Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It Really Isn't Your Fault

Dear fellow overweight/obese two-thirds of the population American, sometimes when I pass you at the store or see you in the gym, i'm not judging you. Actually, I'd like to give you a hug and tell you it's not your fault. You don't deserve that guilt.

I know...this is not a weight loss blog, this is the Living Ultra Retro blog. But the reason I'm telling you it's not your fault is because the food deck is stacked against you in every way, and the only way to win is to opt out and eat like great-grandma did, and she did not eat processed food.

Being fat is like doing time for a crime you didn't necessarily commit. Please understand that I am not trying to encourage a victim mentality here, because in order to fix this problem, we do have to take responsibility and do the time. We have to change our diets and get active. Period. The only one who can fix this is you (and me). 

If you were a "fat kid", then my heart really breaks for you, because there was NOTHING you could do about your food...but you bore all the punishment. Someone might have told you it was your fault for overeating and you believed them. You didn't know that massive companies had you branded your little developing brain since were old enough to look at a television. You didn't know that foods are engineered to have addictive properties, causing you to never be satisfied. If you didn't get fat until you became an adult, it's likely due to the fact that you have always had the same eating habits, only you were lucky as a kid...but when your metabolism changed, all bets were off!

Okay, so parents should know better? Well...during the eighties, there was a phenomenon that became known as latch-key kids. I was one of them. This was the beginning of the new American normal. Up until this point TV dinners were a rarity at our house, and thought of as a treat. My mom did the best she could to keep us fed healthily; she bought low-sugar cereals and cooked often. When the demonization of sugar happened, we switched from Kool-Aid to Crystal Light, and Diet Pepsi. When she began working the 3-11 shift in the emergency room, she bought frozen foods that were easy for a couple of pre-teens to prepare on their own. She was doing her best with the knowledge she had.

It wasn't long after that I developed PCOS (a female condition related to insulin resistance), but my sister remained the same. She ate fruit like ALL the time. I gained a massive 40lbs over the winter of my freshman year of high school. The convenience foods we both were eating were frozen pizzas, bagel dogs, taquitos, powdered mashed potatoes, pastas, and frozen turkey and gravy entrees. These habits stayed with me until I turned 30 and learned better. At that time I remember thinking "how am I only just now learning to pay attention and read labels??"

It's all about the bottom line. Food companies saw a need in the marketplace and filled it. I honestly have to ask myself though...when did it become okay with us collectively to eat ingredients that we couldn't pronounce? I remember reading labels as a child and wondering what Polysorbate 80 was. But these foods were too convenient and tasty to puzzle on that detail for too long. I actually have facts to back up the title of this blog. I was going to write about them here, but that would make for an entry that is way too long. Since you can't tell fat people it isn't their fault and not say why, in the next few days the following shall become links where I will support my statements: 
3. Fat Cows
4. Sugar, Sugar Everywhere
5. Pesticides and Estrogen

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