Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Gross Out Diet

The City That Never Sleeps is sick of its residents getting fat. New York City has begun a new ad campaign to give its residents some truly stomach-turning associations as they put a glass of sugary soda to thier lips.

The posters are showing up in the subways and show globby, blood vessel-streaked fat being poured into a glass. Initial reaction is reportedly, "EW!"

We are becoming a fat people, despite our preoccupation with thinness. We're sedentary, we eat fast food and the food we cook, very often, isn't healthy. I'm not casting stones here; I need to lose 15 pounds and it's the most stubborn 15 pounds in history. Not because it refuses to go, but because I cannot seem to stick with the strict regimen required to lose it. I love my peanut butter, I love my cookies. I don't like salads when it's cold outside. But I see things about our nation's march to obesity that frighten me and it's not about fat.

Our young people are either pudgy or frighteningly thin. There seems to be no middle ground. And you can bet that the little waifs are hungry. Very hungry.

We are an addictive nation. We're addicted to food, we're addicted to starving ourselves, we're addicted to our cell phones, our mp3 players.

We are so addicted to television that we will sit through a full ten minutes of commercials after eight minutes of program content. We're addicted to email, to computers, to video games and online gaming.

We are addicted to sex, to partying, to alcohol, to drugs. We are so addicted to cigarettes that we will buy ecigarettes rather than put them down for good. We're addicted to attention, to success, to money, to things, to religion. We're addicted to the search for eternal youth, to exercise, to gossip.

Looked at from a distance, it appears that we are a people desperately looking for something to fill our time. We want something that makes us feel busy. Something that makes us feel our lives have a purpose.

We don't get up every day knowing we're working for our survival. And we've increasingly created more leisure time without knowing how to fill it.

I do believe there's a constructive answer to that question. What about creativity? What about reaching out to others? I'm a firm believer that music, writing, the visual arts are pursuits that not only keep you busy, but keep you sane. If the arts intimidate you, what about getting involved in a cause you believe in? Spend your computer time promoting a cause, helping others.

When you're done, you'll have something to show for it...something you'll feel good about.

1 comment:

pinkpackrat said...

A European friend of mine always shakes her head and says " you Americans are just like big children" and she has a point. We certainly are given to obsession, black and white thinking and extremes of all kinds and we are always looking for the next thing that will fill the void inside... never knowing that reaching inside rather than looking around outside is what we need to do.

A great post Susan, filled with lots of meat for the mind and soul.