Moving is really easy: you just throw everything you own into boxes, then lug them around the world on airlines for $100 a box. Piece of cake. Actually, I could use a piece of cake, now that I think of it. A big fat piece of three layer chocolate cake with gobs of icing and some of those pink roses. But I'm going to skip it because I am still in KY, land of the Gigantically Obese.

On the health and well-being scale, Kentucky would be dead last. At least, I'm hoping they would be. Surely there are not more fat people in another state. The boys claim New Jersey was no slouch when it comes to fat people, but even they admit Kentucky takes the cake. By a fur piece.

And let's be precise: not just fat. Gigantically by-God obese. And seemingly completely unaware that there is anything abnormal about them being so fat, or being surrounded by so many equally fat people. I saw three sisters in Kroger's last night, all three riding grocery
carts and absolutely ginormous. I'm not trying to be funny. It's like a really bad movie with a really tasteless joke as the central theme. I've never seen so many huge bellies hanging out under so many t-shirts over so many belt buckles–male and female–in my life. I'm appalled.

It is still a sign that something is terribly amiss to have so many grossly obese people all gathered in one area, right?

So what happened? It wasn't like this the last time we were here, Thanksgiving '06. Interestingly, on CRL, there was a discussion about about how it seems that, suddenly, there are enough hugely obese ticos to make it worth mentioning. I swear, when we first got to Costa Rica in Jan '06, I never saw any. None. Four and a half years later, hay [aye, there are] tons. Literally.

You know I can't resist pointing out the obvious. Since the U.S.A. introduced the FDA, the USDA, the CDC and the NIH, as a country, we are fatter and sicker than ever, every disease, including obesity, gaining ground. Since the dawn of minimum wage, Medicare and Social Security, we've gotten more and more entitled, which translates to lazier and lazier. Since the EPA opened its doors, our earth and waters have been poisoned by big business beyond imagination. And, since the institution of government schooling, we have gotten dumber and dumber, till we are now falling further and further behind third world countries in all subjects. Is it any wonder none of us can put two and two together anymore?

And, you know, Costa Rica has an FDA office of its own now. Let's see: Costa Rica gets its own FDA office and, at roughly the same time, we notice the appearance of grossly obese ticos. Coincidence?*

So, how did this happen? And how did it happen so fast? We can't blame it all on McDonald's and supersizing. McDonalds was born the same year I was: 1955. Obesity as a national pastime is a relatively recent event.

My theory is that it's a perfect storm of a few significant factors:

  • Sugar.  It's not the calories in the sugar that makes one fat. It's the insulin response thing, that's the killer you want to avoid at all costs.
  • The addition of high-fructose corn syrup and sweeteners in EVERY commercially prepared food, including foods you wouldn't think to sweeten!
  • SIDE NOTE: Did you know that there is now aspartame in all gum, even sugared gum? What's up with that? Rumsfeld not rich enough?
  • "Food" that is actually dangerous to eat: GMO foods appear in all processed food (basically anything with soy, corn, cottonseed and canola) which change your DNA. BTW, HFCS is a GMO food. Gettin' a double-whammy with that particular poison. For a list of brands that are GMO-free, click here.
  • Eating out (including eating in with take out food). Nobody cooks anymore unless you call heating a frozen dinner cooking. Everybody I know in the states eats out, often three meals a day. And everybody knows–even though they act like they don't–that, no matter how good the restaurant and how loving the owner, restaurant food is based on a bottom line. And, if it's really affordable, it's probably not even food.
  • On top of that, there are very few restaurants that are not chains. Chains rule. And the whole point of a chain is to keep the bottom line very lean by ordering in bulk. Not fresh and certainly not local.
  • Compulsive TV watching and computer gaming instead of socializing and exercising on one's feet.

Here's an interesting tidbit. Waffle House, which is my mom's favorite restaurant… hang on, I should explain: it's not because of the food. It's because they shout, "Good morning!" to everyone who enters. She loves that kinda stuff. Anyway: did you know that Waffle House does not serve butter? Get this: they don't even have any butter in the entire place! You can't even pay extra for real butter like you can for real maple syrup. They only serve Country Crock. It should be called Country Crap. But a waffle without butter? I think that's criminal. They should be arrested.

So what to do about all these fat people? I don't know. Where do you start with such a huge problem? With people who don't even know they have a problem? I know for sure I don't want to be gigantically obese. So I'm walking 2 miles five days a week, doing yoga four to five days, taking vitamins and, my new passion, eating and preparing traditional foods. Weston A Price rocks! But, of course: he calls butter a super food. Clearly, the man is a genius, along with the keeper of the flame, Sally Fallon. So I'm giving that a go. And hoping I look back in a year and can still see around myself…

Well, I know I started out talking about moving and how stressful it is, but I'm just too stressed to talk about it. Maybe tomorrow.

*Please do not point out the obvious: that this is hardly a scientific conclusion. But it's my blog and I get to jump to conclusions. Besides, everyone knows the FDA is an evil organization run by Monsanto.

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