I’ve moved home for a bit, to the town of Brawley, CA. A town that grows most of the nation’s salad, yet eats little of it. A town where I can buy bulk chunks of lard twice the size of the average brick, but no kale. A town where people drive their lifted trucks three blocks to avoid walking.
The town where all my issues started.
As with all hometowns, this place made and destroyed me in ways my therapist and I have barely begun to discover. However, out of the many significant influences this town had on me, a warped sense of health and fitness is the only one you can literally see.
Around here, it’s acceptable to order fries with cheese for breakfast, a salad drenched in ranch dressing for lunch and a deep fried quesadilla for dinner. As fellow contributor Jessenia Lua (a native of Brawley as well) pointed out in her most recent Healthy Challenge update, a typical gathering in Brawley consists of multiple types of meat, fried foods and desserts, all of which you’re encouraged to eat now, later and even later again, until you literally begin bursting at your seams.
But don’t get me wrong, just because people aren’t health conscious doesn’t mean they’re not obsessed with weight. Who has grown or shrunk in size is always top gossip in this town and get thin quick schemes are always brewing. With one of the highest obesity rates in the country, diet pills and starvation tactics are often abused and lap bands are a common quick fix to a larger health problem.
Because I easily gain 10 pounds just by entering town for a week, I joke that the fat from fried food somehow dissolves into the air and into your body. The reality of the situation, however, is that a culture of lethargy is the only thing thriving anymore in this town.
And it’s contagious.
I’m sorry to report that I have caught the lethargy bug and I’m sick with heartburn, stomach aches and weight gain because of it. From fried food full of cheese and wheat – two items my stomach hates – to TV watching and day wasting, I’m back where I started all over again.
I just hope I can make it back out alive.
Bi-monthly progress report for December 13, 2011 (photo taken November 19, 2011 by fabulous photographer J. Robert Williams in his studio in Eugene, OR):
- Weight: 223 (ay dios mio how did I let that creep back up again?)
- Chest, Waist, Hips Measurements: 47, 41.5, 52.5
- Dress size: 18
- Resting Heart Rate: no clue
- BMI: 44% (according to a body-fat scale I have which may be far from accurate)
- Amount of time I can focus in a meditation: 1 minute
- Level of clutter in my room (1-10 scale, 1 being clean, 10 being hurricane): 9
- Amount of days I’ve done purposeful, focused movement: 6
- Amount of days I’ve stretched and meditated (outside of yoga class): 1