Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Weight

A very cowardly (and rude) poster left this comment, after I posted our family picture yesterday:

"so you all look rather "overweight" (think fat). How do you think that will settle with the new Obaba Health Care Plan?"

Now, people who leave comments on blogs in this way do not concern me. The fact that he or she posts anonymously is a clear admission that the comment is something to be ashamed of, so I have the commenter's own admission to this shame. Whatever. (Plus, he/she can't spell!)

However, I do want to address the tacit implication here: namely, that my weight, or my family's weight (or any other health matter) is the business of the federal government.

Is it?

I gave our rude commenter a brief reply, but I will insert here that only 3 of the 6 members of our family are overweight. And it is true (in spite of the frequent photos of food on this blog) that we don't overeat. I stopped overeating in my 20s. I define overeating as still eating even after one's body has told one that the stomach is full. When I'm eating supper, and my tummy is full, I stop and leave whatever is left, on the plate. I remember when I didn't do that -- I ignored that little "off" alert.

As far as Adam goes, he wears a step-counter and walks more than anybody else I know. He got up to 20,000 and sometimes 25,000 steps per day. It didn't reduce his size, but it did convert a lot of fat to muscle. And he is very strong, although he would like to reduce his size as well. Still, he's trying.

We do like to eat. But we don't eat junk food. We don't eat fast food. We usually have cold cereal or toast for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and a well-balanced supper of one meat and 2 vegetables for supper. We fry food minimally, and try to avoid pre-processed foods.

Most of all, regarding "healthcare," we are a very healthy family. In the past 3 years, only Peter has been taken to the doctor for a bad case of poison ivy. The other 3 kids don't even HAVE a local doctor, because I don't believe in using up healthcare or money unnecessarily. I've been in for my annual visit to the gynocologist twice, and Adam visited an asthma doctor during our first months here, and hasn't been to the doctor since then.

So, I don't think our weight will be much concern to anyone.

Do I write this because I'm defensive and think I have to make a case for myself to a stranger? No. I write this because I think this is an issue that concerns a lot of people. How serious is my weight? Is it worth going on yo-yo diets, buying expensive dieting aids, or cutting whole food groups out of my diet? I don't think so. I'd rather eat reasonably, not stuffing myself, and not putting unhealthy chemicals in my body, but also not hating my body or anxiously worrying over every pound. If I eat reasonably, and stay active, then the weight I am is normal for me. Period. I think it's a lot more important to be active, than thin. My grandmother, and thousands like her in a previous generation, was very heavy, but she lived into her 90s and was very active. I remember when I was about 23 and she was in her 70s, that she, my brother and I raised the whole side of a wooden cabin, up into position. She was no slouch.

But the bottom line is that my health is not the business of the federal government. It's my business. And I'd rather be a little chubby than a deliberate deceiver of millions, as Obama clearly is. Why can't he just be honest and tell us all that a single-payer universal plan, provided by the federal government, is his goal? And that all the steps he's implementing now, are toward that end? Just be up front about it. For him to hem and haw and say that the current plan in the Congress is not a single-payer system, is really a smokescreen. For him, this current plan is just a necessary step in that direction. He'd rather this plan went all the way to his goal, but he'll settle for part-way, for now.

Do I like our current healthcare situation? No. Have the Republicans been reprehensibly guilty of neglecting the nation's healthcare situation? Yes. I think it is disingenuous of Republicans now to get up in arms over Obama's plan, when they had YEARS to try to improve the situation, and devoted themselves to other matters. Clearly, a broken system was not a high priority for them. So, now we are stuck with Obama, and I do hold Republicans responsible for the fact that we now may have to swallow his healthcare agenda, because they did not make efforts to encourage Americans to revamp the system we've had. Should the government take over? No. Should the government try to facilitate a system where people who lose jobs, and have even LESS income, are suddenly responsible for BUYING their own healthcare? It's ludicrous to have healthcare covered by a mountain of insurance, and to have that insurance tied to employment. It's the worst possible system.

Except for a federal system. That would be worse.


  1. What a great commentary on the real issue, Mary Kathryn! Bravo! Isn't it interesting though that the "concern" with being overweight really has very little to do with health, and so much more to do with vanity and the world's view of physical beauty. So, in the end, how do we honor our Savior in all of life? Moderation, stewardship, love and care for others. So does the rude guy think that being thin is more honoring to God than being kind on a blog? Sadly, in our world, being thin is often more important than just about anything else, or anyone else.

  2. I completely agree, Mary Kathryn and Alynn, with what you have said. Bravo.


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