I am not fat. I am a physically fit 38 year old and future Registered Dietitian (RD), not the enemy of people with obesity nor their judge. And for the record, I can't stand the taste of coconut water and sunflower seeds.
But I'm not here to lecture anyone about the foods I choose to eat. I can only say that I derive equal pleasure from the sacred ritual of eating. I consider it the way I most intimately connect with Mother Earth every single day of my life. Her gifts fill my body and fuel my spirit.
I write this diary feeling disheartened by the way the diarist of "I am fat" cast others concerns (some which might be totally legitimate) for her well being as frivolous or even worse, as veiled contempt. I don't cast judgment on any person's lifestyle and I don't blame anyone for seeking pleasure and/or comfort from any source in life. We all have a different source of happiness spiritually and materially.
But I am for real concerned with the health of Americans and the continuation and thriving of our species so I feel we all should take the time now to examine our relationship with Mother Nature. This examination should not pit proud hard-luck "fat" folks aaginst their lucky judgmental "skinny" nemeses.
I empathize with the struggle of every human being who is overweight or obese. Their condition cannot be something nature intended. We evolved to swiftly escape danger, to hunt with agility, strength and stamina, to migrate endlessly some seasons. We seem to have lost touch with our history and thus fallen out of the natural state enjoyed by our distant and recent ancestors.
The obesity epidemic in the U.S. should be a discussion where health is viewed as a great contributor to our quality of life on a material level (and some even say on a spiritual plane as well), instead of this short-lived celebration of delectable morsels shaped like little squares.
We are talking about a sick, dying country who cannot trace their medical problems and biological complications back to the foods they eat, concoctions not native to our biology however delicious, molecules and compounds that send the wrong signals to our genes which every millisecond regulate all of our biochemical reactions and choreograph our deeply mysterious and dynamic metabolic state, taking cues from the very foods we decide to ingest.
Health care professionals don't know how to treat patients with obesity because their schooling and research is beholden to industry and tainted by common myth (which is also perpetuated by clever marketing).
Obesity resembles every other debate in politics. Locate the money; you will find a pile of lies.
Manmade or the result of natural cycles?
We squandered decades on the "debate" and lost precious time.
Manmade or genetic inheritance?
We will surely waste many more.
We of the skinny and fat masses hear the voices of the privileged few loud enough and for sufficient time until those misleading thoughts and untrue ideas become embraced by the many, practiced by us and woven inextricably into our culture.
Bad food + drugs that manage symptoms = medicine.
Obesity = genetics + overeating + laziness + lack of will power.
It's all bullshit. I'll give you that without hesitation.
Like global warming science, Nutrigenomics (the science that attempts to describe how mother earth's nutrients interact with and nourish bipedal carriers of the human genome on earth) has been around long before its shadow "debate", likewise successfully submerged for decades deep beneath that familiar, dark persistent noise.
The majority of the country is overweight or obese largely because of the food supplied rather than the food demanded. Like electric cars, many of us demanded them a long time ago. Like any other large industry monopolizing basic resources we need for survival, there are only a handful of agribusiness and factory farms that control our food supply. So close your eyes, sink your teeth into the moist, tender sweetness of the brown squares - I'm scared as shit.
It's what they put on the supermarket shelves that does more large scale damage to our health care system than what any one single consumer pulls off the shelve.
How can we be expected to make good choices when we are surrounded by bad ones? What we have are cars that get 25-40 MPG when we need ones that run on electricity. We have homes that devour barrels of foreign oil when we should strive for solar panels on every rooftop. We have thousands of nuclear, coal, gas and oil fields dwarfing every one or two wind mills that dot the landscape.
And here is a kicker to ponder: Is a polluted food supply as detrimental to our children's future as a polluted planet? Is it a coincidence both the health of Mother Earth and her children are simultaneously deteriorating?
I'm not here to eat shit food and smile about it. I'm going to fight the good fight for the next generation and when I finish a dietetic internship I will find work as a food service director for schools.
You will hear this skinny-chic bastard speak at school assemblies, see him set up educational workshops for the community, watch him hold Q&A at farmer's markets, design curriculum with health and PE teachers, start school gardens, develop newsletters, generate email databases, rally communities around health and sustainable living. I'm going to land a federal and state grant(s) to establish a non-profit for child nutrition FGA (Future Gardener's of America) and see it flourish.
And I guess when my children have birthday parties, maybe I might let them eat a small brownie with their coconut water and sunflower seeds ;)