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Reflections on a culture of obesity (or: A day at the amusement park)

Today we went to Kennywood

Will my fat ass fit in this ride?
I remember not going for the longest time, because I was sure I wouldn't fit in some of the rides. Honestly at 255 lbs two years ago, I barely fit in some of them. This year, at 228 lbs, I fit everything just fine, but was still a little nervous about certain rides and one I won't ride at all after my hips got stuck, even though I was 299 lbs at the time.

Anyhow, it got me thinking about all the fat people there, about how they seemed so oblivious to their size, squishing the bars over extended bellies, if I have to struggle to put a safety latch into place, I'm not taking the chance. 1.) The chance I'll fall out because the latch didn't take (unlikely, I know) 2.) the chance that people will see me struggling with my own fat. (far more likely). So for years I just didn't ride. 

The everyday indulgence
I overheard people saying things that had come out of my mouth for years. "We HAVE to get potato patch fries!" or, "We can't leave without getting some dippin' dots!" (The ice cream of the future). 

I remember how Kennywood wasn't really kennywood unless you ate all their junk, they have deep fried oreos for christ's sake. But you know what, today, it was still kennywood. It was kennywood without feeling fat, gross and sick. At first I DID get fries, which I was leery of since they were fried in a shared fryer that also fried breaded chicken, (gluten intolerance).

 I got them because I didn't find a place that offered salads, I'm vegan and gluten free, and there were no other options at that piont in time. I had even had a bigger breakfast to get me through most of the day. I did not want to falter. I know it's so easy to say "oh it's a special occasion, it's just not _____ without ice cream!" etc...

But really, in our modern day standard american diets, we eat junk daily! There is nothing special about going to kennywood for fries and corn dogs and slushies because as a people who take part in the "western diet" (which is killing people worldwide), it's just not a special occasion or an occasional indulgence, it's an everyday event. 

As the day became evening, we were hungry again, but we managed to find the cafe and get salads and a fruit bowl to split, along with a glass of water:

The pic is from my phone, and also has been resized, so I apologize for the quality

Is ignorance bliss?
It's not impossible to eat healthy, even in a deep fried concrete jungle like Kennywood.  I hear a lot about the epidemic of childhood obesity, but honestly, I live in a college town, I am VERY rarely exposed to children, even at work. TONS of kids at the park today though, and many were just downright huge, girls with big pot bellies, little boys with double chins.

I feel bad. Because they are going to grow up the way I did or worse, they're going to struggle with this most likely for the rest of their lives. They are being set up for diabetes which can come along with amputations, set up for high cholesterol and heart disease. I feel like there is no going back as a society now. 

I wish I didn't feel so down about it, I feel like all I can do is take responsibility for what I've done to myself, and fix it, and live as a positive example.

 I tried to get an obese friend to watch Killer at Large yesterday, a documentary about obesity, and he said, "no thanks, ignorance is bliss." but as we went on to watch another movie, I could hear him huffing and puffing all through it, as if just sitting there were too much for his heart and lungs to take. This is the world we live in, where ignorance is bliss. 

Sadness. 



Comments

  1. Oh my goodness.

    Being as empathetic as I am, I would probably be feeling the same way you are right now. It's actually made me wonder if the U.S. I am moving back to is going to be different than the one I left in early 2003, people-wise I mean. I hadn't thought about it, as we do have overweight Canadians.

    I'm glad you had a good time today ~ including on rides! Congrats again for breaking the plateau!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Came by from Michele's blog. 70 pounds! Good for you:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. In what cafe did you find the salad and fruit? I have been a vegetarian for about four months and have recently transitioned into being vegan (not completely strict, but I'm still learning.) Please email me (kaileym@hotmail.com) with the name of the cafe serving healthy food because I will be going to Kennywood in two months and would not like to starve or eat something that will make me sick (I'm lactose intolerant).

    ReplyDelete

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