Friday, 24 March 2017

Lazy Gifts Make Us Fat

With Mother's Day rapidly approaching (2 days away at the time of writing) I thought it would be an appropriate time to vent a little on a subject that I feel very strongly about and has been on my radar a lot recently...

Lazy and thoughtless gifts.

Picture the following scenario:

A woman (let's name her Harriet) in her late forties has been struggling with her weight for the best part of her adulthood.

Harriet drags herself to her local gym twice a week, pounding the treadmill and throwing kettlebells around in the hope that her efforts will help her to chip away at the spare tyre that's settled above her hips.

Harriet is popular and has loads of friends both in and out of work who she occasionally calls when she's down about her weight. They encourage her to keep trying and that she shouldn't be so hard on herself. 

They see in Harriet an intelligent woman with a successful career and beautiful children and don't take her infrequent complaints about her body image particularly seriously. However, they're certainly aware of Harriet's yo-yo dieting and sweet tooth.

It's Harriet's birthday and her friends at work decide to celebrate with a big chocolate cake (Harriet's favourite). They take her out for a pub lunch and arrange for drinks after work at the end of the week. Meanwhile, her best friend outside of work buys her a gift voucher for afternoon tea at a swanky hotel in London and showers her in other consumables.

Are these thoughtful gifts? Do they improve the quality of Harriet's life and show her how much she means to her friends? I'd say not. I'd actually go as far to say that they are lazy and inconsiderate gifts. They're gifts that Harriet has received countless times before and in each instance have acted as a barrier to her goal of dropping body fat and becoming a healthier version of herself.

The general public's understanding of what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet is better than it's ever been. Even the least informed should know by now that a diet high in sugar and processed food is suboptimal. Yet why do so many seemingly smart people sabotage their friend's and families progress. Why do so many of us deem bringing donughts into work on every celebration or occasion acceptable, especially when fully aware that Steve, who sits to their right, is morbidly obese and suffers with depression and Suki, to their left is a type 1 diabetic.

So this Mother's Day how about treating the woman who gave you your life to something other than a box of overpriced, highly processed balls of sugar. I'm sure you respect her enough to be a little more creative than that.

Instead, give her a cuddle and tell her you love her (flowers optional).


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