That’s me, trying to do an “ollie” on the new Tony Hawk: RIDE skateboarding game a couple of weeks ago in San Diego. The weekend was a blast. I felt good. I ate a lot, but I always eat a lot when I’m traveling. And I’ve traveled a lot in the last couple of months. To tell you the truth, I haven’t paid much attention to eating well lately. I’ve had some good days, but most days I just ate without giving it much thought. That’s why I haven’t mentioned weight loss in a while. I was very unmotivated.
Actually, I get like that every summer. I hate hot weather, so I end up staying inside more. And whenever I do venture outside (usually because a small child is depending on me) there’s usually an ice cream truck waiting for me.
I didn’t go near my scale for a long time, but when I got on it last week I wasn’t surprised to see that I had gained five or six pounds since the spring. Just for “fun” I plugged my numbers into a BMI calculator. I had gained just enough to nudge myself into the “obese” category. Yup, according to our government, I’m obese. Look at the picture again, please.
I make absolutely no claims to being thin. But obese? I’m a size 14. I can do all sorts of things that I don’t associate with obesity. I can run up all three flights of stairs in my house when we’re late for school and my daughter realizes that she forgot her favorite stuffed animal. I can walk down a narrow airplane aisle without my hips touching the armrests on either side. My blood pressure is 110 over 60. I am completely comfortable in theater seats. Just yesterday I rode my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge. These are not things that I associate with obesity. Still, apparently I’m one of the 72 millions Americans who are obese.
I’m not scared of labels and numbers. And I’ve no doubt that there’s a weight problem in our country. Just go to the DMV and look around. Or a Wal-Mart. Diabetes and high blood pressure are both on the rise. Kids don’t get outside to play enough. Everybody drives everywhere. Yes, there is a problem. But that problem isn’t helped by falsely labeling people with a word that’s chock full of horrible connotations. Think of this the next time you hear that one-third of the country is obese. How many of them are like me? I would have to lose 30 pounds just to get to a weight that the government considers “normal.” That’s ridiculous. I wold love to lose 30 pounds, but only so that I can fit into my size 8 clothes. There’s really no reason other than vanity. And I think the government needs to figure out a different way to define who’s at a healthy weight and who isn’t.
Still think this is much ado about nothing? Here’s my son Jake. The government considers him obese too.