In the interests of full disclosure I have had food issues over the course of my life including a bout with anorexia and bulimia when I was in my 20s. I abused speed and other diet pills for over a decade.
But I also have gone through periods of working on my physical fitness through exercise and diet including sporadic periods of vegetarianism of the lacto-ova variety.
When I turned 50 I started turning into my Polish grandmother. Or one of those substantial older dykes. I eat, I can lift 50-60 pounds over my head and I am on my feet moving during much of my work day.
While I lived in the city of Los Angeles I was much fitter than I became after moving to suburbia. In the city I walked a lot. In suburbia sidewalks lead only to the end of the development, whereas in LA my 2 mile morning walk had a bran muffin or croissant/bagel and coffee as reward when I reached my favorite coffee shop with the cute gay waiters half of whom were brothers.
I walked a lot because I didn’t own a car and while I put on weight after quitting smoking it was no where near as bad as after I started driving every where.
When I first got together with Tina we lived on Long Island. Not a walker’s paradise yet I went into Manhattan about once a week and walked a lot.
We ate like piglets. But we were eating a more balanced diet and I was no longer drinking.
When we moved to Dallas we discovered something.
The diet in the American South sucks on just about every single possible level.
When we went to one of our first BBQ places we discovered the “Three Meat Combo”… My first reaction was, “Meat is not a side dish for more meat. Haven’t you folks heard of vegetables?” Well they had but they fry everything here and not stir fry but coat with batter and then fry it.
At the State Fair they have deep fried cheese cake… Absolutely delicious and almost worth the calories. At the last fair they had deep fried butter… Don’t ask because you really don’t want to know.
Therefore a column in today’s Dallas Morning News came as little surprise to me:
Texas has 13th highest rate of obesity in U.S., study says
10:55 AM CDT on Tuesday, June 29, 2010
By JASON ROBERSON / The Dallas Morning News
We’re still fat, but we’re moving in the right direction, according to an obesity report to be released today that ranks Texas 13th in the nation.
New laws aimed at keeping kids from becoming obese adults and pound-shedding programs of local companies give reasons for hope.
Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two nonprofit health research groups, said the state’s adult obesity rate is 29 percent.
Their report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010,” shows regional and income disparities in the obesity epidemic. It says 10 out of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity were in the South, with Mississippi’s 33.8 percent obesity rate leading the way. Colorado, at 19 percent, had the lowest obesity rate.
Continue reading at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/DN-Obesity_29bus.State.Edition1.3ffbf14.html
Now part of the problem is portion control. In an era of shrinking expectations we are rewarded by corporations super sizing the amount of food they serve.
In the selling of gender we are told manly men do not eat vegetables but only lots of hormone/corn bloated meat. What men eat since almost all marketing as well as media treats heterosexual violent masculine men as the default becomes what women eat.
The other thing is the hyper sweetening and salting of food. Fat, sugar (HFCS), and salt may make food taste good but they lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
I’m not a vegetarian but as hard as it is to buck the marketing I try to watch the portions and occasionally eat something other than meat or sugar.