Monday, August 1, 2016
Does Lack of Fun Make People Fatter?
I saw this conversation on Fat Logic, I do think that recreational pleasure for Americans is low in general.
I'm not sure about the theories that it is making people fatter but maybe it is just one piece of the puzzle. I think the toxins and other problems are having an heavier impact but lack of fun is tied to stress, and stress makes CORTISOL.
The fat logic people are slaves to the CICO beliefs, but I believe less recreation and social interactions means more depression and more stress and higher cortisol levels too for the population as a whole. It is bringing everyone's health down.
I've had some friends tell me that I get to do some fun things, and that makes me feel weird. No, they aren't pointing to my supposed "life of bliss laying around in my apt by the lake" as one smear campaign believing cousin put it, but the fact when I am not housebound or too sick, I like to go out and explore and DO things, like going to the nature center or out to weird little towns not that far from the one I live in when I am not housebound. So they see my pictures too.
I haven't been more then 100 miles from home since 2011 and that trip was 150 miles to my old town but I try to enjoy life as much as is possible. Going to Facebook and seeing all the vacations and travel is hard for me. I wish I could travel or had the money for it. Many people like me can't afford to travel anymore at all.
More and more Americans got it in their head that life is supposed to be all work and no pleasure. In our growing authoritarian, totalitarian society, fun comes last. There's no parties in the gulag, no social time to be had among the pod people.
What happens in a society where social disconnections, workaholism and more combine to make life only about the DRUDGE and the only pleasure some people are getting is food? Even look at all the lonely people, they go home and their next meal is their only pleasure. I often wonder too if life is so boring for many lower class Americans who have no money to do anything that eating is their main recreation? Remember the 1970s when people did so much leisure activities? What changed? All the changes where everyone is behind screens at home worries me. I became gung-ho to try and get more social interaction going for myself during non-housebound times, and then I realized it wasn't just fat me staying home but the thin and healthy people too!
Ever wonder why the poor are fatter, those chicken McNuggets may be their most fun for the day. I even worry that I had too much "fun" eating a very tasty egg sandwich I had on food pantry sour dough bread with a food pantry Yoplait yogurt. Life needs more pleasures then food. Even then, food with real nutrients, which is more lacking in America, satisfies far more then fake food.
Activity costs money in America. That's a problem. One caveat, the commenters here claim the fat people are not interested in free things like libraries, art museums and other intellectual pursuits which I do not agree with. That is a prejudicial statement. I was in two art museums just a week ago on a non-housebound day. I plan to apply for another scholarship class to an art center this fall [please let there be at least one day one so I can take the bus there and for me to get into the gym by then too]. I also go to free disability seminars. I am a very fat woman who takes advantage of all free intellectual pursuits I can.
"I know families like this, I think the problem is one of recreational pleasure. They can't afford skiing vacations and a new Mercedes, and they're not interested in the metric shitload of free museums, galleries, libraries, subsidised leisure centres, parkland and a myriad of other free things that are nice to do in the UK. The can't have the luxury goods that they see on the TV, so instead they eat. This is how they have fun. They eat and eat and eat. The kids are fat, the parents are fat. The dogs are fat. Food is the only form of pleasure that they can both afford and comprehend." We need to teach people to have fun outside of the context of consumption, whether it be food or goods. But how do you dismantle a machine that TV has worked to build in order to create the perfect consumer society? This thread is making me mad now."
This guy is from the UK, but I think he is right people need to be taught to have fun outside the context of consumption. I'll be honest with you, I hate the modern American life. Sometimes when it's 8pm in the evening and we are both in front of the TV, I think whey are we watching this box instead of doing something else with our life? Why can't we have people over to talk to? Why aren't we outside? The whole society is set up for passive consumerism and it seems doing anything costs money. Try to break out of this system or question it, it can mean major problems.
This is one reason I always had this desire to join an intentional community, yeah I know communitarianism has been used by despots but such communities aren't clamoring for someone in my state of health. I see being part of a community and doing things as important but when society changed to consumerisms, everything became about buying things and if you don't have money to buy things what is there to do? I hope this makes sense. Just living started costing too much money.
In my rural community, I hung out with more old school people who were into laid back art shows and music and that's what I did at night along with hanging out at an old school church where people showed up on Wednesday night. At the church, we did quilting classes and other activities. It was a different world. So wonder I have moaned and cried about losing that community for so long. It almost feels like a dream world in the more suburban wasteland I find myself in now. This is a smaller town but the culture here is upper class suburbs. They don't hang out in coffee shops with each other or openly debate politics. So wonder I get bored, but I am here because there's more resources here. They had the discussion groups and the anti-war group too in my old town.
