We are all aware of the obesity problem in America. It’s undeniable. We witness it in every day life, in person and in the media. Once in a while, however, we travel to a place, such as Wal-Mart or Huntington, West Virginia, where the obesity problem is so in our faces that we can’t ignore it or brush it aside. It’s so disturbing that we feel the need to write blog posts about it!
Such was the circumstance this past weekend, when Alyssa and I traveled to Cape May, NJ for a nice, relaxing summer weekend. We live a block from the beach in NJ, but we wanted to check out the quaint, Victorian town of Cape May two hours south. The town itself is awesome – beautiful beaches, gourmet restaurants, relaxed hotels and inns, and a laid-back vibe that really puts you in vacation mode.
BUT…we’ve never seen so many fat people in our lives. This isn’t a knock against Cape May – I’m pretty sure the condition exists in any destination where massive numbers of Americans congregate. Being a beach destination, the “fatness” is much more in your face because it’s hot and people aren’t wearing as many clothes as in non-beach destinations. What further exacerbates the effect in Cape May and in other seaside destinations is that people are on vacation and like to indulge in treats – homemade fudge, kettle corn, ice cream, funnel cakes, and the like. It’s simply disgusting.
Granted, a 200-pound lady walking around in a bikini is enough to make you wince. But my real issue here is that this lady thinks she is normal, that there is nothing wrong with her body, let alone flaunting that body in less than a couple square feet of stretchy material.
How have we gotten to the point where obesity is perfectly “normal”? Besides shocking and disgusting, it’s plain sad. These obese people are completely gambling with their lives. They have no idea what their insides look like. Nor do they care. Ignorance is bliss, it seems.
So what’s the solution? We need a revolution, a change of consciousness, a complete paradigm shift. We need to convince ourselves, and our fellow human beings, that obesity is neither normal nor acceptable. And how should we go about this? Education. We need to educate ourselves about our bodies, about health, about food, about chemicals in food, about active lives. This is no small task. Paradigm shifts are not easy, especially for an entire generation to embrace. We all need to pitch in. We need to adjust our habits and we need to inform our friends to do the same.
This isn’t a matter of looking hot in a bikini. This is a matter of life and death. People need to wake up and realize this. It’s no joke. Obesity has become entirely too acceptable in America and there’s no end in sight.
What can you do today to live more healthfully? Start small, spread the word, and start a revolution…