I’m beginning to understand why Americans are overweight. Obese. No matter how many vegetables Michelle Obama grows, or how many ounces of soda get banned in New York, or how big the calorie posters are at McDonald’s, these are not the answers to the problem.
I think I know. I’m overweight. Ok, I’m obese. But during my life, there has always been a direct correlation between my level of happiness and activity and my ability to lose weight. The truth is, America is depressed. And not only financially.
The messages we’ve been fed are so depressing. How about inevitable “global warming”? And the personal responsibility of “reducing our footprint”? The “new” “responsible” lifestyle which requires mandatory use of solar or wind power, electric cars, bicycling, recycling, social diversity acceptance, and “healthy” cooking and eating – to name a few. The problem is – this all must be accomplished on an ever-increasing cost of living, shrinking wages, unemployment, increasing insurance costs and reduced health care coverage, underwater mortgages, and on, and on, and on.
Americans are depressed. They turn to mood-altering “drugs”. You know, maybe only 10% of America is sober at any one time? Americans are constantly either hopped-up on caffeine, over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or “just” alcohol – or they’re hung-over from whatever they’re using! Add to that, comfort foods. Which are never low-calorie celery stalks!
Yes, America is eating. Because they are depressed. We blame video games or the computer for children’s inactivity. The truth is, we won’t let them out of the house because of all the dangerous people and situations in our cities and neighborhoods. We want them to eat less junk food, but we’re too stressed and overworked to find time to cook a healthy meal for them. So we take all the “bad” food and drinks out of the schools. We preach to the kids. We make them feel guilty for eating “bad” foods.
No wonder they run home to lose themselves in video games and junk food!
It’s the same for the adults. Americans see no future in their jobs. When was the last time you got a raise or a promotion? Small businesses are closing all over town – which forces you to shop at the larger corporate stores to get the goods and services you need – but you carry the guilt for not shopping “locally”. Do you own a house? Is it still losing value? Is your mortgage underwater? Are you even employed? Or is your spouse unemployed?
No wonder you’re depressed! And then, to top it off, you’re overweight. Now, in order to lose weight, you need to join a gym, a weight loss program, and special foods. You don’t have the budget. As your finances get tighter, so does your belt. Cheaper foods have more calories. Comfort foods have more calories. That big drink has more calories – but – it’s cheaper to buy bigger!
The only way we are going to lose weight is when the stress of America’s depression is lifted. We need more productivity – in everything. It requires hope and change – but not the changes that have been told to us. Many people believe changes will be given to them. Many of the positive aspects of the “new” lifestyles will occur naturally when people are producing and realizing the fruits of their labors. It’s when you can’t see the point to your work that you become despondent about your future. When what you earn is taken by the government and you see more and more inequality in society, you feel less and less in control of your own life. When you really know you are in control of your own destiny – that’s when you become happier and, naturally, more healthy.
There’s a political message here, but I’ll discuss that more later. I’m too depressed right now.