Almost every day there’s a story in the news about the obesity epidemic in America. (Maybe this is a common story elsewhere too. I don’t know. I don’t get out of the U.S. much.) I’ve often wondered if how heavy the U.S. has become is a conspiracy between the food and diet companies. Or perhaps they’re one and the same? (Owned not by people but aliens to keep us off kilter and neurotic?)
I know firsthand how hard it is to lose weight. I also know I used to be effortlessly slim once upon a time. What happened?
I wish I could blame my full figure on having had multiple kids and just letting myself go. Sadly, I’m childfree and do exercise and try to watch what I eat. I’m not always good about the what I eat part, but I sure don’t gorge myself either.
Part of my problem is one of my medicines, Advair, contains steroids. Steroids doesn’t make losing weight easy. I know. I spent five weeks diligently watching my calories last Fall. I used the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone to track what I ate and how much I exercised. I made sure I had a surplus of calories left over each day. I only lost two pounds.
Talk about frustrating!
This has been the story the last 20 years of my life. I’ve only lost weight three times. Twice without really trying. One of those times was thanks to getting cancer and not being able to eat thanks to chemo.
I’ve also developed intolerance to certain foods over the years. Foods that are supposed to be good for me. It started back in the 1990s with bagged salads. If I ate anything that had been in a bag, not fresh, I would get major stomach distress. It then progressed into even fresh salads doing it.
Then I developed a reaction to salmon and trout. I grew up eating both. I craved fish a couple of times a week. Suddenly not being able to eat it anymore was awful. (I can still eat certain kinds of fish, such as flounder or cod, but I only do so sparingly because I’m worried I’ll develop an intolerance to them too.)
Next came broccoli. That’s a gas-creating food anyway, but what it does to my stomach is worse than a just a bad case of gas. Hell, it would be a delight to even be able to pass gas after I’ve eaten broccoli. I feel like grabbing the nearest knife and cutting a depressurizing hole in my stomach after eating that cruciferous vegetable. It’s pure hell.
Needless to say I don’t eat salmon, trout, or broccoli. I’m still wary of salad and can’t eat it often because I can’t really digest it ever since chemo. Besides, the pain it causes isn’t worth it.
Last year two more of my favorite foods started causing the same kind of pains the others that don’t agree with me do: avocados and bananas. Major bummer. No more guacamole and bananas are a wonderful pre-tennis and post-tennis snack. Or they used to be. Not anymore.
I know in the case of salmon and trout part of the problem is the whole farm raised thing. Shrimp can also cause me the same trouble salmon and trout does –if it’s the farm raised variety. If it’s wild caught, I can eat it.
Which is how I started wondering if it’s not so much me but what’s being done to the food, that’s causing me issues. So many foods these days are genetically modified. Between that and portion sizes being bigger, it’s no wonder Americans gain, gain, gain.
But is it part of a larger conspiracy? Both the food industry and the weight loss industry are billion dollar money makers. You think either wants to give up any revenue? I don’t.
But I also wonder what benefit (besides money) there is to keeping us in this cycle? Fatter and unhealthier would make us easier to conquer…or harvest. After all, as Andrew Zimmern is fond of saying, “Fat is where the flavor is.”
Maybe that’s what the aliens are counting on. Fat little humans easily overtaken and also bursting with flavor.