If I ever move, I want more of that old world back though I got the feeling vestiges of it were disappearing even in my 30 years behind the times town. Now as people become more inward and less community focused, isn't that going to affect people's health very negatively?
Doesn't passive consumerism lead to more obesity problems even in terms of the crappy food forced on people? Now they are even saying that fast food is making the kids dumber! I have seen a variety of articles on that topic.
I have seen kids where the parents just plunk them in front of the TV. I saw a meme the other day where it said "Why did they get rid of the shop classes, kids used to be able to MAKE THINGS instead of being trained to be passive consumers?" I used to see lives I wanted and yearned for in my rural community, I wasn't able to make it happen though I lived on the vestiges of them and enjoyed my interactions, with people who grew their own food, who know how to build and make things. They'd hunt for morel mushrooms, had huge gardens and would sew their own clothes. Their families all lived close and they actually knew each other. I was stuck in an apartment with few tools but I often thought how ideal this was.
Modern boring suburban lives and values are not enticing to me. I am not attracted in the same way. I felt like the rural people talked about things that were more real. I know this may sound odd. Many people in my old rural church as well grew their own food and even did crafts from woodworking to artistic ones. This gave people a chance for more activity, and more things to do that felt important.
I think it's even moreso that systematic educational disadvantage makes understanding and appreciating those museums, galleries and libraries challenging. If reading is hard because your literacy is poor, books are punishments. If you're brought up in a family that disparages art and dance and drama as "poof" activities, you're not going to derive any enjoyment from live culture - if anything, it has the potential to be the locus of shame. If you're not fit enough to run 100m and you get teased for your size, plus your family can't afford the rugby boots, you're probably not going to play on a team.
Something happened in American culture, where the literary and artistic world became for the elite. Its not a matter of the poor people being "too dumb" but this is a world I enter, and classwise, the "you are not welcome" messages can pile up. I feel it here in the two art centers which cater mostly to the very wealthy. One is nicer and offers scholarships but I have felt that extreme class division acutely even if people are polite and I participate out of my love for art. One writing class wanted 150 bucks up front. I never was going to be able to join though I wanted to. We held poetry meetings at the library that went well for a while but petered out. When we went to another poetry conference held by an acquaintance, only 4 people were there.
One advantage of this community is they do love their book clubs and I go to two on and off depending on how housebound I am. He is right about the families that disparage "poof" activities though. I grew up in a family that wanted nothing to do with these worlds. When I invited relatives to my art shows of 2006, I was turned down flat.
Even in the upper classes, I meet young people who simply have been cut off from these worlds, they definitely are even in my upper middle class family which sounds weird but there's plenty of people in the suburbs who disdain "culture".
If ones intellectual life is centered around the TV, it's not going to be focused on sports or the arts. There are often class and money barriers to both but there's also that educational and culture lines. My family never understood my cultural interests from zines to art shows, they would use terms like arty-farty to describe me. They were new money, well my mother's side at least. I had the conflicting messages about wealth being necessary to be worthwhile coupled with this weird hatred of literary and artistic society or so called "cultural" society.
I know what you mean. I live on the outskirts of town, not much in the way of entertainment, but I can occupy myself with a walk, take in some fresh air and the lovely view of the hills and just think. I can take note of the small foothold nature has amidst the neighborhood. I've seen some interesting life out here, and I'm not even that far from the heavy urbanization here in Southern California. But since it's so hot now, I can stay in and enjoy a movie, contemplate film and literature, get lost in some role playing adventure game, or work on a project. It's sad that people can't seem to enjoy the little things that aren't overconsumption of food.
These fat logic people while they are judgmental and wrong about their CICO beliefs that every fat person is overeating, may be on to something here. I do think America has become a very unfun and antisocial society.
Life in America IS too much passive consumerism, and too many are overworked, pulling long work weeks with no time for anything else including leisure, friends and fun. I have met more people who tell me having fun is the last thing anyone should think of, and people need to focus on goals and success only. I don't agree with that. When I write of a toxic unhealthy culture it goes well beyond the food. Other countries and other cultures, I think people do have more fun even if they have to work hard. It's not all competition and drudge. I hope this post makes sense to you all. For people to be healthy, they need verve in life, they need things to look forward to, they need healthy decent tasty food, activities, friends, happiness and FUN.