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 Post subject: ”Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:19 am 
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Location: Vienna, Austria
I left America for Europe when I was 18. Over the years I’ve kept in touch with some friends from school and recently got back in touch with a number of them after a long time. 9 out of 10 of them are overweight. I kid you not. And they are all the same age as me-- in their mid-twenties.

While not exactly surprising, it is sad. To see the people you know, people just like you, go from fit, blossoming, beautiful children and teenagers to fat, unhappy, prematurely old and unhealthy wrecks. I still care about these people and it disturbs me to see them giving over, succumbing, “settling in” to this uniquely American disease; this mixture of laziness, greed, ignorance and indifference.

Laziness, because the culture there is so car-centered and seems designed to ensure as little physical movement as possible. Greed and ignorance when it comes to everything connected to food and health. And indifference because if they really cared about themselves they never would have allowed things to go this far in the first place.

Many of them are on medication for some complaint or another. Yet another uniquely American phenomenon which very few question.
It’s a big business, and a thriving one.

These are the ugly observations I’ve been forced to make about the people I grew up with and care about. My friends, my family. And they are sobering observations indeed. Apart from everything else: that could have been ME!

Being healthy is not just about being thin. Lots of thin people abuse their bodies in equally unscrupulous ways, as we all know.
In my humble opinion, being healthy is about growing up and making sensible, informed decisions about what you eat, day by day. It does not have to be a struggle. Eating healthful food can be a joy. Walking is not the painful ordeal it’s cracked up to be.
(...Apart from the funny looks you’ll inevitably get from the bewildered drivers as they crane their necks to gawk at “the freak there on the sidewalk”.)*

Anything can become a habit if you do it often enough. Whether your habits be good ones or bad is entirely up to you. There are no victims. And there is no passing the buck. The responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders.

Take pride in your bodies, everyone. And please take better care of yourselves. Life is meant to be so much more than this.

-anna

(*On one of my recent trips to the States I did a little experiment in which I walked to the supermarket, literally 5 minutes from my parents’ house. In the whole 10 minutes it took me to go there and back, no fewer than 77 drivers turned their heads to look at me as they drove past, 12 different people honked their horns at me, 4 of which shouted inaudible somethings out the window, 10 stared for prolonged periods of time and 6 gave me unmistakeably funny looks. It goes without saying I was the only person the sidewalk and all eyes followed me from behind windshields as I crossed the street at the intersection. I couldn’t help wonder why they even bothered putting a pedestrian crossing there, LOL)

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 Post subject: thank you
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:05 pm
Posts: 87
Location: San Francisco, CA
This is my favorite post so far on the forum. I have been trying to pinpoint what I have been missing as far as the people I am around and why I feel different from them. My best friend moved to Europe about 9 years ago and has never looked back. She couldn't explain the difference but your writing is so clear and I am actually going to refer her to your post. I believe that is what she has been trying to communicate. The American lifestyle is so deeply embedded and people are oblivious that there are swimming in it. I wonder if there is a solution or is this the way it will always be. It makes me again reconsider a move to Europe myself. Also, your post made me realize that trying to get my relatives on the same page might not be the best use of my energy. Some thing to contemplate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:19 am 
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Posts: 44
Hi Anna,

Great read and so true. How are you doing on your cleanse? I am on day 9, almost there.

Sheila


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:07 pm 
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western people's usually over weight
i think the reason is they liv ein cold weather, they eat chocolat and fat food to help they keep warm.
it's just my thought.
asian like me, eat lot of vegestable all day in each meal
i really like ves. it tastes good.^^ and good for your health

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:58 pm 
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i think it's the availabilty of everything that makes a lot of people struggle with weight. you can take the car to go to the grocery store, get chips, soda, ice cream, or whatever unnatural food at a discounted price if you buy the big packages...this whole set up is problematic and starts a vicious cycle especially for those who are trying to wean off junk food and other unhealthy stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: ”Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:28 am
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Location: Georgia, USA
So you walked down the road 10 minutes to the grocery store...

I live 30 minutes away from any grocery store, in a rural area.

Don't sit there and be judgmental over absolutley inconsequential things.

But maybe you went a step further and stopped these people and asked how far they each lived from the store? I mean, I would, before making invalid judgments toward people like that.

And for the record--walking for 20 minutes doesn't compare to the activities I do.

<-American.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 1:52 am 
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Anna, thank you for your beautiful post. The best I've read on here and so very true. I hope that at least one of your friends will be influenced by your wisdom.

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 Post subject: re
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 7:07 am 
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I believe that is what she has been trying to communicate

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 Post subject: Loved the thought
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:26 am 
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I live near Atlanta, GA. On a trip to the grocer's recently, I noticed that there were no fat people in the vegetable section. Of the 12 whom I saw, they were about 50+ in age and thin. Around the corner in the cookie and pastry aisle, there were the fat people.

When I travel to Central America, I notice that there are very few processed foods in the pantries. Very few sodas in the fridges.

In Belgium, no processed foods. Mostly locally prepared breads, meats, and vegetables.

