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frustrated with "fat america"

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Old 03-19-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
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Lately, I have found myself doing something out of the ordinary (for me).

I am finally at a healthy weight for my height, which is great, but it's like people are marveling at how "skinny" I am, which I admit, feels good sometimes. However, it's come to my attention that I am at the high end of the healthy spectrum for my height but for some reason I seem so "skinny" when compared to other people.

The thing that frustrates me is that it seems like our societal norms are making being overweight or obese the norm and that you stick out if you are NOT obese.

I went to a restaurant the other night, a typical chain american diner, and I noticed that due to the huge portion sizes, 75% of the dishes were close to, at, or over 1000 calories!

If the restaurants just cut their portion sizes, then perhaps they could give people a chance to not overeat, but since it's now the norm to have these huge portions, it's like the normal american who is just trying to enjoy their dinner has more of a challenge!

I live in southern california, and i'm not sure what the "law" is, but now most restaurants post their calorie count, which makes it easier for me, but i can't imagine how much harder it would be in another state that may not have those sort of mandates.

I'm not sure where this frustration is coming from!
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
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I get frustrated sometimes, too. I think for me, it stems from irritation at how much my cultural environment contributed/contributes to my own weight gain. It makes it hard to lose, hard to maintain, and easy to put more pounds on.

It's hard enough fighting myself in my head and fighting my body's cravings, but fighting my whole country's norms is just that much more difficult.

It's a complex issue, and it's not just the restaurants' faults. I blame myself primarily for gaining weight, but other factors haven't helped.

I understand your frustration. But be careful not to take it out on other people. It's really not all their fault. I think sometimes when we change the way we live for the better, we're frustrated that others haven't done the same. I've had to remind myself that it was my decision to change, and others are not at fault for not changing just because I did.

But yeah, we've got some cultural food/eating issues that need to be worked out as a whole.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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When I go to restaurants now I think about how I will always have food to take home which is exciting. I also like looking up calories and stuff on the websites before I go so I know what to order. I put dressings on the side and my food is usually plain. Water or unsweetened tea. It's fun to go out because it's like getting great food more than once for the price of one.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jayohwhy View Post

I went to a restaurant the other night, a typical chain american diner, and I noticed that due to the huge portion sizes, 75% of the dishes were close to, at, or over 1000 calories!

If the restaurants just cut their portion sizes, then perhaps they could give people a chance to not overeat, but since it's now the norm to have these huge portions, it's like the normal american who is just trying to enjoy their dinner has more of a challenge!
I don't think the restaurants are to blame at all! Yes, portion sizes are huge, EVERYONE knows that. However, it is their choice to eat it. I'm not going to blame the supermarket for my weight gain just because they offered 40 different types of ice cream. If a person knows that they can easily finish a whole meal and a restaurant (which really isn't that difficult if you are someone who is used to eating large quantities), then it should be your responsibility to ask to have half of it packed up immediately.

I know my husband would be very angry if the restaurants all of a sudden cut their meals in half but charged the same price, just so people who can not control their eating habits have an easier time. He can eat every last bite on his plate (and not gain weight since he will just naturally eat less throughout the day, but that's a whole other can of worms)

But you are correct in the fact that it is difficult to have to retrain ourselves due to the culture we live in. Junk foods filling the vending machines at school, McDonalds marketing to kids with their toys and with convenience to the parents. How often do you see a commercial for carrots and apples as opposed to the extra creamy Ben and Jerrys icecream?

Whenever I see a skinny middle aged woman, I actually notice. My brain automatically thinks "wow, shes 40 and still a size 4-6, thats rare". It does it without even thinking just because most women (and men) are gaining weight and keeping it on.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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I'm really frustrated too.

There is a huge lack of personal responsibility at play... as well as a food industry who could honestly care less about nutrition and only about $$$$.

It takes a LOT of effort to hunt down clean nutritious food and most people aren't willing to educate themselves and do it. I feel a lot of anger, sadness, and anxiety when I see obese children. It's REALLY common here. I want to say that most children in my son's class are overweight. He's in 2nd grade. These kids don't make their own food choices, this isn't their fault. I worry about what the next generation will bring.

