G.O. For Change

Changing people, places, and things one blog at a time…

Archive for April 2010

Why Don’t We Care Anymore?

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  While I was web surfing recently, I came across something remarkable – no, not the President and his health care reform, or even the Morgan State Bears advancing in the NCAA tournament, but rather, I saw her – Donna “Homer doesn’t have anything on me” Simpson. 

For those who don’t know Donna Simpson, she really is no different than any of us; she is married with children, resides in New Jersey (loved that Sopranos!), and has hopes and dreams like us all. Referring to her dreams, she’s currently set on one goal in particular (and it’s a doozy)…TO BECOME THE FATTEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD!!!!  

Right now, she is 604 lbs! While that’s a feat in itself, she wants more – how much more you ask? She wants to be 1,000 lbs in the next 2 years. ONE THOUSAND!  Allow me to break that down: 1K! Half a ton! The size of a 1989 Honda Accord with flip up lights! 453.592 kg! 16,000 ounces! Almost the entire starting offensive line of the Maryland Terps! 

 She wants to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s fattest woman, so she trains….by eating 12,000 calories a DAY! This “training” rivals the high calorie consumption that Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps undertakes- minus the 3,000 that he burns from swimming. Mrs. Simpson states that she cannot move than 20ft without taking a rest. This article led me in my search to answer the question: 

...and here I thought Lil Wayne went hard!

Why don’t we care anymore? 

Although Donna Simpson may be an extreme case of too much of a good thing, I see this constantly, men and women walking around with their guts hanging out, with a “devil- may- care” attitude about it. What has happened? I’m not saying that everyone should look like Greek Gods and Goddesses, but sheesh- we shouldn’t ALL look like we are 27 weeks pregnant! Even award-winning Mo’Nique wrote a book entitled “Skinny Women are Evil”, in which she talks about stripping the stigma of being overweight- only to slim down (only to an extra-medium, but still!) in time for her television show debut. Look at Kirstie Alley: she went from donning bikinis on Oprah, only to say forget it, and starred in a show entitled “Fat Actress”. She now looks like Norm from Cheers!  With shows like “The Biggest Loser”, and “One Big Happy Family”, one could see where we are headed: a society where we succumb to the likes of Ben & Jerry, Haagen-Dazs, chicken and waffles, and other dastardly dynamic duos- a society where burger really is king. I watched the show “One Big Happy Family”- a show where an overweight family tries to get in shape, and I couldn’t get past the first show. There was a scene where the overweight parents took their overweight son to the doctor. As the doctor told the son that if he doesn’t change, he will die, the cameras showed the parents looking sad- which almost had me change the channel, because a day before, for dinner, they had a MASSIVE dinner, a tray of wings, and for a side? A nice salad with light vinaigrette perhaps? Steamed veggies maybe? How about….a tray of lasagna?! Yes! A tray of wings, with a 16 layer lasagna as the side dish!  So if I appear unsympathetic, its situations like these. We set ourselves up sometimes, and are surprised by the results. Ever watch the intro of a new season of “The Biggest Loser”? They show a montage of the person being selected via home videos of their eating habits; scarfing down burgers, huge meals, and struggling to live. The trainers of the show call them up to inform them that they will be contestants of the show.  The people are actually excited! I can understand the excitement of wanting to lose the weight, but really? What does that say about the person? Couldn’t they use that excitement in losing weight—at home? I saw a commercial for the show, which stated that a guy who was a fan of the show lost 400 lbs- on his own. Self determination at its finest! 

We all need help in something. We all have vices, addictions, bad habits, but it’s when we feel as though we don’t care anymore, is when they have consumed us. I am thankful that shows like this are designed to help those who feel as though they cannot help themselves. It’s amazing when you see someone who was 400+ pounds lose half of the weight. Some people defend obesity, and say that it’s biological; and while that is true in a lot of instances, I haven’t seen anyone be a participant on a weight loss show because of a thyroid problem; again, it’s just the result of too much of a good thing. 

Currently, 40% of Americans are obese. That’s 4 out of 10. For those people who love numbers, let me break it down a little more: 

  • African Americans  have a 51% prevalence of obesity
  • Hispanics have a 30% prevalence of obesity
  • Whites have a 20% prevalence of obesity

Folks- we have to do better. Again, I’m not saying that we should round up Ronald McDonald, the Burger King, and cute little Wendy, and drive them out of town, but we all could do better. WebMD has 10 great ways to cut down: 

  1. Lighten the foods you already love
  2. Share a meal with someone
  3. Be active
  4. Add healthier foods, such as fruits and veggies
  5. Do more walking (and walking to the fridge from the couch doesn’t count!)
  6. Work out while watching TV
  7. Reduce time on eating out
  8. Eat smaller portions
  9. Get involved (get a hobby, activity, or event. The more you are bored, the more likely you are to eat)
  10. Be patient! (Rome wasn’t built in a day-neither is 6 pack abs!) Studies have shown that it is easier to maintain weight after you lose it.

Lets not go into an age where Donna Simpson is considered a revolutionary; While there are some people who cheer her efforts, and even pay to watch her eat, what happens when her 15 minutes of fame is up? Who will support her then? Who will console her family when her weight ultimately consumes her? Worldwide obesity has reached epidemic levels, and unlike the H1N1 vaccine, we do not need to go to the doctor, we already are armed with the cure. Thanks for reading. 

Sorry Homer, we weren't talking about you this time...

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