For me, weight loss and weight gain was diabolically linked to food consumption. Yeah, sure, I had the majority of my thyroid removed when a mass was detected on it and I do come from a long line of overweight folks. So, biology and genetics did have something to do with it all. But, I did overeat. No question about it. Give me a bag of Doritos and nacho cheese dip and they were mine. Huge helpings of pasta--no problem. Oversized, overstuffed sandwiches dripping with condiments on beautiful bread--my idea of a good time. Buffet tables filled with appetizers was my idea of a well set table. Menus with pictures of gooey, hefty portioned foods was what I considered fine art. I could blame my missing thyroid and my obese grandmother for only so much. Food was definitely my best friend and my worst enemy. It was my battle with food, not my battle with weight--that drove me to diet books, diet clubs, diet coaches, diet counselors, diet doctors, diet pills and eventually--diet bankruptcy. It was FOOD. I am 100% positive of it.
Why am I telling you all of this? Here's why....
Last night, having been gone the whole weekend, I finally had a chance to sit down and read the Sunday paper. Reading the Sunday paper is one of my favorite activities--on Sunday mornings. I sit there in the very early morning hours, with my chai tea, listen to some smooth jazz and devour the paper in a very organized fashion (it's one of the only things I do in an organized fashion and the only time I ever listen to jazz). Reading the Sunday paper on a Monday night,with the sound of the dishwasher going, drinking a glass of ice water and waiting for my socialite daughter to return from some kind of party, kills the whole experience for me. Perhaps I was just a little bit cranky. Afterall, it was a Monday night, I was tired and you know how Mondays are anyway. So, when I read this piece stating that exercise--not food--was really the reason for weight issues in America, I got a little pissy. Now, as I sit here the morning after, having had a chance to reflect on what I read, I realize that the author is not really wrong. With 'really' being the operative word. He (I think it's a "he"...with a name like Trice, I'm not so sure) throws around a few seemingly reasonable facts and quotes some reputable sources. And, what he is says is interesting. But, here's the thing--with a headline that shouts--
Sunday Forum: It's not the food, it's the exercise (of lack thereof)
Don't blame the burgers and fries, says TRICE WHITEFIELD, the cause of obesity is not what you think
and an accompanying picture that screams you are lazy and fat....well....I'm not so sure he's really right either. Having been editor of my high school newspaper (an award winning one at that!), I know a thing or two about newspaper articles and such. So, I know that authors do not have complete control of their headlines or accompanying pictures. So, I can't blame Trice for what I consider another slap in the face to people who are struggling with obesity. But, it did get me to wonder how many obese people took one look at that article and really wanted to read it. You see...obese people know they should get more exercise. The problem is this--it's hard. It's hard when you are obese. Very hard. One year ago, climbing the steps was a herculean activity for me. Walking for exercise sounded like a great idea but tell that to my feet, my knees and my ankles. It just wasn't going to happen. I was obese because of my war with food. It was the food, Trice. Again....it was all about the FOOD.
So, no matter how right or wrong Trice's opinion is, the headline chased people away. Good people who are battling obesity. We are not lazy folks. Quite the contrary. At the end of the day, we have struggled and toiled as much as our nonobese brethren. What good is an article that is trying to motivate people to do something when the very people who need motivated won't read it? It makes people feel bad. And, who wants to feel bad reading the Sunday morning paper? There's enough garbage being flung at obese battlers every single day. Plus, it's no way to start what is supposed to a day of rest. Sure, I read the article. But, at the moment, I'm a recovering obese person and I exercise these days. So, it didn't chase me away. And, if truth be told, I was feeling ornery enough that I really needed to take on a good fight. I took one look at that headline and thought "what the hell is this skinny asshole talking about?" Yes, I know, it wasn't very kind of me. First of all...I have no idea if Trice is skinny. And, secondly, I have no clue if he is an asshole. But, what I do know is that he doesn't quite understand the problem with FOOD.