You ever notice it is much cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat healthy? Go to McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King, etc. and you will pay well over $5 for a grilled chicken sandwich. Same for most salads. Only got a bit of change in your pocket? Never fear, you can get a 99-cent heart attack (to steal a line from a Tim McGraw song).
It’s not hard to see why obesity is an epidemic in the United States … it’s expensive to eat healthy. Who’s to blame? The fast food joints pushing their artery-clogging menus, literally, down our throats with the cheap, enticing prices? Always pushing us hungry Americans to super size it. Hell, it’s rude not to super size, right. It’s a good deal. What American doesn’t want a good deal? It’s the American way.
Statistics Not Pretty
Well, that American way has gotten our population into a HUGE problem. Just take a look at these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control:
- More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.
- Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
- The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
Almost 35% of Americans are considered obese. Not just overweight, but obese. To be classified as obese, your body weight must be 20 percent higher than it should be. For me, being in that 35% doesn’t make me happy, but food has been somewhat of a drug almost. I don’t smoke or drink, but instead my vice of choice is food. Maybe I should be forced to eat my cheeseburgers or pizza so many feet away from an entrance to a building or maybe roadside checkpoints should be set up to smell my breath for chocolate. I know that’s being silly, but food, to me can be just as addicting as smoking or alcohol.
You’re Going to Pay One Way or Another
As we talked about earlier, it is so much cheaper to eat poorly than it is to grab a salad or anything else healthy while eating out. Even worse, taking a look at the CDC statistics, those costs either come on the front end in consuming healthier food, or on the back-end in higher medical costs for those of us that are obese. You are going to pay one way or another.
I have tried many things to lose weight. I have lost 50 pounds eating nothing but frozen weight loss meals. After losing the 50 pounds, I would get nauseous at the thought of eating another one of those meals, thus slowly but surely put the weight back on. I suspect those meals, usually laden with a ton of sodium, probably led to my high blood pressure. I have tried Atkins and Weight Watchers, which both worked for me, but I could not stick to them for long. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to lose the weight is a change in lifestyle, including a healthy diet and exercise, which is going to be hard for me, an all-star couch potato.
Tired of Wearing “Dresses”
I have some added motivation, my 30-year high school reunion is coming up this summer. I don’t want to go back to the reunion as the “fat kid.” I grew up shopping in the Husky and Husky Plus sections for boys. Would be nice someday not to have to look for 2XL shirts. Yeah, they fit over my gut, but they hang so low, they look like a dress.
I guess it’s a change of mindset as well. Why do I have to be the fat guy? Why is it assumed that I want seconds, or leave it for Scott, he’ll finish it. I guess it is a matter of breaking out the skinny guy from this fat suit I am currently wearing. I think my ideal weight is in the 150s. I currently weigh 254. My goal is to get down to 169, thus have around 90 pounds to lose. How would you like to lug around two 45-pound olympic weight plates all day long. Well, in essence, that’s what I am doing to my knees, legs and feet. It’s time to stop these dogs from barking.
Feel free to share anything that has worked for you in taking off the pounds, or just helping you eat better and get moving.