Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Facebook Made Me Fat

Guest post from my husband's hand:

Every couple of weeks or so, I let my mind slip into deep thoughts about humanity.  If I get past staring at my hand as I open and clinch it, wondering how in the world I am alive and have this body that has 'skin' and 'organs' and can move and bend and hold fluid and get rid of waste; often I start to wonder why people do the things they do, or how they got to be the way they are. There are two topics that top the chart these days, and it's because I am encompassed by them daily, literally and figuratively:  Fat, and social media obsession.  They are actually closely related to each other.

I'm not talking about the fact that laying on the couch scrolling endlessly through photos and thoughts about other people's lives actually eats up so much of my time that, before I realize it, I no longer have a desire to 'go to the gym' or 'mow the lawn'.  While true, that's not the common thread to which I am referring.  I'm talking about the underlying structure upon which our modern society is built that makes these things thrive.  The imaginary 'American Dream' to which we all feel entitled.  The disease that has drained our bank accounts, tricked our hearts into unnecessary eruptions of drama, filled the empty spaces in our clothes, and has often killed progress dead in its tracks.  I'm talking about being spoiled.  "I want it now.  I get it now."

We can't even pretend that this disease isn't running rampant all around us.  We are quite literally addicts to the idea of now-ness.  I doubt there exists a person who hasn't heard a friend talk about their need to 'quit facebook', or 'wean off of Pinterest'.  We're not talking about crack or cigarettes here, so why are we even using these terms?  If there is no nicotine in Instagram, why is our shaky finger scrolling further and further down even though our wrist hurts from holding our phone in front of our face in the dark?  Because we have a natural desire to 'snoop', to get the 'down low', to see peoples 'private' lives, to be entertained, to see more- and we want it NOW.  Often not even an important meeting at work, a lesson during our day of worship, or a serious discussion with our spouse can get in our way.  Is the story about your cousin's child throwing cheerios at the cat actually important?  I daresay the answer will always be 'No', but the strange need to read about it will often beat out activities ten fold more important.  It's just. too. easy.

So how does this spoiled sense of entitlement make me fat?  Just as the technology industry has taken advantage of my insatiable and unexplainable craving for mind garbage, the food industry has lulled us into a mind numbing sense of satisfaction with stomach garbage.  Not a soul would look me in the eyes and tell me that sugar is healthy, or even good to put in our bodies for that matter.  We all know that it has no nutritional value and that it can cause serious health problems.  (We all read these words, nod our heads, and put the next oreo into our mouths as we continue...) See what happened there?!  It's like we are living in a false reality.  I literally will finish conversations with my coworkers about the negative and horrific effects of sugar, and within an hour I'm at Chick Fil A slurping out the last morsels of my oreo shake.  My mind doesn't care about consequences or nutrition- it cares about feeding the 'nows'.  

"Pffff.  I'll just quit when I need to."  Riiiiight.  Just make a simple little choice to 'quit' once you don't fit into any of your clothes and ache everywhere.  NEWSFLASH:  I reached that point and I didn't quit.  It's really, really, really hard.  How hard?  Well we know that sugar has similar effects on the brain as cocaine, possibly even more addictive... My wife and I just headed a '10 day Sugar-free Challenge'.  We had over 20 people on board and gung-ho about kicking this nasty additive that is in almost ALL processed food.  After 7 days we did a quick headcount... and the number of people still going strong could be counted on one hand.  What did those people have in common?  They were already basically on 'no sugar' diets.  I could have taken the responses from most people who dropped out and replaced the word 'sugar' with 'cigarettes' and I don't think anyone could have picked them out of a bunch of cigarette addicts.  The thing that kills me- ALL participants that lasted through the week lost POUNDS.  A few even LOOK better.  In 7 days.  How many times have I felt disgusting or depressed about all the weight I've gained since college.... and all I had to do was stop gorging myself on sugar?!  But... but... I want it!  Right now!  'It makes me happy!'  I can't even tell you the number of times I've heard people say they'd rather be 'happy' than be on a 'diet'.  I've said it myself.  Do we honestly think that we cannot be 'happy' when we eat food that nourishes our body rather than destroys it?!

We are spoiled brats.  Modern society knows how weak we are and literally spoon feeds us garbage for our mind/body that they know we can't resist.  They know we want want want- now now now... and they give it to us.  Maybe we should just go along with it until it becomes a REAL problem- when the majority of our society is obese and having health issues, maybe even to the point of an epidemic- or when people start losing real communication skills because they only feel comfortable behind their electronic devices, and it causes conflict in their REAL relationships.  Wait a second....

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