I love food. I love breakfast, lunch and dinner. I like going to a restaurant and ordering a big juicy burger with cheese and bacon and a side of fries. I love that first bite when there is an explosion of flavor that surrounds every part of my mouth. I hate that it is bad for me. I hate that every time I go to grab something to eat I know that there is probably a healthier alternative. I really hate that calories exist. Who wants to sit and count every calorie, every fat molecule and every carbohydrate? I know I don’t and I don’t know anyone else that enjoys it, but the reality of it, is people do it. Many people don’t live their lives around food at all. They plan the events in their day and what they are going to eat is put on the backburner. Around the world us American’s are known for our obesity rate. We are known for fast food and gluttony because more people in America live like me than not. Within an hour of getting up in the morning I have already mentally planned what I will have for breakfast, what I will put in my lunch for work and if I need to pull something from the freezer or grab something from the market for dinner. All of that before I have finished my second cup of coffee. There is a saying that states “You are what you eat,” which makes me a pile of junk food living my junk food life.
What is it about food that draws so many people in and holds them hostage? The truth is, food can be addicting. There is a controversy as to whether food addiction is a real thing in today’s scientific community but I believe that it is. I believe that you can become addicted to anything and there are many that agree with me. Webmd noted “Experiments in animals and humans show that, for some people, the same reward and pleasure centers of the brain that are triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin are also activated by food, especially highly palatable foods,” which holds true for myself. When I am craving something and I finally get my mouth on it, I get excited. There is a feeling of relief that a meth addict when they get their next hit. I end up wanting more (and eating more) even though I don’t need more. Some studies even go as far as to say that food addiction is a mental disorder even though JenniferLaRueHuget from the Washington Post found that “Food addiction does not have an entry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the American Psychiatric Association's bible of accepted psychological diagnoses.” In time I believe that will change. With scientific advancement, I believe that they will find something in our brains that causes food addiction.
With many addictions comes shame, shame that you can’t control yourself and your actions. Eating an over-abundance of food is not something many people want to share. I could sit and eat a whole bag of chips after eating a sub-sandwich but that is not something I want to tell anyone. I say it now only to prove a point. While sitting and watching tv you aren’t always aware of what you are doing and before you know it you are putting the last chip in your mouth. It’s only when you get up that you realize what you have just done to yourself. That over stuffed feeling plagues your body and almost creates this almost lethargic reaction. I was once told that if you sigh during a meal it is a sign that your stomach is full and to stop eating. I try to be aware of what my body is telling me now but it is really hard sometimes especially when what I am eating tastes so good. There is also the shame that comes with the weight gain that comes with over eating. I have put on ten pounds in the last year and I know it’s all because of my lack of self-control with food. Ten pounds may not seem like much but when I struggle to find clothes that fit and I breath harder doing things that I could do just fine not too long ago, it makes a difference. I sometimes wonder what people see when they look at me eating out. Have I become the fat man that people warn their children about become if they don’t eat right? I know I am not actually that big in comparison to others but because of my own self shame have to ask the question.
Fortunately for me, my children are living a much healthier lifestyle. Both of my children are in the acceptable weight for their ages, but I fear that my example will shape their futures. I don’t want them to ever have to worry about losing weight or dieting. While they are young my wife and I have been very good at providing them with a well-balanced diet. It’s is so easy for us to see what we don’t want our kids to eat but seeing it for ourselves becomes much more of a challenge. Recently we went to our daughters school for an awards ceremony and found that many of the kids there are overweight, and we found it sad. It is sad because our future generations are already to starting to face the difficulties that many of my generation didn’t have to face until much older. Judith warner from the New York Times gave some startling information writing “At a time when more than two-thirds of American adults are indeed fat (overweight or obese) and 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese, declaring war on unhealthful eating, as the Obama administration has done to an unprecedented extent, could be fraught with political liability.” This is very scary considering the numbers will only go up if diets don’t change.
So how do we change our country if no one is willing to change? We need to be proactive and get people to want to change. We need to be proactive with our youth. There needs to be excitement in eating healthy not the dread that most people feel when it comes to eating our vegetables. I like many, need to take a look with new eyes at my own diet and eating habits and change what I can. I need to stop being ashamed of who I am because in the long run, I am stuck with me for the rest of my life. I need to do more research on good eating habits and step back from the bad ones I have picked up along the way. I need to stop allowing food to take control of who I am and start living for today. I need to do like Michael Pollan told me to do in his Unhappy Meals article and “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”Because that is the way to a healthy lifestyle. By doing all of this I will not only change my habits but I could also influence the habits of my friends and family. I love food but I should love myself more.
- Good narration and smooth flow of essay
- Clear statement of facts and supporting evidence
Points to improve on
- Paper format does not follow the MLA format.
- Grammar and sentence construction: work on punctuation and use of prepositions.
- Paper formatting in MLA style.