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Does your region affect your attitude toward weight/health?

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  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,719Member Member Posts: 19,719Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    sawyeram wrote: »
    The Midwest - Food is also a priority here but it's not the whole foods that I was used to (like fresh from the garden veggies). People use instant potatoes rather than real potatoes (ugh, the horror). Kids aren't taught to eat a variety of veggies . . . or any veggies for that matter. People don't cook homemade meals here they eat out or eat from a box.

    This is 100% not my experience of the midwest. We always ate fresh food and vegetables when I was growing up (however, we ate canned when we lived in AK for a while, for obvious reasons). My grandparents in IA had a huge, lovely garden, and their idea of a perfect snack was home-dried fruit or, for special occasions, fruit pie, made at home. Birthday cakes and so on were normally homemade. Sure, we ate meat and potatoes (and a veg), and not the fried and delicious specialties that the South is known for -- but fresh and wholesome, yes. Going out to eat was rare, and my mother would have thought she'd be judged harshly if we didn't eat our vegetables or didn't have a home cooked meal (even though she now admits she dislikes cooking).

    Today, I see similar things among my friends, including those with kids and in my neighborhood (which has a very low rate of obesity), except that the potatoes aren't as prominent, the vegetables are more exotic on average, and people eat out somewhat more, but not fast food normally, more likely local spots and a lot more ethnic cuisine (when I was a kid people ate "American" or "Chinese" or "Italian").

    I live in Chicago, which is certainly the midwest, and specifically on the north side. There are communities and neighborhoods with serious obesity issues here, although on average the ones most likely to have close and recent connections to the South (and also problems like food deserts and poverty).

    My ex husband is from Iowa. His mother referred to canned green beans as "real" beans. Ugh. They microwaved potatoes. They had a deep fat fryer. They ate Wonder bread.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    None of those things are common in my social circles in Chicago, sorry.

    We mostly saw my grandparents in IA in the summer (died in the '90s, when I was just out of college), so maybe in the winter they ate lots of canned veg, although I know they canned some themselves. I seem to recall canned being more prominent than frozen back in the '70s and '80s (although I wasn't exactly sensitive to it, being a kid -- I just hated canned veg). My main memory of canned green beans and other veg, however, has nothing to do with the midwest. It was when we lived for a while in Alaska (and I'd say that's understandable).

    We did not eat WonderBread, my mom bought Roman Meal (I claimed not to like "sliced bread" as a kid, so I rarely ate either, but thought Wonder had a particularly bizarre texture). We did not microwave potatoes (and we ate lots of potatoes). I also never realized anyone did mashed potatoes from a box until coming to MFP, so those weren't common either. We did not have a deep fat fryer and I'd probably be scared to use one now, since I never have. (My mom did make a version of fried chicken, in a skillet.)

    We also went out for oriental (sounds so wrong now!) and never had "pasta," mostly just spaghetti. My parents would have thought the idea of a meal without meat or fish (yes, I agree fish is meat) was wrong and incomplete.

    I think I grew up on a very midwestern American diet, but it was generally balanced, nutritious, and homecooked.
    edited April 2016
  • loloboyd89loloboyd89 Posts: 2Member, Premium Member Posts: 2Member, Premium Member
    For me it's not really about the population it's more about the weather. Where I live in Alberta (contrary to what Leonardo DiCaprio says) there's snow here 8 months out of the year, sometimes the temperature goes down to -40 Celsius and everyone turns into couch potatoes because they don't want to go outside. Staying fit and active is great in the summer when I can go to the lake, bike the trails or garden... And then October hits and we Cold Lakers (where I'm from) lay down for the long hibernation until May
  • troutlillytroutlilly Posts: 44Member Member Posts: 44Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    sawyeram wrote: »
    The Midwest - Food is also a priority here but it's not the whole foods that I was used to (like fresh from the garden veggies). People use instant potatoes rather than real potatoes (ugh, the horror). Kids aren't taught to eat a variety of veggies . . . or any veggies for that matter. People don't cook homemade meals here they eat out or eat from a box.

    This is 100% not my experience of the midwest. We always ate fresh food and vegetables when I was growing up (however, we ate canned when we lived in AK for a while, for obvious reasons). My grandparents in IA had a huge, lovely garden, and their idea of a perfect snack was home-dried fruit or, for special occasions, fruit pie, made at home. Birthday cakes and so on were normally homemade. Sure, we ate meat and potatoes (and a veg), and not the fried and delicious specialties that the South is known for -- but fresh and wholesome, yes. Going out to eat was rare, and my mother would have thought she'd be judged harshly if we didn't eat our vegetables or didn't have a home cooked meal (even though she now admits she dislikes cooking).

