Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Weight Loss Revolution and the Resistance 

I've lost 33lbs and I'm down to 190lbs this week.

I think perhaps the beginning seeds of my undertaking this was when I saw Super Size Me at Sundance 2004. (Yes, I know that's a looong time to incubate an idea.) It's not so much that I ate fast food much. Just that I began thinking about what I wanted to eat and what I wanted to weigh.

The other thing that began to get into my head was Bill Maher's constant ranting about America's obesity issues being driven by the kinds of food we now eat: overly processed, fully of corn syrup...crap, basically.

As I've been both thinking about the issue and subsequently taking personal action, I've been interested to note that there's clearly a building cultural trend evidenced in the popular media.

It probably kicked off with the publication of Fast Food Nation got larger with Super Size Me, Jamie's School Lunch Project, and it's built to a head with the nutty Honey, We're Killing the Kids on TLC, where frighteningly nutrionally uneducated Americans are given rather tacky kind of shock therapy help them reform their family's eating habits. (You have to watch it to believe it.)

Perhaps most inspiring sign of the trend, however, is chef Jamie Oliver's campaign to reform school lunches in the UK. It is a laudible, remarkable project where maybe Sisyphus may actually get the rock up the hill. In a similar vein, the September 4th issue of The New Yorker contained an article titled "The Lunch Room Rebellion" profiling Ann Cooper, an American chef attempting to revolutionize school lunches in California.

For me, these are hopeful signs that perhaps we might migrate our culture's eating habits towards something more healthy (just in time for global warming to wipe away all evidence of humanity). But for every step forward, there's always some folks determined to take ten steps backwards. This is highlighted this week the New York Times article discussing the ongoing controversy in the UK over Oliver's program, including rebellious parents actually vending junk food through the school gates to the children! Yowza. We humans really are hellbent on making our lives harder, aren't we?
"Your musings on weight loss are really inspiring me to explore some different ranges to discover my ideal weight and to learn what it takes to maintain it. In fact, I'm starving as I write."
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