Monday, August 8, 2011

Suddenly, I feel slim

I recently gained some insight into why our American brethren are so, um, how shall I put it – weight enhanced.
My family recently spent a week south of the border and it was a frightening experience.
Not because of the American’s love of fire arms and my constant paranoia of someone going on a shooting spree, which is likely generated by the violent American culture we see on TV, no, my biggest fear was that all of those thin-challenged people being concentrated in one part of the globe would cause the earth to wobble on its axis and knock the planet out of orbit.
I have never seen so many fitness-deprived people in my life. It was like half the country missed their Weight Watchers meeting – for the past decade or so. I am sure a few maybe had a glandular problem or some other medical situation that was the cause of their packed-on pounds, but I suspect the majority of them had a stuffing-their-face-and-never-getting-off-the-couch problem.
There has been a lot of talk recently about how so many of our Yankee cousins are expanding around the wasteline at an alarming rate.
Well, I witness first-hand the destructive power of doughnuts.
Some of these people were absolutely huge. I saw one man, who looked to be in his 30s, who was so big the concrete creaked when he walked down the sidewalk.
It took only a couple of days before I realized he was far from alone in the enhanced body size department. Men, women, young and old were sporting more flab than a whale during mating season.
But it is easy to see why. I observed our American counterparts have a thing for deep-fried foods – the deeper the better.
Deep fried chicken, deep fried fish, even deep-fried chocolate bars. Who the hell deep fries chocolate bars? I guess the calorie count was not nearly high enough, so what do you say we boil it in oil for a while to see if we can increase the calorie count. Besides, heart attacks are just an urban myth anyway.
I read about a country fair that offered a double cheese burger with bacon between two doughnuts for buns. It came in at almost 3,000 calories.
A small village in Nepal could live off of that for a week and some chubby Yank is scrumming it down an hour before supper.
“I’ll just have one. I don’t want to ruin my appetite.”
Because we were staying at a hotel, we ate out at least twice a day. The first morning I was going over the menu at a popular chain restaurant that featured bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, ham, toast and coffee in a variety of variations.
There were a dozen versions of the same food.
Nowhere on the menu did I see a fruit bowl, or a light meal or half portion like we can find in Canada.
The first time we stopped at a fast food restaurant for a grease burger and some (deep fried) fries, I was asked what size drink I would like – small, medium or large.
I choose medium expecting a modest cup of liquid but instead was handed a 10-gallon bucket full of pop. This thing was big enough to drop from an airplane and put out a forest fire.
It was easily bigger than a Canadian large beverage. I can only imagine what an American large or a super size would be like. I was thirsty, but I have never been that thirsty.
However there is an upside to all these chubby fried-food eaters – well, an upside for me anyway.
By the end of our stay, I was starting to feel pretty good about myself and would not cringe every time I walked past a mirror in profile.
Sure I still needed to lose 20 or so pounds – at least according to my know-it-all doctor anyway – but next to some of the behemoths meandering around Washington state I am a waif.

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