I have to admit, I didn't read the newspaper or watch the news to any great degree when I was at the beach. The majority of my reading was limited to magazines, local tourist publications and more magazines. Occasionally, I peeked at the weather segments of news casts and every once in awhile I sort of heard bits and pieces of newsworthy stuff. But, I wasn't in a news hound kind of mood at the beach. I was more into celebrity gossip, fashion, recipes, beauty tips, decorating and the occasional useless piece of information. I was happily oblivious to what was happening around me, around the country and around the world. And, I lived in faith that not much would change. But if it did, I trusted that I would be able to adapt to anything--whether it be a new world order or just a drop in gasoline prices. I'm an optimistic sort....especially when I'm sitting in a beach chair with a yummy libation to keep me hydrated....
Fast forward to the here and now.....as I sit here facing the reality of life beyond vacation, I'm pretty sure my beach strategy was a good one. It's best to keep one's mind cluttered with the frivilious aspects of life instead of the not-so-frivilious ones for 2 weeks out of the year. Because believe you me--once vacation is over and reality comes crashing down--no matter how much I don't like the drive to and from the beach--driving 11 hours back to the beach sounds like a good plan right about now! I mean--let's be honest here--who wants to deal with real life? Not me. Not now.
It's that very inclination---not wanting to deal with real life (or to be more precise...my real life)--that now has me thankful that I had a lot of catching up to do--news wise-- when I arrived home and has me feeling extremely grateful that I had a pile of newspapers to help me to do it.
All of a sudden--I can clutter my mind with useful, helpful and unfrivilious information. I don't have to deal with my life. Just by reading the newspaper, I was given the opportunity to forget about the post-vacation realities I have to face and I can hook my wagon up to a cause that is not only near and dear to my heart but is also universally important as well as fiscally prudent! Which, in turn, wipes out the materialistic Judi of the past 2 weeks who only cares about shoes, lip gloss and the Kardashians and puts me smack into the category of being an astute, educated and passionate citizen and champion of change. And all it took was less than 24 hours of being off the sand.
Yes, reading the newspaper was a nice segway from vacation to real life....
Did you follow any of that?
Last night....I read this article....
Now this is something I can really get behind and talk about and do it half-way intelligently.
If you don't feel like reading it--it essentially says that obesity is an epidemic, it's expensive and it's a huge obstacle in health care reform. You don't say.
And, not only that--no one has a solution. Well, I'll be.
The quote that made me shift in my chair was this one....
"If there was an epidemic of little kids getting cancer, it would be a national crisis," Ms. Sebelius said. "But because it's obesity and the damage doesn't come until later in life, we've been slow to act. We can't ignore this problem any longer."Let me put this in simple terms folks....from someone who knows a thing or two about being fat. Obesity was always considered a problem of willpower. The answer to it all was--push yourself away from the table. And, if, for some reason, you couldn't do that--well, shame on you and you deserve to be fat. There was something wrong with you if you could not lose the weight. And, the cruelty of it all is that being obese is not something you can hide. No. No. The fat is there for all the world to see. The shame that you cannot control your eating is evident! And, the failure is written all over your body. If you weren't fragile before that--the pain and humiliation of being told that there was something wrong with you or that you were weak or somehow flawed--you became extremely fragile afterwards. And, with that fragility came more---POUNDS. Our own personal doctors did not tell us any more than eat less, exercise more. The medical community did not see obesity as a medical issue. They saw it as a problem with YOUR WILLPOWER. It was all about YOU and YOUR FAILURE. But...all of a sudden....here we are....obesity is now being looked at in dollars and cents. And, it's costing the government and all of us a hell of a lot of money. But, most importantly-- our politicians can't seem to do something they promised to do--reform health care. And why? Because we've got so many obese people! It's the fatties! Yes, obesity is now a political liability. A costly political liability that's been devaluing lives, demoralizing people and killing men, women and children for decades. NOW it's a problem. Yeah, well....what are they gonna do about it?
Well, I've got news for you--if they cured obesity--they will have a few more issues to deal with. Curing obesity would topple a few multi-multi-million dollar business--the weight loss industry, the fast food industry, the fitness industry--to name just a few. Have they thought about that?
I'm sure someone is thinking long and hard about that. But, for right now--the focus is on what are we gonna do about all these fat people.
Therin lies the operative word--people. Human beings. Husbands. Wives. Mothers. Fathers. Brothers. Sisters. Grandmothers. Grandfathers. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Friends. Coworkers. Well, you get the picture. Let's not forget what is important. It's not dollars or cents or entertainment or even research. Let's not focus so much on finding reasons to put obesity in the spotlight without fully recognizing that there are millions of individuals who have been living with obesity and who are now under the microscope for reasons that might make them feel uncomfortable and even more guilt ridden than ever before. We need to deal with obesity on a national level without devaluing on the individual level. That's all I'm saying....
Listen....I'm not sure what will come of all of this. But, what I do know is this--obesity has been thrown into the center ring on so many levels at the moment that it is making my head spin. Flip through a newspaper, channel surf, thumb the pages of a magazine or visit a major university and you'll see what I am saying--obesity is there. Part of me thinks it's great that the world has taken notice of it and that energy and expertise is being thrown at the problems that obesity brings with it. Yet, there's another part of me that worries about putting it into the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Right now it feels that way. Check with me in a week or so and see if I feel the same way.
Whether they are trying to research it, cure it, showcase it, poke fun at it, solve it, accept it or blame it--obesity is all the rage.
And, you know what?
Today....it puts me into a rage.
Which is a good thing.......today.
It takes the edge off the other things I have to think about.....