Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Americans are Fat! and other observations...

When Nick and I were living in Taiwan, I used to read a lot of other people's Taiwan blogs. At the time, I noticed that lots of bloggers kind of just dropped off the face of the earth once they returned home. I thought this was peculiar. As a reader, I was interested in how they felt upon returning, what surprised them, what wisdom they'd gained by looking back at it all... I wondered to myself how they could just abandon their blog and all their readers without even saying goodbye???

Then I came home. And here I am having not written a blog in 10 days. What do I have to say for myself?

Over the last week, I've vacillated between chastising myself for being lazy and reminding myself that after 15 months out of the country, I have every right to take a week or two to myself. I have a right to be lazy for a little while. I'm not sure if I really buy that excuse, but for now I'm using it as a way to rationalize sitting on my butt for a while and avoiding the real world.

But since I've been home, I have done some pretty cool things, noticed things I'd never noticed before, and had a couple revelations.
One of the biggest problems I've had in adjusting back to life in the US has to do with toilet paper. The plumbing in SE Asia is not really equipped to properly deal with the flushing of toilet paper. As a result, over the last 4 months, I became used to throwing my toilet paper into a waste bin next to the toilet.

It turned out to be a tough habit to kick. For the entire first week I was home, I was regularly not flushing my toilet paper. Every so often, I would remember to flush it and then marvel at the efficiency with which our plumbing whisks it all away here in America. Even so, 5 days after arrival, I found myself carrying my toilet paper around looking for a trash can to avoid clogging the toilet. It literally took me a full 7 days to get accustomed to the novelty of just tossing it in the bowl.

Over the last 10 days, in between bouts of laziness, I've gone to the Pittsburgh Pirates season opener, gone to the recording studio with my dad, gotten my hair done, gotten a pedicure, gone shopping, and met several friends for lunch.   
Enjoying America's favourite pass time on our first day back in the USA
me at the recording studio with my daddy

My time spent out an about has lead to my biggest realization since I came back to the US: Americans are BIG! We're huge. Seriously.

Even the people that are not fat by any estimation are big when compared with people in Southeast Asia; we're taller, wider, thicker... we're just bigger all around. I was amazed just noticing chest-size alone! No one in Asia has boobs like American girls do. (Is it all the steroids that ends up in our beef and dairy products???) We've got regular sized Americans who are much bigger than anyone in SE Asia, and then we've got the bigger Americans that are absolutely super-sized when compared with people in Asia.

I tell you, it's certainly opened my eyes to this obesity problem we have in America. And it's also opened my eyes to the root cause of it: our food is HUGE as well!

Massive chicken salad I got in Pittsburgh including french fries, a pile of cheese, and a tub of ranch dressing

I'm finding it very difficult to eat healthy now that I'm back. Our portion sizes are completely out of touch with the amount of food someone actually needs to sustain life. Aside from that, our meals are far from balanced. One day this week, I found myself eating meals that consisted of 90% carbohydrates for the entire day! It's almost impossible to eat like that in Asia. I couldn't even if I wanted to!

This says nothing of all of the processed food, high fructose corn syrup, and fast food we've got available here. I don't know what has happened to our country, but it is sad that the cheapest and easiest food is the high calorie, processed food. In Asia, it is easy and cheap to eat healthy and fresh. And this is our problem. 
The chicken sandwich my friend ordered had 2 huge patties!! who needs two patties on a chicken sandwich!??

And so here I am, trying not to gain all the weight back that I lost while I was gone (which eventually will require me to get off my ass and do something productive with myself). And trying to figure out how to eat healthily in a place that makes it so difficult to do so!


  1. surely burnt a few calories typing this on the keyboard :) hey it's a start!

  2. I lost some weight while I was in the US.
    It might just because I had a lousy cooking skill.
    This is Juin from CSLmedia Productions in Taiwan.

    1. Juin,
      i don't know how this is, but I just NOW read your comment for the first time. I'm glad you read my blog! My friends still love to watch the commercial you shot of Nick and I in Taiwan, they think it's great! :-) hope all is well with you!