issues are multiple. I am too sedentary - an issue worsened by physical traumas that include problems with my ankle (bone-on-bone), problems with my hip and stomach (scar tissue problems from previous surgeries) and a rib in my back that constantly slips in and out, keeping me from breathing well or moving my arm. I have hormonal issues created by a hysterectomy and thyroid issues.

Many of the drugs I take for the above issues, along with my high blood pressure, encourage fluid retention.

I have, of course, attempted many diets. I lost weight on Atkins but felt like crap. I lost weight on Weight Watchers but felt like crap. I am quick to figure out ways to "cheat" on any diet - if it says eat a cup of spaghetti, well, a cup of dried spaghetti turns into a larger portion than a cup of cooked spaghetti, but hey, I still had a cup of spaghetti in the end. I have read many diet books and they all confound me with their calorie-counting and exercises.

The last time I lost a lot of weight was when I had a gallbladder attack and couldn't eat for 8 days. Great weight loss but I felt like crap, and then had the surgery that's left me in a bad way.

I think the answer, for me, and probably for many people, lies in changing our food supply. We need to stop with the pesticides and the chemicals and the things that aren't truly meant for human consumption. We need to clean the environment - air, water, soil - and work at making a utopia, not a dystopia.

Otherwise, I think we will all, ultimately, be fat.


  1. I can lose weight. But I always gain it back. Always. In order to lose weight I have to eat under 1000 calories a day. I can do that, but it is boring and unsatisfying. And unsustainable. So I will yo-yo myself into boredom again this winter...crap.

  2. I understand your struggle. I am also obese but without the physical problems that you have. I'm just fat because I eat too much. I solve the "buying clothes" problem by shopping on line and praying I have chosen a size large enough. I had to smile at your yogurt comment, though. I usually eat strawberry Activia for breakfast and when I got to the store, there was a whole shelf full of Activia, only the slot where the strawberry went was nearly empty. Guess I like the most popular type!


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