By now we all know the story…Americans are fat. We are growing in record numbers and at this point Spanx can barely contain the excess pounds many of us are packing on. Dieting and weight loss are billion dollar industries with millions of people searching for ways to either lose or maintain their weight.
Recently I was out with a friend hanging out when a morbidly obese woman walked past us (she had to be at least 300lbs), my friend watched the woman pass in disgust and made the following remark “That woman is lazy. All fat people are lazy.”
First of all her comment caught me off guard because, well, I’m not skinny … and neither is she. Neither of us are 300lbs, but umm, we could stand to drop a pants size or two (hell 3 sizes) ourselves. When I asked her why she assumed the woman’s weight was due to her laziness she explained that if the woman simply got up and exercised she wouldn’t be so big. When I mentioned a possible health issue, her answer was, “She’s probably sick because she’s fat and she’s fat because she’s lazy.” Lack of affordable, healthy food options? My friend decided that there are affordable and healthy options out there, they may not be where the woman lived, but if she wasn’t lazy, she would take a few extra minutes to travel out of her neighborhood to get the healthy food for the sake of her health.
Now while I don’t agree with her that the issue is so black and white (lack of affordable options is a serious issue in urban areas, especially in this economy. Also, if someone is stricken with an ailment that restricts their movement it’s easy to gain weight no matter how healthy you’re eating), it did get me to thinking. I can shamefully admit that I haven’t lost those 1, 2 or 3 pants sizes because well … I can be lazy.
Some days I’d rather sleep than go to the park and run and on weekends that Popeye’s calls my name something serious. And don’t get me started on my only sweet tooth weakness, two for $5 Edy’s Ice cream. I am guilty, guilty and more guilty. If I would ditch the Edy’s in favor of a run just twice a week I could be down at least one pants size by Thanksgiving easy. And if I wasn’t too lazy to carry groceries from the Whole Foods across the street from my job, home on the train, I probably would have better food to eat at home than my local Popeye’s.
Could my friend have a point? Are people overweight for no other reason than their own laziness? Could the health issues, lack of healthy options, etc really just be excuses for people to be lazy and not take control of their diets and health?
Personally, I don’t think every single person who is overweight is heavy because of laziness. Many people do have genetic issues that contribute to their weight issues and as I mentioned before socioeconomic issues are definitely at play when it comes to urban residents having access to healthy choices. But if I’m lazy even though I know I need to lose weight, I wonder how many other people out there are doing the same exact thing.