Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

Mirror Mirror on the Wall .. is a phrase that goes through every woman's mind at some point with a stark difference though; the question is not to judge the fairest maiden in the kingdom, but a self assessment of her curves. 

See this movie, and you will never look
at your dinner the same way again. 
As a society the world is becoming obese. The countries, the so called third world countries which have high poverty rates are also now beginning to show signs of obesity related health issues in children and adult alike. The United States, unfortunately has been fighting this for a while and research has shown that US spends 147 Billion annually on obesity.  US as a country also has some of the best athletes in the world.  Its a paradox society that we live in.

Why and how is the world becoming so obese? 

I am no fitness expert. In fact, am miles away from it. My definition of fitness, like most other things is in moderation. While I would love to have a medically approved BMI, I focus my efforts on making sure there are no joints aching. As long as I can achieve that, its mission accomplished for me. 

Weight loss today a 20 Billion dollar industry with more than 100 million folks on diet.  What is a diet?  In the olden days, it was the food that the nutritionist told you to eat, today it is the food you cannot eat.   What has always amazed me is how different all of us are. Some of us can eat a brick of butter, not move a finger and not gain a pound.  Don't you just hate those folks :) Okay, I say that lightly for I do have friends who have been blessed with the perfect metabolism.  And then there are others who just need to smell butter, they gain two pounds, and they can exercise all they want but those darn pounds don't come off.   

The more I read on exercise and obesity, I realize that we all know the simple formula, calories in < calories out. We need to eat less and burn more,  we all know this formula then why is it that obesity is still on the rise?

Could this be a society genetics? You know how the scientists have a theory for every race and what conditions they are pre disposed to. To some extent that could be true.  Weather and climate influence our food choices. Weather and climate also influence our metabolism.   

I have a theory on this, and tell me if you think I am wrong. 

Here goes, US as a country is unique since most of us live in perfectly temperature controlled conditions. Irrespective of whether you stay in Florida or Seattle, chances are you are in a comfortable 70F most of the day. Now consider this, premature babies are kept in temperature controlled conditions too, they say it slows the metabolism and helps the babies gain weight, which in some cases is very important. I think that's one of the main problems in the US.  Our metabolism slows down due to the temperature controlled conditions that we live in and to make it active, one has to sweat it out in the gym. 

If this argument is correct, then the Indian sub continent should be weight loss heaven. Unfortunately no. Countries such as India are seeing a wave of prosperity, with prosperity comes disposable income that the younger generation is spending on restaurants and bars.  People have more cars and are walking less, thus adding to their health issues. Gyms have sprung up in the most remote areas of India too.   Kids are busy taking tuitions and the like and have no time to just play outside.  All those problems that started in decades ago in the US, the Asian continent is experiencing today.

Brings me back to the eternal circular cycle of things. India today is experiencing what US experienced many years ago. The economic boom! When Henry Ford made the first car, no one in the United States thought that the same country that heralded cars will be celebrating bike to work days. 

The government tackles the situation by making it mandatory for restaurants to post calorie counts of every dish, so consumers can make more informed choices. Has this helped? Personally, yes it has. Until they posted, little did I know that one slice of pound cake in Starbucks has 490cal. Its true, unless they have changed their recipe. I do look at the calorie count when I order, but quite honestly that takes the fun out of eating.

Wouldn't it have made more sense for the government to tell the restaurants to do potion control? Why is it that one entree' in Cheesecake factory can feed minimum 2 adults, if not more?  Why is it that kids in school are still given canned and processed food? If fresh is better, then shouldn't schools be the first place to start. The simple answer, fresh food is more expensive than processed food. Another paradox! For a family of four, it costs much more to buy fresh vegetables and fruits than getting four burgers from McDonalds.  This facet needs to change. 

Garcinia Cambogia _ The magical fruit that melts fat or not?
Do you know its common English name?
Not to mention the health industry. Every so months we come across these fads for weight loss. Magic pills that just melt it away and give you a figure that Barbie and Ken would be jealous of. From the medicinal Aloe to Rasberries in a capsule and the most latest being the magical fruit Garcinia Cambogia.  It's bewildering to see how intelligent minds fall to such gimmicks. Such is the lure of the perfectly toned image.

What really works is pure common sense. Eat in moderation and exercise daily, even 10 minutes every day helps. Courtesy Dr. Oz, here are some common sense tips to get you started; Dr Oz's 100 weight loss tips

Maybe its late, but its better late than never. We have woken up from the slumber and the society globally is more health conscious. In the US, interestingly most soda ads are talking about obesity, companies are giving free membership to gyms, schools are increasing PE times, and last but not the least, Facebook is helping us loose weight too. Yes Facebook. Maybe its just me, but haven't you noticed a sudden increase in those perfect pictures your friends have. With perfect pictures comes the need to have those well proportioned bodies.  They say "nothing succeeds like success," the same is true for weight loss, when we see a success story, the motivation happens. And that's where Facebook comes in, with its groups and graph search it allows us to connect to like minded people who motivate and make it happen for each other.  

As far as the maiden who stands in front of the mirror, I would like to tell her to celebrate herself. Barbie is a doll and not a human being, so please do not dream to be her. The mantra should be good health so you can shoot hoops with your older kids and sit criss cross apple sauce with your daughter and her dolls to enjoy the tea party. 

I read this recently on a friends wall on Facebook "To fall in love with yourself is the beginning of a life long romance." So true.   

Love your image, the rest will follow. 


  1. I have to admit, I have fallen into the trap of wanting that barbie look . Bought the pills etc. I think we have to certainly have potion control, but would it help in places like Starbucks, I highly sought it, people would order three or four pieces , good for the companies to make money but back for the human buying the poundcake.

    I think we have to get back to our roots, I think we must grow organic foods in our back yards, Have community gardens, teach the kids at school buy having them yearly do a school projects for growing their own veggies and having them at the lunch programs. Knowledge is power.
    We have to place demands on ourselves first,to be conscious as to what we put in our mouths. Then go to the government;s and insist on access to fresh food and education in this area for all…. Gotta start some where. Thanks for talking about this, I'm very passionate about this subject.

    Kimberly Bjorklund

    1. I totally agree Kim! The road to change starts at home. Some where along the lines I think all of us got so busy that the easier route was just too attractive and we justified it to ourselves and took it.

      Now with the negatives showing up, we are again evaluating and moving tracks, thank fully.

      And no worries.. I am guilty of looking in the mirror too.. its the world we live in.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to post too.