Friday, September 18, 2009

Wait Weight

The times they are a-changin’, and America’s double helping of new century change has stimulated its population to TARP their tears away three times a day with take out. True capitalists know that when it comes down to the emotional buttons pushed by recession and social depression, there’s little a super sized, super value menu can’t fix.

Nothing like a severe economic downturn, no paycheck, and a heap of recession depression to tempt even the heartiest of weight watchers with the promise of an extra large, cheap meal offering little but a week’s worth of empty calories in one sitting and high cholesterol. The fact that cultural perceptions about food consumption have shifted (to the delight of advertisers) from healthy sustenance to an emotionally needy pastime hasn’t help either.

High speed technological advancements have obviously changed the way we work and play as well. One side effect of this change has been society’s overall devaluation of basic social skills and interpersonal connection. The ensuing social retardation, and the isolation and loneliness it begets, goes a long way toward creating a void that only sugar, fat, salt, and lots of sense-assaulting noisy stimulation can fill.

Upon heavy reflection in the rear view mirror we couldn’t help but see that extra large “Closed for Repairs” sign hanging on the entrance gate of Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” attraction for the good part of a year.

Originally designed in the 1960’s, the ride was unquestionably in need of some 21st century updating. The sense of urgency prompting 2008’s closure, however, seems to have sprang from a chronic dilemma that even strategic rider placement couldn’t resolve ... the ride’s fiberglass boats were routinely bottoming out on cellulite sandbars and protruding paunches, thereupon bringing the entire ride to a constipated standstill. Logically, swift removal of the damming girth from the grounded lead boat was the sole remedy for restoring the ride to a normal flow.

With this recurring delay in passage came the certain knowledge that our world wasn’t so small after all.

While Disneyland eventually got around to dredging the plus-sized waterways it needed to accommodate the bulk of Americans, newfangled stadium movie theaters were long in the game with a “build it and they will come” approach to larger cushy seats, king size cup holders and mega-sized buckets of popcorn that any properly stocked self service condiment counter could help saturate in buttery flavored grease.

Hollywood then hit a homerun by offering more to love in casting plenty of big screen super (sized) stars who delivered body image peace of mind to movie goers as they pac-manned their way through the raisinettes and the previews.

In an era of survival aero-mergers, the airline industry has taken a more tightening-of-the-seatbelt approach to the expanding American waistline. Weight restrictions aside, the more seats crammed on to an aircraft, the more tickets to be sold. No one cares whose roly polys onto whom. Instead of enticing passengers to fly with the promise of a comfy seat and airy comfort food, they just stopped feeding everyone altogether. Everyone except perhaps the growing number of highly stressed, plump pilots who hold our lives in their hands at cruising altitudes (and are severely under compensated for it when considering their liability), yet look like a heart attack waiting to happen when the plane is parked at the gate.

Time has always been of the essence, but anymore, time is just a mcflurry in our world of instant gratification at the speed of a search engine set to find “now fast”, “a lot a deal”, and “cheap free”.

Yet when it comes down to the fundamental task of feeding our bodies, we suspect if one were to simply practice a slower more nutritious approach to dining – or to wait – odds are the load will become lighter, both emotionally and physically. And conversely, to habitually gulp down fast food on the go –or to not wait- odds are the load will end up much heavier all the way around.

It would appear excuses hold little weight when personal prerogative gives us permission to prioritize the time we need to properly nourish our bodies, for in the end, we alone are physically accountable for what we put in to our mouths.

A very weighty issue indeed, but what we really want to know is how do you weigh in? and what are you waiting for?

Sleep it under the rug with our ‘In The Rear View Mirror’ February 15, 2009 posting "Catching a Few Xe’s".

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