Britain’s widening waistline
Holiday treats and the changing acceptable standards of Britain’s waistlines.
August 2012: OK, OK, I had an ice cream! Damn, what a confession!! I am on holiday, and I have to make the best of the shops that are available, and I have to treat my kids like normal kids, and that means going to the beach and buying ice creams! Normally, I don’t partake myself, but I did today and it was very yummy!! Oh well…just one sin…
On this holiday, we are staying in a lovely 580 year-old thatched barn conversion on a 17-acre smallholding, with sheep, chickens, ducks, an apple orchard and lots more. The centrepiece of the kitchen is an Aga. I SO cannot get my head around cooking on an Aga! It seems so energy-INefficient, I do not understand the point in having 3 hot ovens and 2 large hotplates permanently hot. In summer, it makes the kitchen an extremely warm place to be, and it just bugs me that so much heat/energy is being wasted. I have to say there are some good things about it…the steady even heat in the oven cooks meat perfectly, so I’ll keep cooking all week and see how it goes!
I was walking on the beach with the kids this morning and I was struck by the shocking number of people who were, by my judgement, either very over-weight or truly obese. I got to thinking about the statistics in the USA now, how one third of the population is obese, one third is over-weight and only one third is ‘normal’ weight. In a country of 300 million people, that means there are 100 MILLION obese people, and another 100 million overweight people. Those are big numbers, and when you really think about those numbers and let them sink in, you begin to realise the seriousness of the situation.
I walked along the beach this morning and was struck by the thought that Britain is following this trend. As the obese people, at the ‘top end’, get bigger, so the majority of the population raise their notion of what is an ‘accepted norm’, and so the over-weight get a little more over weight, and even the people in the healthy weight range gain a few pounds too. Over time, everyone seems to be nudging up the scale. People whom, 20 or 30 years ago, might have been called “a little chubby” or “built for comfort” or “can pinch an inch or two” are now called normal, or slim, or healthy. People who were once considered “fat” are now “cuddly” or “perfectly healthy, and not fanatically obsessed with trying to look like some impossibly thin model”.
I do NOT like these rail thin catwalk models and I hate to see women, young girls particularly, under unfair pressure to be thin to meet media images and impossible photo-shopped magazine pictures. But I equally disapprove of this ‘shifting acceptance’ of obesity. I make no judgement of anyone, on this site I express only my OWN opinions, I judge only myself and wish no offense to any reader who is overweight. I personally WANT to be slim, lean, strong, muscular, athletic looking, physically fit, healthy, sexy and in great shape. In my days as a fat smoker, hardly anyone ever criticized me for my ‘health choices’, yet now I find myself accused of being vain, self-obsessed, judgemental, offensive and elitist.
It amazes me how defensive people get over my OWN choices about my OWN health…people act as though I am attacking them. I think a lot of people who are less than delighted with what they see with their own eyes when they stand naked in front of a full length mirror, wish to drag everyone else down to make themselves feel better. When I was too ashamed to take my t-shirt off on the beach on a sunny day, it didn’t seem to bother anyone but me. Now I post comments online about my OWN personal quest for good health, and I receive comments that I am encouraging people to develop eating disorders, or I am unhealthily self-obsessed, vain or too full of myself.
For the record – this is MY blog, about MY health, and I have high standards for myself and I am nowhere near my target yet. I will not be happy with MYSELF until I have an awesome male physique, with lean abs and ‘a model body’ look. It is MY desire to achieve this, and I cast no judgement on anyone else’s choices about their health. The ONLY other people I will ‘push’ to be HEALTHY and not fat, are my three children. I will always balance my desire to get my physique looking this way, with my desire for supreme good HEALTH, and I will only push myself within the limitations of what is good for my health.
If you, my friends and readers, don’t like or support my choices, then I am sorry, but I don’t really care, and while I respect your opinions, please don’t lay off your insecurities on me, and please don’t try to cut me down and dash my dreams and goals, to make yourself and your lazy fat arse feel better. If you have something to say, start your own blog/page and get on and say it.
National trends in obesity rates
I worry that the UK is following the US, and I think it is a crying shame to allow our ‘standards’ to slip. I do not want 20 million obese Brits, 20 million over weight Brits, and 20 million ‘normal’ healthy Brits – I believe the US and the UK need to take this ‘obesity epidemic’ much more seriously. It starts in the mirror. Each and every person needs to take responsibility for him or herself, and each and every parent needs to take responsibility for his or her children. No excuses. Parents, read that again. Parents, it’s not genetic, obese kids are YOUR fault.
It’s considered politically in-correct for a slim healthy person to call an over-weight person “fatty”. But it seems to be perfectly socially acceptable to call me a “health FREAK” or a narcissist. I smoked and drank for 20 years, and now I realise how stupid that was. I have children now, I have dreams and hopes, I have many more reasons to live many more years. Because I care about living a long healthy life, and helping others who care to do the same, that does not make me ‘self loving’, I just have developed a sense of self respect.
Healthy living is a lifestyle choice. One that I think a lot more people should make. I have developed MND as one more way to try to help a few more people walk that path.