I am seeking feedback on my story from my observation about everyday experiences today.
|Where I come from no one is fat. Everyone always wanted to eat more, get bigger and stronger because not everyone had a lot to eat like in the United States. Growing up I often dreamed about growing bigger, which involved an increase in both height and size. This meant that I always stuffed myself with anything edible in order to realize this dream. When puberty hit me, my appetite increased tremendously mostly because of the high metabolism that my body needed for growth at that time. I envied my peers who were more masculine and were able to participate in all the “macho” physical activities like football, rugby, and soccer. I should admit that during this growth phase, growing “bigger” was the “in-thing” and socially acceptable thing in my community.
Fast-forward today and living in the western world I see the opposite of my childhood. Almost all the time I see, read, hear, or suspect that someone is worrying about their weight, or ways to either maintain or lose weight. Everyone is constantly worried about what they are consuming, watching how much they are eating, how frequent and intense they are exercising, and setting goals on the perfect sizes for an upcoming friend’s wedding or vacation on a beach somewhere hopefully warm with nice sunrises and sunsets.
At first, I was blind to this, but the more I live here and think about it, the more I realize how it is all over the place. Dare turn on a radio or television and soon you will hear about a weight loss program, diet, or personal trainer offering a discount for new participants. If you try to pick up a newspaper you will see numerous advertisements about the same. It is even worse if you try to search the internet for “ways to lose weight”. I can almost guarantee that you will be bombarded with websites or products for weight loss, which is so frustrating. Recently, one of my childhood friends commented on my picture that “you look fat and healthy”, which from where I come from is a gesture of success and looking good. In a matter of minutes, I was asked by a couple of my new friends to ask the individual who wrote the comment to take down his supposedly mean comment. How do I explain to my new friends that the comment was a nice gesture from where I come from even though it is considered rude here? The topic of weight loss and good health is becoming a paradox to me. How do I convince my childhood friends that I am not overweight when the world out there thinks I am obese? I feel perfectly healthy and I consider myself to be in perfect health yet my primary provider notes that I am obese on my medical chart during my annual visits. It comes as no surprise that investors in the exercise business are reaping high profits because people are always signing up for gym memberships, want the latest exercise equipment, technology, and purchasing the latest exercise accessories like fitness trackers. Even the media tends to give the most publicity to the most attractive celebrities now days instead of their content or art. It is not surprising that because of the constant pressure to meet public demand for “being fit or in shape”, most celebrities today always have a personal trainer or health coach as part of their staff.
I sometimes ask myself if this is all worth it. Why don’t we all enjoy the abundant foods that we are fortunate to have- even if it means eating in moderation? Why don’t we dress up in all we want without worrying about other people’s opinions about our looks? Why don’t we all truly feel happy and confident in our unique bodies? I think this world would surely suck if we all looked alike without our uniqueness. Change and appreciation of others can only start from our inner self and keeping our opinions to ourselves. Nobody is ever going to get happier with more weight or being petit because this is a constant struggle to everyone depending on where they come from. So, the next time you see someone “bigger”, find something positive to compliment them on and let a brother or sister enjoy life because this is what people who are alive ought to be doing!