Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Could Our Lifestyle Be Making Us Gain Weight?

Could our lifestyle be making us gain weight?

Our recent vacation with our RV got me to wondering. Most of us have the biggest problem with wanting to overeat in the evening. Why? Because we're sitting in front of the TV to rest. No activity. Nothing to stir our minds, so we turn to food. How about making an ice cream soda? Oh, that sounds good. A flash of commercial streams across the screen of Taco Tuesday. I have some tortillas and leftover chicken. I think I'll make one now. That sounds so good. How about popcorn while we're watching a movie? Perfect, isn't it?

Does that sound familiar, or am I the only one?

I'm old enough to remember the days before air conditioning. Neighbors met on front porches. Newcomers were never strangers for long. Kids played outside with not a face plastered to a phone or IPAD. Hot wind whipped around us, sending us scurrying for a cold lemonade or Coca-Cola, but it was too hot for food. We snapped beans or cut up okra from our gardens. Absorbing conversations swirled around us like the lightning bugs our children chased instead of eating cookies and cake. 

Me and my friends either walked to school or rode a bus. Few parents transported their kids. Not knowing someone on your city block was rare. In the country, where my grandparents lived, they knew everyone in town.

I lived in Cockrell Hill, a small part of the Oak Cliff section in south Dallas. Red Bud Lane had its own softball team. Red Rover, Red Rover was one of favorite pastimes. We produced a circus in one of the neighbor's back yards. Everything revolved around the great outdoors.

My husband grew up on South Ervay St. just to the south of downtown Dallas. That area is now all commercial. We have a picture of his old house with a huge front porch stretching over two sides. He tells of sitting out every night visiting until the families went inside for the night. They rolled out bedding into the hallway where a breeze cooled their sweaty bodies.

In 2015, RVers resemble 1940s and 1950s neighborhoods. Everyone walks whether with their dog or their mate. Walkers stop by one trailer after another where people sit on their "front porches" waiting for neighbors to gather. The usual question is "Where are you folks from?"
Fire going & lanterns hanging over our "front porch."

During our trip to Red River, NM, we sat out every night, often with a fire. One neighbor came from Albuquerque. On the other side were new friends from Amarillo, TX. Tennis courts and a playground across the way beckoned children, who remained there until dark completely covered the park, Sometimes, they played by artificial light until ten, which starts quiet time in most RV camps. Fires lit the "porches" where adults visited.

Grills and campfires cooked dinner, but rarely did people eat after dinner. Personally, I didn't need a snack. I had titillating conversation. I had a hypnotic fire. I had people to watch, whether they were throwing a Frisbee or backing a motor home into a small slot.

RVing is a throwback to simpler times.

A lifestyle clustered around the TV with air conditioning going full blast could be one of those things that's making Americans fatter?

What do you think?


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thanks for the memories, Janet. I remember the old neighborhood where I grew up. Almost every house had a kid or two and we played outside until dark, baseball, hide and seek, and I don't remember what else. Sometimes we rode our bicycles. And yes, I walked to school, even in elementary, which was several blocks away. Good exercise, and no one worried about me. :)

I think the weight problem today, at least part of it, is due to lack of exercise and the foods we eat. When I was teaching, we had a lesson on health once a week. Most of the children hated veggies and fruits, so didn't eat them.

Great post to remind us to get busy, exercise, and eat healthy.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your input, Beverly. I think you are so right. Not many plant gardens & the only exercise we get is intentional. We don't even walk to the TV to switch channels & Kids think a vegetable is a French fry.

KimberlyPen-L said...

You are so right, Janet! My husband and I spend 9 months RVing a few years ago and I still miss the evenings' camaraderie. We workcamped for a few months and it was the first time I felt like part of a community. (I grew up in the '60s in the CA Bay Area - no porches.) It's a much healthier lifestyle, for body, mind, and spirit.
Oh, you make me want to go back on the road to find community again!
Thanks for the post. :-)

Unknown said...

Sounds wonderful, Kim. We found we love RVing. Simpler times. We can't be gone all the time, but we try to take frequent trips for peace of mind.