It's really hard for most people to make good food choices when most of what's contained in the grocery store doesn't even qualify as food anymore.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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The international obesity epidemic is a complex mess, and one that probably needs to be tackled from many different angles. You've accomplished a lot, jayohwhy. If the obesity problem is something that's of major concern to you, you could probably use your experience to help promote health-conscious laws and business practices in your community and help overweight/obese individuals gain the health and nutrition knowledge and access to high quality foods and safe places to be active that can help other heavy people succeed in losing weight and keeping it off.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:55 PM   #7
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I'm really frustrated too.

There is a huge lack of personal responsibility at play... as well as a food industry who could honestly care less about nutrition and only about $$$$.

It takes a LOT of effort to hunt down clean nutritious food and most people aren't willing to educate themselves and do it. I feel a lot of anger, sadness, and anxiety when I see obese children. It's REALLY common here. I want to say that most children in my son's class are overweight. He's in 2nd grade. These kids don't make their own food choices, this isn't their fault. I worry about what the next generation will bring.

It's really hard for most people to make good food choices when most of what's contained in the grocery store doesn't even qualify as food anymore.
That sounds less like a lack of personal responsibility and more like ignorance and the well-documented human trait of taking the easiest path available. Ignorance can be alleviated (usually by people who are less ignorant, if time is of any concern) and paths can be made more or less resistant. It does take a lot of work though.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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I agree. I think you have to learn to ignore a lot of the comments you'll get once you are at a healthy weight simply because people are jealous. I get comments like, "You are wayyy too thin." Or "If you lose one more pound, you'll look sick."

I won't. I just look out of place, like you say, because of the "epidemic". If we were in Europe, for example, it would be perfectly normal.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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I've never been to America but a girl I knew from the gym a few years ago gained 7 pounds after a week there! I think it was from the cream in coffee and stuff like that. There's lots of corn syrup in things too (right?) which is mental.

Although people in Ireland are getting more and more overweight too. I think we're getting pretty high on the list.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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Growing up, I had to eat the free lunches they provided at school. Its funny watching the Jamie Oliver show when hes struggling to get the kids to choose the healthier option, I always felt "meh" about those school lunches...and that nasty undercooked doughy pizza. I still remember the pools of oil on it.

Theres some debate on my FB feed where someone is saying that its intruding on our freedom to be too controlling of our kids food. I think that there should be at least healthy options (and I guess that means more money spent on school food) for kids who have to buy/get free lunches. When I was a kid, I never had a choice, I just ate what my parents let me eat lol, and that was what we could afford.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #11
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The most frustrating part is America sets these bad practices and sells these practices to the world. So, whole world has started becoming obese. There are countries in this world, where women used to cook fresh meal from scratch.
All healthy food, but now girls of those country are aping American counterparts and brginging pizza home every day.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:35 PM   #12
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Ok people, I seriously need to move! Where I live, most women are very thin and sometimes, I get frustrated with it in that direction. I feel like even if I lose another 10 lbs., I'll just blend in more and so what's the point? Of course it's not at all about what else is going on with everyone else. It's about your own personal journey, but we are living amongst others so it's hard not to either compare and feel inadequate or be compared to and commented on. The whole weight loss thing is a major mind trip because the entire journey is very external and people can easily see where you are at unlike other forms or change that occur within people.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:05 PM   #13
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What bothers me is that the cheapest food is also mostly the unhealthy food. I am barely able to stick to my diet sometimes because the food I need to eat is just so pricey (organic). I'm sure that in reality, if food companies wanted to make their food healthier while still making good profits they could, but they just don't want to give up ANY money for it.

I'm poor, very poor. And it sucks thinking that I might not be able to stay on the path that I'm on for the rest of my life because it's the more expensive route. Before I started my journey, my boyfriend and I shopped primarily at Dollar Tree or we went to food banks. So, yeah...we're pretty broke lol.

It also sucks that restaurants don't usually make healthier options available. There are only like 3 restaurants that I can actually eat at.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by LeilaJey View Post
I've never been to America but a girl I knew from the gym a few years ago gained 7 pounds after a week there! I think it was from the cream in coffee and stuff like that. There's lots of corn syrup in things too (right?) which is mental.

Although people in Ireland are getting more and more overweight too. I think we're getting pretty high on the list.
I heard there's corn syrup in the baby formula
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:33 PM   #15
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Corn subsidies are big here... they'd put it in every single food item, if they could find a way. It's disgusting. Corn Syrup is close to poison, IMHO!!

Those of you having difficulty finding affordable healthy foods. Are you familiar with Bountiful Baskets? I just found the one in my area. I have a lot of friends who use it. $15 a week for a big basket of fruits and veg.

http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/
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