    Today, I see similar things among my friends, including those with kids and in my neighborhood (which has a very low rate of obesity), except that the potatoes aren't as prominent, the vegetables are more exotic on average, and people eat out somewhat more, but not fast food normally, more likely local spots and a lot more ethnic cuisine (when I was a kid people ate "American" or "Chinese" or "Italian").

    I live in Chicago, which is certainly the midwest, and specifically on the north side. There are communities and neighborhoods with serious obesity issues here, although on average the ones most likely to have close and recent connections to the South (and also problems like food deserts and poverty).

    My ex husband is from Iowa. His mother referred to canned green beans as "real" beans. Ugh. They microwaved potatoes. They had a deep fat fryer. They ate Wonder bread.

    THIS. Sounds very MN to me.
  • RWClaryRWClary Posts: 192Member Member Posts: 192Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    I see worn out haggered women all the time going way over top because of eating out. I just prefer not to exercize just so i can eat more..

    I thought you were supposed to be a dancer, at least that is what I assume from what you have chosen to call yourself, and the several times I have seen you post about ballet. Now you say that your only activities are housekeeping. Very interesting. Generally when 25-year-olds identify as dancers they are in the studio several times a week, working en pointe, and are ballerina-ripped with lean muscle that take hours and hours of extremely challenging work to maintain.

    Dancing isn't exercise. o:)

    Dancing is art,sport and exercize. If your not already aware Dancers have some very decent calorie burns. I do not know where you are from senecarr but where I come from it is but better than that it is an enjoyable pasttime for all ages young and old.

    Where I come from?
    enhanced-buzz-32332-1338585204-16.jpg

    Santa hitting the booze again...lol
  • nvmomketonvmomketo Posts: 12,031Member Member Posts: 12,031Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    I see worn out haggered women all the time going way over top because of eating out. I just prefer not to exercize just so i can eat more..

    I thought you were supposed to be a dancer, at least that is what I assume from what you have chosen to call yourself, and the several times I have seen you post about ballet. Now you say that your only activities are housekeeping. Very interesting. Generally when 25-year-olds identify as dancers they are in the studio several times a week, working en pointe, and are ballerina-ripped with lean muscle that take hours and hours of extremely challenging work to maintain.

    Dancing isn't exercise. o:)

    Dancing is art,sport and exercize. If your not already aware Dancers have some very decent calorie burns. I do not know where you are from senecarr but where I come from it is but better than that it is an enjoyable pasttime for all ages young and old.

    Where I come from?
    enhanced-buzz-32332-1338585204-16.jpg

    Santa hitting the booze again...lol

    LOL :D
  • rwhyte12rwhyte12 Posts: 201Member Member Posts: 201Member Member
    If you have access to a gym, I would try weight training and cardio a few times a week. It's not that hard once you get into it. It makes you feel better too so that you're more likely to walk and to chose good foods.
    OK, there are trainers on here but here's what I was taught by a fitness trainer...
    Weight lifting for women is just based on doing fifteen reps three times. It makes muscles which means energy requirements get higher all through the week whereas cardio is more about burning calories right at the time.
    So my friend the weight trainer said to "select six weight lifting machines to do", then go to the side of the gym and do "three other weight related or stretching activities" then go do 30 minutes on the machines.
    Sometimes when I go to the gym, people are on the weight lifting machines that I want so I just pick other ones.
    I do this three times a week and things I notice are: weight loss, able to eat a little more food, better knees so faster walking, more energy all day long and just a general feeling of being healthy.
    I wish you had more support in your journey. Keep at it!
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    rwhyte12 wrote: »
    If you have access to a gym, I would try weight training and cardio a few times a week. It's not that hard once you get into it. It makes you feel better too so that you're more likely to walk and to chose good foods.
    OK, there are trainers on here but here's what I was taught by a fitness trainer...
    Weight lifting for women is just based on doing fifteen reps three times. It makes muscles which means energy requirements get higher all through the week whereas cardio is more about burning calories right at the time.
    So my friend the weight trainer said to "select six weight lifting machines to do", then go to the side of the gym and do "three other weight related or stretching activities" then go do 30 minutes on the machines.
    Sometimes when I go to the gym, people are on the weight lifting machines that I want so I just pick other ones.
    I do this three times a week and things I notice are: weight loss, able to eat a little more food, better knees so faster walking, more energy all day long and just a general feeling of being healthy.
    I wish you had more support in your journey. Keep at it!

