So, with the New Year having gotten off to a pretty good start, it's time to really get down to those resolutions. According to Wikipedia, which everyone knows is ALWAYS accurate and should NEVER be doubted, roughly 64% of Americans are overweight or obese. It's the big elephant in the room that most Americans are completely aware of and are content at just letting it stand there.
I'm not obese, but I'm definitely not skinny either. I'm kind of in the middle where the resolution every New Years is to eat less and exercise more, and never really go very far. But why? Probably because in comparison to other Americans, I'm not the heaviest, so I don't feel an extreme pressure to be the smallest person. Plus, in America I'm never told directly, "Connie, you need to lose weight. You're fat!"
But yeah, that's in America. In the Philippines it seems that all physical appearances are open for discussion, and yes, that includes the dreaded phrase, "You're fat." My favorite example of this was this past November. The school had just finished their monthly mass, and as usual the priest and teachers sat down for snack afterwards. The priest sat at the head of the table and asked me to sit down next to him. As I start to sit in the chair, he so eloquently says, "Connie, you're getting so fat. You're bigger than before." Soooooo not as cool as when the other priest had told me I was getting "sexier and sexier" earlier in the year. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out, but instead I pulled out my cellphone and started rapidly texting another volunteer to gain some reassurance that I am indeed not near obesity.
I've heard other volunteers say they've also received blunt statements on physical appearance. I understand that the priest meant to say that, oh, you're looking 'healthy' and you must be having fun because you've packed on a couple pounds since the last time I've seen you. But at the same time, I know my extra pounds would have been politely overlooked in America. Sometimes I really miss that discrete overlook.
As you can imagine, coming back from America after the Christmas season has opened the door to numerous "you're fat" moments since my return. So, here it comes, the resolution for 2010... once again, lose weight. At least this time around I'll have lots of feedback from the people around me... just hopefully of the more positive nature :)