You Are What You Eat

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There are a number of reasons why my beloved hometown of Houston, Texas has been labeled the fattest city in the country for most of the decade. One of those reasons include lovely little heart attack-inducing treats like fried Oreos.

You read that right: fried Oreo cookies. Oh, it gets even more fattening. After spending much of Saturday afternoon at the carnival sponsored by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (mock us if you must), I noticed they now offer other fried snack foods like fried Twinkies and fried Hostess cupcakes.

Why? I guess everyone has a right to choose their method of death. Who am I to judge if someone chooses to die in the form of taking foods already high in fat and frying them to make the recipe for diabetes even more potent?

Walking around, I noticed there was food everywhere – most of it consisting of fried foods and large chunks of meat. Turkey legs to die for. Fried pickles poking at your taste bud’s curiosity. Cheesecakes dipped in chocolate. Half pound burgers. A mountain of curly fries topped with cheddar cheese sauce. Five kinds of sausage on a stick.

I made a decision earlier in the year to fall back on eating food that’s fried or can be passed to me from a window. It has gone surprisingly well.

However, whenever I’m home, that goal becomes increasingly difficult to maintain as most of my options are related to both. Starving, I decided to go ahead and take a break and indulge with the rest of the carnival goers. I went with the fried catfish basket.

As much as I love catfish, lately I’ve been opting for baked tilapia instead. (Some of you are probably calling me a sell out right now.) The woman standing behind me in the line – fresh from the rodeo and donning a huge cowboy hat (of course) – said to her friends, “This ain’t nothing but a heart attack in a basket, ya’ll.”

Thanks, ma’am. You’ve made my meal sound all the more appetizing.

After spending almost $8.00 on this “heart attack in a basket,” I decided I can’t afford to waste it. I was certain someone in the area had an Advil on them, and someone has got to know how to perform CPR should my heart decide to teach me an early lesson.

It was only after I ate my food did I notice Subway was there. I didn’t notice it initially, because it was the one food venue with no crowd. Jared isn’t that popular ’round these parts.

The more I walked around, the more I noticed just how incredibly huge people in Texas are. Some people can attribute their girth to genetics while most can thank an unhealthy diet. Guess which one fit most of this crowd?

No offense to anyone reading this, but the area looked like a sea of Klumps. Black Klumps. White Klumps. Latino Klumps. Asian Klumps.

One nation under obesity, with liberty, justice, and vegetable oil for all.

You could also see the beginning stages of obesity through all of the overweight children sweating profusely as they walk with their overweight parents while munching on their cheese fries, turkey legs, baked potatoes topped with overflowing portions of brisket, and burgers. A half pound burger today breeds a neck reminiscent of a 12-pack of hot dogs tomorrow.

I felt bad for them; it’s not their fault.

I remember when I was overweight. It started out with me asking for a twenty piece nugget with fries at McDonalds around the age of 11 with me going on to consume Ultimate Cheeseburger (double meat and cheese) Combos jumbo-sized (fries and drink) with two tacos from Jack and the Box daily at the age of 18.

While I did lose a lot of my “baby fat” around the age of 15, I was certainly finding my adult fat as I approached the end of my senior year in high school.

I am not the poster child for a healthy lifestyle, but I have been making the effort to exercise regularly and eat healthier. Most of the health problems that plague relatives of mine or relatives of friends of mine stem from years of leading an unhealthy lifestyle.

I’m not suggesting everyone start to eat salads everyday of their life as I still grimace at anything green found on my plate that I have to force myself to eat. But, ask yourself something: Do you really want to end up needing dialysis everyday of your life because you couldn’t get enough of a fried cookie?

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