    That's nice. Who are you talking to?
  • callitaday1callitaday1 Posts: 4Member, Premium Member Posts: 4Member, Premium Member
    I live in Louisville, KY and it's an anomaly to be at a healthy weight. At 5'6, 135 lbs. I've been commented on as being too thin. Try finding a running group while you are at it. While losing weight, most of my peers said my heaviest was their goal, 200 lbs. I couldn't fathom 200 lbs being healthy, however it's the norm around here.
  • 47Jacqueline47Jacqueline Posts: 7,076Member Member Posts: 7,076Member Member
    Yes. Where you live can affect where you are in the obesity compendium. Denver, for example has the lowest obesity level in America.

    Dancing, nay be except for the waltz, can burn up to 800 calories an hour. I. Know hundreds of people who not only lost a ton of weight doing Zumba, but kept it off.

    Dancing also does more to prevent dementia than doing crossword puzzles, and is a lot more fun.

  • JeepHair77JeepHair77 Posts: 1,291Member Member Posts: 1,291Member Member
    Funny, I'm in Houston, and I know we're supposedly one of the fattest cities in the country, but I seriously don't see it. I think, in a dense and diverse population, you can find yourself completely immersed in a sort of sub-population. And my sub-population is pretty healthy.

    In my office, for example, I'd say there are more "fit" people than not. Most of the people I know run, or bike, or work out at the gym. Shoot, around 2:00 in the afternoon, the tunnels are packed with people in their professional suits, headphones, and sneakers, out for their daily walk. At lunchtime, the line at McDonald's is actually pretty skimpy, but if you go to Salata, you'll be waiting 15 minutes or more.

    I live in the suburbs, and similarly, I'd say that the fitness level of most of my friends and neighbors is pretty healthy. Some of that is probably a "trendy" thing - I see a huge increase in people out walking, jogging, bike riding, etc., compared to ten years ago. I live in an area that's just well-designed for it - greenbelt trails that take you anywhere, lots of parks and gyms.

    Sure, we're Southern, "food is love" types, and the food we cook for get-togethers isn't necessarily low-fat or low-calorie, but it IS whole, fresh food, homemade, and I firmly believe that for the most part, these aren't the food trends that are getting us in trouble, as a society.

    So I guess I think that the question is much more narrow than "region." My "region" may be pretty fat and unhealthy, but that's a pretty easy influence to avoid, depending on your actual, immediate surroundings.
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    JeepHair77 wrote: »
    Funny, I'm in Houston, and I know we're supposedly one of the fattest cities in the country, but I seriously don't see it. I think, in a dense and diverse population, you can find yourself completely immersed in a sort of sub-population. And my sub-population is pretty healthy.

    In my office, for example, I'd say there are more "fit" people than not. Most of the people I know run, or bike, or work out at the gym. Shoot, around 2:00 in the afternoon, the tunnels are packed with people in their professional suits, headphones, and sneakers, out for their daily walk. At lunchtime, the line at McDonald's is actually pretty skimpy, but if you go to Salata, you'll be waiting 15 minutes or more.

    I live in the suburbs, and similarly, I'd say that the fitness level of most of my friends and neighbors is pretty healthy. Some of that is probably a "trendy" thing - I see a huge increase in people out walking, jogging, bike riding, etc., compared to ten years ago. I live in an area that's just well-designed for it - greenbelt trails that take you anywhere, lots of parks and gyms.

    Sure, we're Southern, "food is love" types, and the food we cook for get-togethers isn't necessarily low-fat or low-calorie, but it IS whole, fresh food, homemade, and I firmly believe that for the most part, these aren't the food trends that are getting us in trouble, as a society.

    So I guess I think that the question is much more narrow than "region." My "region" may be pretty fat and unhealthy, but that's a pretty easy influence to avoid, depending on your actual, immediate surroundings.

    I have a similar situation - I live in DFW, but my neighbors are not overweight and they're active. Lots of families out walking, running, bicycling with their dogs and/or kids. We have a good network of trails and parks available, even a small lake (very big pond for those that live near legit lakes). At work, there are very few who are overweight. Most are foreign and young.

    Where I see the obesity is in certain restaurants (yes, the stereotypical ones), and at retail shops where there are a mix of people from the metroplex.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    That's how it is in Chicago too. There are neighborhoods and circles where obesity is quite common, but around me--at work, in my neighborhood, in my social circles--more people are fit and active than not, and being really fit and thin is quite common (and definitely a positive thing).

    Walter Willett's new book is about this, I believe: Thinfluence.
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