I saw a health segment on the Today show earlier this morning that discussed obesity and listed the healthiest/unhealthiest states.  I’m not at all surprised to find Tennessee in the 5 unhealthiest (at 47 or 48, I think).  I did a little googling and found an article that had the following to say:

More than half a million tourists flock to Memphis each year to glimpse Elvis’s famed Graceland estate. But a high rate of violent crime (more than 700 offenses per 100,000 residents) and infant mortality may put Tennessee in a category of states where only fools would rush to settle in.

Ouch.

Poverty, race, culture, etc. obviously play a role, which makes it seem overwhelming to even try to imagine a solution.  What do you do to combat the fact that coke and beer is cheaper than milk?

I stopped at the grocery store on Monday to pick up a few things for the week.  I can’t fully remember everything I bought, but it was all basic stuff that I buy every week:  bananas, salad stuff, eggs, asparagus, tangerines, cottage cheese, milk, All Bran cereal, tilapia, string cheese.  I was standing there (horrified at the rising total) and the cashier said, “I see you’re a healthy shopper.”  He wasn’t overly snarky, but he also wasn’t just taking note, either.  How do you respond to that?  I mumbled something about trying to be healthy, but I also secretly felt embarrassed.  Yeah, I’m overweight and I FELT EMBARRASSED about trying to make healthy food choices!  I almost felt that my choice to buy this healthyish stuff seemed like condemnation of his choices (which I know nothing about, but cashier is overweight, too).

I know I’m crazy, but I never thought I’d feel actual guilt about trying to be healthy.

I very much understand the lifestyle and thinking that leads to obesity.  Stepping away from it has been hard and has almost forced me to adopt an I’m-better-than-that attitude that I constantly struggle with (hence the guilt).  I don’t know if this stems from my experience growing up in the South (in an apparently very unhealthy state) or if it stems from some other craziness.  All I know is I want to be healthy and I don’t want that to mean that I’m smarter or better or different than anyone else.  I don’t want to feel guilty about making choices that others around me aren’t making.

In other news, my proclamation about refusing to gain weight has come back to bite me.  I’ve gained a lovely 3.2 pounds since last week.  I’ve been counting points and have been exercising since I returned (hour of cardio Monday, trainer yesterday morning, pilates last night), though, so I hope to rapidly lose it.  J is already down 5 pounds since we returned, which further confirms the injustice of male vs. female weight gain and loss.  He essentially gained nothing but some bloating that immediately went away.  So unfair.

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