Because of various errands, I've eaten breakfast 3 times at a nearby diner that is plan-friendly, ie, I can have my veggie omelet or frittata made in butter, not margarine or vegetable oil--and yes, butter is less inflammatory--with a cup of fruit on the side and java. Perfect for me. And I know the waitress, and she knows my preferences--keep the bagel, toast, grits, oatmeal far away, keep the cup filled, water no ice before food comes.
Well, there I was with a party in front of me, and a lady behind me, me in the middle. I had chatted with the very, very, very, VERY uberthin lady behind me the day before. We'd talked a bit out food issues after the waitress introduced me as "This is one of my customers who has lost a LOT of weight!"
The waitress this particular day introduced me to the lady in the group in the table in front of me. She'd lost nearly 340 pounds. Yeah, isn't that amazing!
So the line-up was this:
The waitress: Former athlete who'd gotten heavy and lost like 80 pounds low-carbing. Currently dieting, though not apparently low-carb.
In front of me: woman who'd been about 500 pounds and had gastric bypass.
Me: Lost 117 pounds through diet and exercise, no pills, no surgery.
Lady behind me: Bulimic, and still actively so (she always goes to the bathroom right after eating her rather odd meals...multiple plates of assorted stuff). The waitress said she'd go and purge after eating. The staff knew. It was well-known, and the other waitresses didn't wanna serve her due to her bizarre ordering habit. (I'd pretty much figured this out--the bulimia issue-- due to her state of underweight despite her large food orders...that's not anorexia, that's purging!)
What are the odds?
Well, pretty good I'm guessing.
I see it as a snapshot of the state of our nation. We're a country that doen't seem to know how the hell to eat like normal people.
We're a fat country. Two-thirds of us are overweight or obese.
In the diner: Lots of overweight folk. Some with prior morbid obesity. Some with other disordered eating. All the same spectrum.
We're also a country with the other spectrum: anorexia and bulimia. Not as prevalent as the overeating variety, but still. Here are the stats on eating disorderes.
Interestingly, the oldest folks--the ones who looked l ike 70s and 80s--were the leanest looking. Is that a matter of the generation/habits of eating of that generation? Is it a loss of appetite with age and illness? I do wonder.
What it boils down to in the US:
We are SCREWED UP about food!!!!!
I'm trying to be sane about food. I want to be in the minority yet again--well, I grew up a biracial, immigrant Latina living in the ghetto, so I'm kinda used to it--and be NORMAL WEIGHT. I may not make normal weight, but normalish will do. It will still put me in the minority for my gender/age, I'm guessing. I'm the average American clothing size now--14 (regular 14, not skinny designer 14)--and if I make it to 12 and 10, I'll be below-average. :D One kind of below-average I wanna be.
Hubby's already there. The minority weight-wise for men his height/age. I wanna be there, too. I wanna be one of the 32% normal weight and below.
Not one of the 68% overweight & obese.
Not one of the 34% overweight.
Yep, you read that right. Here're the CDC stats from 2007-2008:
Source: Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Among Adults: United States, Trends 1960–1962 Through 2007–2008 [PDF - 195 KB]
- Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 34% (2007-2008)
- Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight (and not obese): 34% (2007-2008)
Source: Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, Trends 1963-1965 Through 2007-2008 [PDF - 158 KB]
- Percent of adolescents age 12-19 years who are obese: 18% (2007-2008)
- Percent of children age 6-11 years who are obese: 20% (2007-2008)
- Percent of children age 2-5 years who are obese: 10% (2007-2008)
I'm guessing it's worse NOW. :(
Suicide via food.
Well, here's an exercise: Look around next time you go out to eat. Pay attention to how folks eat. Pay attention to what they order. Look at sizes. Look at your size. Look at what you order and eat. How does it compare? I bet you're not the only one with issues, right?
Let's fix these issues. Let's get back to real food in sane portions, satisfying, but not self-destructive. If you haven't started yet solving the issues, returning to a sane food place, start today. Little steps or big ones, start today.
Save yourself from food addiction or food dependence or food abuse!
I'm busy saving myself. I try to help others as I help myself. I need your help, too, ya know? This is not an alone thing. I need my spouse and family's support. I value the online support. Every day. It's a daily thing. A daily journey to heal.
Work it...Find support...Heal...Be well...