Obesity in America

As many know America is extremely obese. The source of the problem to me, is not that tough to see and comprehend. This picture, though meant to be a funny joke, speaks volumes. 

Every person in America is always seemingly rushing and never has time to exercise, cook, or sleep. This then leads them to live a fast-paced life filled with fast unhealthy food. When having a family and being constantly on the go fast food can become your best friend. It is already prepared, cheap, and to some, extremely tasty. It is easier for a parent to pull into a fast food restaurant drive-thru and get the members of their family separate meals for each of their special desires and even get their kids little appealing toys all at the same time. Then the whole family is happy from the parents down to the kids and the busy day continues and then ends.

I speak from experience. When I was younger my mom was a single parent and she worked a full time job as a nurse and had five kids. Fast food was unhealthy and she knew this but fast food was just that, fast, and she needed that when there was one kid going to tutoring, one to band practice, another to piano lessons, another to basketball pratice, and another to gymnastics. As she ran each of my siblings and I to each place it became common to stop by a fast food restaurant, get us food, then drop us off at our separate destinations. 

I grew up on these behaviors so once I starting driving my life became seemingly busy and face-paced as well. I did not have any kids but I did have plenty of extra-curricular activities to attend during and after school. So since my mom worked so much there wasn't really much time for her to cook. Though I grew up around my great grandma and was taught to cook by her in her kitchen, I never seemed to have the time to cook either. So I continued the unhealthy cycle of fast food and little to no sleep. I would eat McDonalds' cheap double cheeseburgers and their 10-piece chicken nugget meals almost everyday sometimes more than once a day. I would indulge in Burger King's huge Whoppers that were drowned in ketchup and mayo. Each choice from each restaurant, seemingly a sure way to death and heart problems, did not stop me for years. 

I was never really bullied in school but as my senior year crept up on me in high school I realized I was not as comfortable in my skin nor my clothes as I had been in the years leading to that time. I decided I would go on what seemed like the fiftieth diet I had attempted since I began gaining weight in the 6th grade. This time I decided to try Weight Watchers because I did not want to enter college as the unhealthy fat girl I had been all my life. Who woud take me serious I thought, if I was huge and fast food was one of my only great friends. 

The results of the diet began slow but what surprised me was the simple fact that there were results! I had never lost weight fast enough for my impatience and clear enough for my eyes to see. My whole life I was under the impression that I was meant to be huge and the food that I ate was filling my hunger desires so it was okay to eat it and however much I wanted at that. That was a bad thought pattern and my growing up on fast food did play a part. But I also believe that the media and fast food advertising plays an even major role.

Fast food restaurant advertising catches the consumer eye by making their commercials and other advertisements as appealing as possible. In America with a declining economy, cheaper food with seemingly larger portions immediately catches the attention of a large family living on a budget. The advertisements also catch the attention of young kids when they promise a toy modeled after their favorite cartoon characters. Restaraunts have tried to offer "healthier sides" such as milk instead of soda, apple slices instead of french fries, and books instead of toys but in my opinion to no avail.

Do not become a victim of a face-paced unhealthy life filled with unhealthy choices and behaviors. I am not perfect, I do not have all the answers, and yes I do still sometimes eat fast food. But what was seemingly once so delicious to me about McDonalds and Burger King has seemed to disappear with my weight. I started out at 206 pounds at the age of 18 my senior year and first month of Weight Watchers. With a combination of eating healthy and finding the time to incorporate exercise into my "face-paced" life I lost 50+ pounds and it feels amazing. I am no longer tempted by the fast food ads to buy 20 chicken nuggets for a smaller amount of money versus a salad for a little more money and you should not be either. I mean let's face it, all food is expensive and the healthier choice will benefit you and your body more 
in the long run. Getting to this point was no walk in the park but it was definately worth the struggle. I was heading for an early death or a long uncomfortable life. Make healthy choices. 

                                      2011                       2013 

Hard work pays off. Stay motivated. Just do it ! 

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