Yesterday I went to a BBQ . My best friend is visiting for just a week from Paraguay, so it was a great excuse to get a bunch of friends together and have a great day. Aside from the usual fun and shenanigans, there were some noteworthy events that happened.
First, when he saw me (down about 30 lbs from the last time we saw each other) he about gasped. I have mentioned before that he could care less if I am a size 2 or 20 but believes in a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle and while I was struggling before he knew I was both unhappy and unhealthy, so he was thrilled to see that I have really stuck to living the healthiest life possible.
Second, Americans are weird. Of the 20 or so people there, there was only me and one other “Native American”. Most of the people there grew up in Australia and Brazil and think the American food industry is insane and ask me about it all the time. I remember the first time grocery shopping with my friend when he moved here, and he walked all through the grocery store and thought it was bananas.
Third, this led to a conversation about a documentary called “Fed Up” I was told to watch, narrated by Katie Couric and is on Netflix. Watch it. It is all about the obesity epidemic and debunks the myth that weight, and therefore health, are as simple as eating less and exercising more. There is so much more involved in what has created our current food culture, some of which I was aware of, but definitely not to this extent, and I am furious. Now, I feel like I could go on a political rant, but this is not the place for that…although I am struggling not to. Some of what I learned tonight is actually shocking.
I am left with a major takeaway: Eating a healthy diet (think about food without ingredients that grows and rots and needs cooking) is the way we are supposed to be eating in the first place, but in this food landscape it actually takes more work and effort to eat the way we are meant to eat in the first place. It takes effort to avoid the fake and processed foods that made us unhealthy. Does this seem crazy to anyone else? What is interesting about that, is that it is the same for all of us, not just us trying to lose weight. Anyone that wants to eat a clean, healthful, natural diet has to work harder. It’s not fair or awesome, but somehow having it broken down that simply, as this is just the way it is, makes it make more sense.