In 2007, according to a new report, not one state decreased their state-wide obesity statistic. That means, America is on the fat train towards tubbo land and there's no sign of a retreat. The predictions vary in only one way, timing, but all agree that within the next seven to 10 years at this pace nine out of 10 Americans will be obese, with a body mass index of 30 or more.
Everyone has their reasons as to why this is happening. And those people formulating these theories are probably a bunch of skinny fools.
I've had a weight issue my entire life. As a gay man, it has been a horrible source of concern for me. Gay men, like straight men, put pressure on the object of their affection in terms of physicality. You think women want to cram themselves in to pumps or tight dresses, low cut corsets or whale bone bustiers? No. They do it because men are pigs but they like pork, for the same reason gay men do it. And it sucks.
So, I've tried every diet known to man (or woman) kind over the years. And it never worked. Why? Because I wasn't ready. Everyone was trying to adjust my waistline with numbers, fat grams, calories, carbohydrates, body mass, and not one really dealt with the fact that it was my depression and self-esteem issues that were making me live a lifestyle that led to obesity.
Depressed? Double stuffed oreos and milk does the trick. Alone at night in front of the TV? Well, let the Captain Crunch soak in the milk for 10 minutes and then eat the hell out of it. At lunch? Forget the $6 salad, go for the Jumbo Jack, two tacos, fries and drink for $4 combined.
Yes, there's a food crisis in America. We're fed junk. Corn Syrup. Refined flours and sugars. P.E. is all but gone from school and bikes and skateboards have been replaced with PSP and computers. "Go out and play until dark" has become make sure you log off before 10. But that's not the point. The point is, if one is healthy psychologically, or at least trying, the rest falls in to place.
So why is obesity rising now when bad foods have always been available. We could blame free refills on sodas, or the enormous portions, but it's us eating it all. Why?
9/11 happened. It hurt. A war happened, it hurt. It became harder to feed and clothe ourselves and our families on our budgets. It hurts. Money is tighter than ever for most. It hurts. Many can't get adequate health care. They hurt. We are more connected than ever, yet many are alone. It hurts. We're aging. It hurts.
Our nation is a living breathing entity. And this entity is on life support and that's depressing. And American's are medicating with the only thing they can afford, cheap food. Companies are making fortunes selling the poisons and we eat them because we feel temporarily better afterwards. And food is all about feeling better for many.
We can teach kids nutrition, take out soda machines from schools and so much more. But until we get kids that are happy, which means challenged physically, mentally, emotionally, engaged by their parents and peers, it won't matter. Until adults realize we don't live to work but work to live, until they realize that we are still physical beings in this increasingly nonphysical world, no diet will help.
I recently came through a depression. And I've lost weight. And, 12 weeks ago, with the help of my pain specialist, I stopped all narcotic pain medicines for my back injury. Since then, I scare people. They think I'm in a manic phase. And maybe I am compared to America.
You see, in 2001 I lost my husband, in 2003 my mother and dog and job and since then have had event after event personally to send me in to a tail spin. Then, the country went to hell at the same time with the Bush crime family administration in power. Young Americans lost for no reason, our nation's resources and economy squandered, our good name smeared.
Then, at the start of this year, I took control. And since then, I have been in an urgent state, almost dire immediacy. I put my life on hold for almost seven years while I simply maintained. I covered the events of the day on my radio show, and each time, got more and more depressed. How could our country be saved now? How could I? Both it, and I, had been beaten so low.
But, as Alicia Keys says, "falling down ain't fallin' down less it don't hurt when you hit the floor, it's called the past because I'm getting past..."
So now, every day I feel I need to do six times what everyone else does, says, feels, just to catch up. A pendulum has swung. And yes, I'm a bit manic. Who wouldn't be after waking up fat, alone and stagnant after seven years in a country that was once great but is now the exact same as me, fat, alone in the world, and stagnant, even regressing?
So now, I talk too much and too fast because I have far too much to say. I pace in front of the TV when I hear a story about some silly crime event when Russia is basically telling the U.S. that we are impotent in the world and no one is truly covering that. I overwhelm someone new that I may be interested in because I haven't felt those butterflies in so long. In other words, hyperdrive.
But here's the deal, if America doesn't follow my lead, instead of medicating me and it back in to depression and obesity and complacency, then we won't make it. I know I won't. If we don't hurry up and solve the energy crisis, the failed foreign policies, the economy, we will be taken over by the Chinese and be too fat to resist; nor will we care so long as they feed us. Of course, it might be dog, since they had to spend $40 million just to take it off the menu in Bejiing, but that's another story.
Have I swung too far in the other direction as I have gone from a size 42 waist to 36? As I have lunches with friends who leave exhausted thinking I've gone insane? As I've sold my car and ride a three wheeled wonder called a Piaggio MP3 so I get 55 miles per gallon? Gone solar at my house?
Probably. But remember, it takes a huge shot of adrenaline to pull yourself out of quicksand. It takes everything you've got. So, right now, I'm throwing everything I've got in to my life, my health, my economy, my foreign policy, my world. Why isn't America. Maybe we'll be the crazy country that all of a sudden breaks out of our depression and starts doing things, good things, things that benefit us, at a breakneck pace. Sure, people will think us insane, but that's better than just plain ignorant, fat, lazy and stupid. Vincent Van Gough was insane (lead poisoning), most think Joan of Arc had frontal lobe epilepsy and let's be real, Christ heard voices. It's all relative.
Maybe I am crazy. Maybe the depression led to a manic phase. But I will say this, trying to do something, even something crazy that makes people wonder if you're off your rocker, is at least movement of the body and mind. If our bodies have gotten this fat, what's happened to our brains? We need to exercise both, but use neither these days.
I'll find my center, my middle ground. As for America, the jury is out. But if we don't get the fat off our butts, the depression out of our brains and the true insanity of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results out of our government and country, then we will be a nation of Jabba The Huts too gelatinous in mind, body and spirit to really care.