Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Sorry about your weight. . ."

I have noticed a trend at the drive-thru windows. (Yes, I know it's terrible to eat fast food. Thank you for noticing. I won't bother to explain my reasons for it - it's nobody's business anyway.) Whenever I have to wait for more than 30 seconds either at the speaker box or the window itself, the next words I hear are, "Sorry about your wait."

This sounds like something else to me. Maybe I'm being over-sensitive about my obesity. But one day I got to the window, where a lady who outweighed me by, oh, at least 75 pounds, said, "Sorry about your wait," and I thought - Thank You, Lord, for keeping my mouth shut - Sorry about your weight too.

It's ironic to me that fast food chains say something that could be misinterpreted to mean we're sorry we made you fat. It's not just one chain. I've heard this same phrase at Sonic, Krystal, Wendy's, & Taco Bell. Others may say it too, I just haven't been to any others lately.

While fast food chains aren't the only reason we have such an epidemic of obesity in this country (they're not holding guns to our heads to MAKE us eat the food), I do believe most of us are completely misled about fast food. We think they're out to provide a lot of food for little money. Well, who do we think is going to benefit? The customers? We're paying for those million dollar commercial spots. I could go on and on. As for just part of the health issue, I found this tidbit on a site called TreeLight. Now I don't necessarily agree with the worldview of this site - I haven't had time to read it all - but I do find the facts about foods to be very interesting.

"For commercial deep frying, though, butter is prohibitively expensive. Things were better when foods were fried in beef tallow and coconut oil, because they had a lot of flavor and the saturated fats aren't harmed by the heat. But all that saturated fat sounds bad, so restaurants switched to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. One "healthy" Mexican restaurant even advertised that they fried in vegetable oil. That would be somewhat better than partially hydrogenated oil -- assuming that they weren't using partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in the first place -- but subjecting the unsaturated fatty acids contained in a vegetable oil to the high heat of a deep frying vat is deadly, especially when the oil is used and reused all day long. The result would be the same kind of trans fats that you get in the hydrogenation process!

But the absolute worst commercial frying is done by the fast-food chains, who almost uniformly do their deep frying in cheap, deadly partially hydrogenated oil. Any fats that escaped being transmogrified in the hydrogenation process are now subjected to the deep frying process. It's a miracle that any of the unsaturated fats escape being transmogrified, if any of them do."

TreeLight has information like the definition of words like "transmogrification." I don't know how to explain that word. It just sounds terrible to me.

So, I'm not going to lie. I do occasionally eat fast food. I admit to trying the Cheesecake Bites at Sonic. Rachel loves them, & wanted me to try them too. Not such a good idea, but I did it. They taste good, unfortunately for me. I also have a Krystal Kraving once in awhile, & if I happen to be on that side of town when this happens, I stop. There's a Wendy's right down the road from us, and they do have SOME real food like salads & potatoes. As does Taco Bell, though I'm a little nervous about eating there right now.

The kids & Randy think I'm strange for even trying to beat the system. I'm not trying to put fast food chains out of business. I'm just trying to eat what's good for my body. I figure I spent 39 years eating too much refined sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and refined flour. I didn't know that the sugar and flour made me crave more sugar & flour. I didn't know that the bad fats were keeping me from getting the essential fatty acids that are, well, essential to nutrition. I didn't know that those things would keep me hungry for the real nutrition my body needed. That's the reason I'm 75 pounds overweight and Type II diabetic. I don't blame my parents. They ate it too. My mom had breast cancer at 45. My dad's brothers and my mom's brother all had heart disease by the age of 55. My grandfather's 78 & hasn't been in the hospital but once, and that in the last year. His heart was in good shape until about 5 years ago when he started developing hypertension & eventually congestive heart failure.

If a woman gets breast cancer & starts trying to raise money for cancer research, people don't think that's strange. If someone is injured in an accident & their friends & family join MADD or raise money for the Brain Injury Foundation, people think that's a natural thing. So why is it strange for me to study nutrition & try to change my diet & enlighten others about the information I've learned? I don't think it's strange at all.

Unlike some people, I don't really try to force my knowledge on other people like my family. I find that a gradual process is forceful enough for my picky eaters. I prefer to try my new plan myself, then if I get healthier from it, I have proof my way works, & then can help others. Right now I'm just waiting for the new plan to work on the outside of me. The inside - well, I already feel a lot better. So far this fall, both my kids & several of my co-workers have been sick. I haven't. I have had a symptom or two to visit me, like a slightly sore throat or ear or stuffy nose, but I got over them before they brought me down. The kids have missed school & sounded terrible.

Well, I need to go do something about my wait.

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