The obesity epidemic.

Everyone has heard about it. It is thrown in your face more than anything else with health. It is on the rise they say.

Every time you turn around you see a new article about how overweight we are and how we live in the fattest state.

I am going to give you my weird perspective on it. Honestly, it seems like the obesity epidemic is something that thin people made up to sell more weight loss products. The “Obesity Epidemic” is a billion dollar industry. It puts fear into people. I mean, who wants to be a part of the “Obesity Epidemic”?

I have been overweight since the early 80’s. There have always been overweight people. I remember looking at a box of Dexatrim while shopping with my mom and seeing overweight people doing the same.

I used to go out to eat with my parents. My parents are not the reason I am overweight. They never were. I have heard that parents are to blame for overweight kids, but mine were not. Trust me, I would love to blame someone, yet they never forced me to eat. They always pushed fruits and vegetables that I rejected. My Dad was the first one to want to play catch or some sport outside.

When we went out to eat, we saw plenty of obese people. Just as many as I see today. There was no epidemic then. I used to get scared that I would not be able to fit in a seat one day. I knew how out of control my eating was. I was a unique eater because I never was full. It did not matter what I ate, I just loved to eat.

But I never got over 250 pounds as a kid. I lost weight numerous times.

In my twenties I got big. I was around 300 pounds early on. This was in the late 90’s. There was no epidemic then. I was the guy now at the buffets barely fitting in the chair. I was the guy that parents looked at and prayed their children would not be like me. I was the “lazy” guy. Most people would look at me and wonder why I was so overweight. Eat less and move more right? It is just that simple.

In my early thirties I was over 400 pounds. I can honestly say I never saw anyone in person as big as me. I would see overweight people, but they would be maybe 270 pounds. I think I did see someone who was over 300 pounds once, and I still had 100 pounds on him.

I was huge. I could not fit in certain cars. I had to twist to fit through some doorways. No one would go on an elevator with me. I was enormous.

Around this time, I started to hear about the obesity epidemic in America. Super Size Me came out. Yet, a food addict who is extremely embarrassed about the way he eats would not order a super sized meal. He would order three medium fries and six cheeseburgers. Eliminating the “Super Size” was no victory. It was “Obesity Epidemic” propaganda.

With the obesity epidemic came something else. Beautiful Weight Watchers ads that tugged at the heart. Nutrisystem ads that cared about you. Trainers that wanted to help for a fee. LapBand ads that made me cry. Shakes that will save your life. Pills that you have to have.

Everyone knows where we have been, right?  People who know what it is like to be “fat” will save you for a little money. To sample a product that you can tell your friends about.

That is what they said. One simple rule…..one easy trick and obesity is over for us. Every magazine has them.

People are hypocrites. If they really knew……

Like the mid thirties woman today who loves to talk about self image in the media and how it is ruining people. Yet, it was the same woman who twenty years earlier who made a horrible comment to me in high school that I kept in my heart for this long with tears.

Or the person who tweets and has “NOH8” stickers everywhere protesting bullying yet is the first person to post or laugh about someone in Wal Mart because of the way they look. That is different, right? That is not bullying, right?

There is no epidemic in my eyes. There have always been overweight people. If companies cared so much, they would give away year memberships to their plans to people in true need instead of a “free 14 day trial”. If trainers truly cared, they would start a non-profit organization to help people who maybe do not have any nutrition information. If Weight Watchers truly believed, they would make a program designed for kids. Not one where people fail over and over gain to pay a monthly fee.

At the end of the day, all I have is my story. A mid level restaurant manager who lost over 200 pounds. Someone who felt worthless find some worth. Someone who would watch television and except for Jared Fogle, did not see anyone lose 200 on their own.

Someone who gained during maintenance and then decided to lose once and for all. Not with anything I can sell.

So I cannot believe in my heart there is an “Obesity Epidemic”

I cannot afford to believe it anymore.

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