Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From Super-Sizing to Down-Sizing

I had a thought today.  I was reading an article the Canary Club posted today by Drs. Richard and Karilee Shames about obesity.  They talked about living in Mexico and witnessing a tragic shift in a cultural eating pattern that was bringing about obesity and illness to many Mexican individuals.  They even talked about  the big-box stores as being the culprits for keeping people working 7 days instead of resting on Sunday - if there's someone to shop, then there must be employees to keep the store open, right?  They talked about this huge change all contributing to loss of family values, health and putting added stress on each individual's shoulders.

So I began thinking about this.  I shop at big-box stores only occasionally, choosing instead to frequent second-hand stores in the area.  But I do go to Target to find large-sized clothing when my local thrift shop sleuthing turns up dry.  Being a large woman, I have to ask myself, "Would I be this large if I did not have a back-up, big-box store to find my-sized clothing?"  If all I could find were sizes up to 12, would I be able to even get bigger if I knew I couldn't fit into clothing?  My guess is, if I was unable to button my pants, I would curb my eating patterns right quick.  There would be no leaning on the fact that I could just zip on down the road and check out Target, or the large-sized women's clothing store which so conveniently landed down the street.  There would be no elastic-waisted pull up pants for me.  No hiding in plus-sized fabrics with the big bow at the top.

So pretend with me a moment.  What would happen if our local big-box stores were no longer?  Without plus-sizes at our fingertips, would our eating patterns change to meet the clothing constrictions? Would we all take up sewing?  Or would we resort to the old puffy style of 'moo moos' - which actually happen to be lovely and comfortable, and quite stylish (on the shores of Hawaii).  What would happen to our children and their eating patterns?  We couldn't rush out to get junior that extra size larger to match his girth-growth spurt.  What if only mom and pop corner groceries were available for daily shopping?  If less junk was available for kids to ingest, would they be able to focus on studies a bit more?

And what about movement?  Without the latest electronic gadget so easy to procure, would we get out and enjoy the air more?  Would we begin taking more walks?  Visiting with friends face to face instead of facebooking?  We could listen to the birds rather than Twittering away our time.  Our bodies would get needed oxygen and sunlight as we moved from place to place, the muscles stretched and contracted as they should be.

Looking ahead in my pretend life, I can see fast-food restaurants closing, since no one can find super-sized clothing to match the super-sized meals.  Super-sized SUV's would go unsold as everyone would feel dwarfed inside them.  The airlines would have to take back all that extra legroom they keep talking (and charging) about.  The diet industry would go belly UP.

Interesting to think about - Yes?

I welcome your thoughts.  What else would change?


Sycamore Moon Studios said...

Most thought provoking blog of the day. Thanks for taking the time to a) think the thoughts and b) post them.

goldenbird said...

Lots to think about. I don't know if the lack of available clothing would curb my poor eating habits ... it's hard to say. I buy most of my clothes at the Goodwill and a secondhand shop that benefits the cancer society. But occasionally I do pick up items at WalMart and other chains. I don't like to shop at those stores, but sometimes it can't be helped. One of the many reasons I don't like them is they buy up our gorgeous undeveloped land, pave it and build the giant store. How many of those super-sized stores do we really need?

Laura said...

I have thought a great deal about the changes we have seen as a result of mass consumerism, but this is the world we live in now and I don't see the big box stores going away anytime soon. I do however feel encouraged by the subtle changes that have begun to emerge in the thinking of American's as a result of the economic times we are living in. It is no longer embarrasing to say you shop at thrift stores, it is not quirky to want to keep chickens in your backyard or grow a vegetable garden. Lots of families are getting back to basics and realizing that we are way to dependant on those big box stores.
I am an emotional eater and when I get in the mood for comfort food I could care less that I will have nothing to wear after my binge. So for me it is about getting to the root of why I do that to myself. I see it as self sabbatage, why I don't know. So for me I don't feel like Walmart, Target make it any easier on me to make poor food choices I make that choice on a day to day basis.

Jill said...

I hear you, Laura - but the point of my post was to question - do we give ourselves the choice to emotionally eat when we know we can go out and get more clothes if we get too big for the ones we have? What if there were no bigger sizes? Would that be enough to remind us to be more mindful? What if it wasn't so easy to rush out and get our binge foods? What if all that was readily available to us were the veggies grown from our garden and the eggs produced by our own chickens in our backyards? Just curious...