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But I'm ENTITLED to it!
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
Thereís no shortage of huge people in the Midwest. I myself am fat, and Iím tired of seeing the fat rolls. But I am NOT morbidly obese. And three of the four people I used to hang out with two or three times a year are morbidly obese. Well, just make that two people. Because one of them died last September. At the age of 43.
Iíve fought the battle of the bulge for years. Iím tired of being fat, but Iím trying to work on my body. I walk my dog three to five times a week. In the past couple of months or so, Iíve been hitting the gym after Iím done with my workday. Scaling back my work life was one of the best things Iíve done. I work four jobs now instead of three, but all of them are part time. I have a more set schedule, something I didnít have when I was working full time at one job and working two part time jobs. I have consistent bedtimes, and consistent wake up times, at least during the week. I have more time for myself, but more importantly, I have time to work out. So Iím up to doing a half hour on the treadmill, and Iím lifting weights and doing core toning for 20-30 minutes.
Iím working on my body because Iím scared. When my friend died last September, it scared me. He weighed around 400 pounds, and Iím nowhere near that, but it showed me what happens when you abuse your body for years. I watched my friend suffer, and watched him say, ďI donít like living like this, Iím going to change.Ē Then, shortly after this declaration, heíd say, ďIím going to order a pizza.Ē
It was frustrating to watch. And even though I need to lose weight, seeing obese people is really starting to bug me. You probably think I have no right to talk; maybe youíre right. But consider this: earlier this year I went skiing with someone from work. I love downhill skiing, but not one of my friends would go skiing with me. I didnít even ask. It was by chance that I mentioned skiing to my co-worker, who said we should just take a day and go. So we did. We had a great time, and it was one of the rare moments that I could feel myself smiling spontaneously. The funny thing is, the guy I went skiing with is in his early sixties. Thatís right. Heís near retirement age, but he can ski for five hours without keeling over with a heart attack.
But the thing that really bothers me is people who are so undisciplined when it comes to food that they think the government should support them. Isnít this part of wasteful government spending? Listen, if you are against government help in any form, donít take it. But if you are a staunch conservative, and think the government should support you, you are a damn hypocrite. Yes, they argue that they paid into the system, and now they are entitled to that money. People who paid into the system are also entitled to whatever help they can get, but interestingly enough, itís the whole ďme first, none for youĒ approach. I took a full time job in retail just to get full time wages and, perhaps most importantly, insurance so I could take care of a tumor in my uterus which was the size of a cantaloupe. It was pushing on both my colon and bladder, which meant any large-sized drinks necessitated a bathroom visit ó or five. I couldnít get anything done about my tumor until I got insurance.
However, morbidly obese people on Medicaid have decent insurance, and the parade of health problems that show up when one weighs enough for two or three people means that they can get help. That means they can perpetuate their unhealthy lifestyles, courtesy of the government, until they die in their early forties. And the taxpayers get to foot the bill.
Donít believe me? In the book, Generation Debt, a woman, Ida May Fuller, paid $24.75 into Social Security when the program started. She retired and lived another thirty five years, and collected nearly $29,000 in benefits. Thatís one hell of a return on investment. But hey, she paid into it, right?
I donít know what the solution is. I truly feel sorry for people who were born with a disability ó blindness, deafness. Or if you were in a terrible accident. Things like that I can understand. But unless there is really something wrong with your thyroid, or metabolism, or something, I donít have a lot of sympathy for people who weigh enough for two or three people. Because I know why you are so fat. Itís the same reason why Iím fat. We both enjoy eating high calorie foods, and we donít get enough exercise. But at least Iím making an effort to exercise. And I will do that for as long as I possibly can. Because I fear one day Iíll be looking in the mirror, wondering how I got to be four feet wide. And I fear sitting around at home, with my disability check, watching bad daytime television, and wondering how much time I have left, until the taxpayers donít have to foot my bill anymore.