In America, food is supposed to be cheap. Somehow that is a "right." Cheap means low quality. If people wanted better quality foods, they would vote for them with their wallets. As it is, few votes for better living.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:31 am 
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I agree with the original post. I have a friend who is at least 200 lbs over weight and she says that God made her that way. But if you saw what she ate, and what she did all day, you would say that is not true, its how she made herself.
It makes me really sad...she is ten years younger than I am, and she can hardly move. All kinds of health problems...she is petitioning to get her stomach stapled. I want to tell her about this fast, I mean, its free...but I think it would be pointless and it might hurt her feelings.

Many people also claim its genetics that made them fat, and you can see clearly that is not the case.

But saying anything about it just makes them defensive. I don't really think you can influence anyone by telling them your observations. Sometimes, even if they clearly see what you eat and that you move around, they still think its luck, cosmetic surgery, drugs or some other thing that created your health--never that you did it yourself, because it might imply that they have control over what they eat and do, and they don't want to think that they do for some reason. Its always some outside reason that created what happened to them, which, is, if you think of it, impossible...

Or-- they might get insulted and say, well, I live half an hour away from the grocery store, I can't walk! Clearly, she just meant move around, there is no need to get defensive. I think some people enjoy being insulted and look for it.

I disagree with the statements that junk food is cheap. I think $3 or $4 for a bag of potato chips is kind of pricey, its a bunch of nothing, you know? I think that with the sugary cereals too. I guess some of its cheap...but really, you can get pretty clean for the same amount of money. There are cheap and expensive foods in both categories...

I also disagree with the belief that the purpose of the master cleanse is not to lose weight. For me it is. Extra fat is a toxic thing, the outward manifestation of what is inside. Which is kind of a good thing--- Shows you you need to do something, hanging on to "stuff" that is not good for you---defensive mindsets included.

Last week I was visiting a metaphysical bookstore, and the owner corrected me when I said I wanted to lose weight. She advised me to not say that, because your subconscious mind says you lost something and tries to find it and put it back. She said to say you are releasing it. I shall try to say that from now on...
I am also releasing stuff from my house, putting it on freecycle. Getting rid of all toxins...(I am on day 12)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:44 pm
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Location: Canada
Beautiful post ?? Perhaps I am reading the wrong one.

"Laziness,greed, ignorance and indifference" are not words to warm the heart.

Can you really paint everyone with 1 brush ? Is everyone too lazy to walk 5 minutes to the store (I can walk 20 minutes and am still on my own property)? Don't care about themselves ? You can judge this by a person's pant size ? How wonderful for you :shock:

For anyone who has actually done any reasearch there are MANY reasons for weight gain and loss.

Would you give an anorexic the same blasting..Eat something you weak, lazy, unhappy, prematurly old, unhealthy wreck !

I didn't think so.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:24 am 
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Posts: 21
The comments about Americans are very common on the forums of people who have left and then returned.
We happen to be reading them, as I am going to Europe and my son just got a job in S. Korea. WE have both been reading how to get along, go to banks, customs etc.

They say when they come back it is very shocking how fat, greedy, indifferent and lazy the Americans seem to them. So maybe compared to others we are...
I dunno. It is common though, the contrast is shocking to them. You read it over and over about people who come back. OR...even for people who come here for the first time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:30 am 
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Posts: 20
Harbour,
I am an American living in Europe and it's a shame the way you generalize about a whole culture as you do. I have known thin, fat and all ranges in between Americans. It's quite a big land and I'm shocked that you seem to have put a tape measure around everyone somehow!
Have you ever thought that possibly you were giving the drivers something to stare at? Maybe it's something with you not everyone else around you.
You are the kind of person that is so insecure that you need to criticize vast numbers of people to feel better about yourself. Many, many Europeans are fat too, but then you probably wouldn't lower yourself to associate with them...
You are perpetuating a very negative stereotype about the culture from which you came.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:05 am 
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Posts: 21
Mab, its in the news, constantly. Americans ARE fatter., especially in the south.. Greed has gotten people in a mess, AIG is handing out bonuses AGAIN. We drive giant cars knowing they pollute more than is necessary. Is that not greedy? Same with education...its not that great. Its shocking in fact.

I have never seen so many fat kids in my life. The kids are drinking sodas and giant hamburgers, huge candy bars...chips and so forth.
When I was a little kid, we never drank sodas on a daily basis. My mom, about once every two weeks, gave us a little shot of it in a glass of milk. NEVER every day.
We exercised more too. It scares me. I am having a hard time keeping the weight down, as I am older, and I am really worried about what is going to happen to these kids when they are my age if they are fatter than I am now. And I am about 40 lbs overweight.

This is not healthy. It is our culture, and because our culture is spreading, so are the health problems. We need to not stick our heads in the sand, something needs to be done.
Mab, your post sounds hateful, a personal attack.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:18 am 
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SansSouci572,
I apologize if my post sounds hateful or like a personal attack. I didn't mean that at all but sometimes the written word comes out differently than intended.
My view is that it's no one's place to judge other people's weight. There are many more reasons why people become overweight other than greed. I'm about 40 pounds overweight because I had a baby. I nursed for a year and am now ready to cleanse and get back to normal. I did a cleanse a couple of years ago not for weight loss but for the other health benefits.
I realise that the weight issue is all over the news and have seen it for my own eyes as I traveled for two years through every state before moving to Europe. It's great that it's in the news so that people will become more aware of the health ramifications of obesity.
I just think it's very damaging to stereotype all Americans or all of any other culture.


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