Friday, January 14, 2011

So, if Michelle Obama's full of it, then how do we eat then?

Several weeks ago, I wrote a somewhat critical entry about Michelle Obama’s crusade to make our kids eat right. While I’d support any effort to get any American (especially children) to eat properly healthy, I was skeptical of her probable means to make that end. If you recall (and if you don’t, click here), I started out with a picture of our esteemed first lady walking up a flight of stairs with two other wives of foreign leaders. She’s very obviously larger than the other two.

Is that a problem, really? Well… If there’s one thing that I’ve noticed as I kick around this sub-culture of ours is that your body sells your message. It’s definitely a lead by example kind of world. It’s difficult to be taken seriously if you don’t look the role. Sure, I’m sure it’s possible to have the knowledge of how to be strong and healthy without actually being either but without the body to sell the method, the message reeks from lack of authenticity. So, our thunder-thighed first lady trying to get our next generation to eat more fruits and vegetables smacks of hypocrisy.

So, we’re greeted (yet again) by a good message delivered by a bad messenger. Obviously, we need to eat right but this messenger doesn’t know how to do it. Even if she did, would we really believe her?

With so many people fat in the United States, we have to ask some questions. Is this a case of willful ignorance of not knowing how to eat right? Or, do people genuinely not have a clue? Well, if I assumed the former, I’d be forced to write yet another angry, rant-style blog entry… which I’m in no mood to do. So, we’ll assume that the situation is this: people want to eat right, don’t trust the over-fed, “eat right messenger”, and are left in a diet limbo, not knowing which direction to turn.

So, I’m going to try to make it easy. Yes, you read that right: I’m going to try to simplify the healthy diet. Most of us who are knowledgeable (or pretend to be) about such things know that this is not an easy topic to simplify. There are so many different diets competing for your faith (and your money) in them. Still, I think that this is doable and I’m going to take a stab at it. Right here. Right now.

First list; stuff you should be eating (in order of highest quantity and most important):
1. Vegetables
2. Meat (not processed)
3. Fruit
4. Eggs
5. Nuts and seeds
6. Whole Grains
7. Milk (okay, it’s a drink, sue me!) and cheese
8. Legumes

How you should prepare these foods (in order of priority or relevance to the food)
1. Raw
2. Baked
3. Broiled and/or grilled
4. Steamed
5. Dried
6. Boiled and/or poached

What you should drink:
1. Water
2. Water
3. Water
4. Water

This list should pretty much sum of 6/7th or 85.71% of your dietary intake for the week. In other words, you eat right six days out of seven, letting it all hang out one day of the week. Your daily caloric intake shouldn’t really swing much higher or lower than 2000 calories. You should also be preparing the overwhelming majority of this food yourself.

Is this “diet plan” the best? I’ll fully admit it’s not. It’s not even a diet, really. It’s a guideline on how to eat right. It’s also a far better description of how most Americans dine. We can split hairs about whether or not dairy is the worst thing to consume, how legumes shouldn’t be consumed at all, or how I didn’t mention the word organic at all but let’s be honest: there are several cultures who have ate the two formers in profusion and lived long, mostly degenerate disease-free lives. Furthermore, many of us don’t have the ability to eat the most perfectly farmed foods ever but the next best thing is still far better than resorting to McDonalds. Those of us fortunate enough to be both (supposedly) knowledgeable on the topic and honest with our audience will admit that there is no perfect diet anyway.

They drink milk. Lots and lots of it!

This list also is a good description of my diet...well, most of the time. I’d like to think that I’m in much better shape than the average American. My Life Insurance agent gave me a rate that roughly 7 out of his 800-or-so clients don’t get so I assume that I know what I’m talking about. I think I can prove that I know more than the First Lady does. So, if you’re feeling ignorant about how to eat right, and assuming that you didn’t skip over vast swaths of this entry, consider yourself informed. Now, it’s time to follow through.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog all the time and I enjoy it. I know you might not be a fan of the Obamas but it's very disrespectful to talk about the first lady that way no matter what your political views may be. I'm not judging. It's just that's a good way to lose the respect of some of your readers. Keep in mind she's a real person with many people who love her. It's unfair to criticize or judge anyone based on their appearance. By the way, I'm a staunch republican. Keep writing. I still like you. I know you don't intend any meanness.


Justin_PS said...

I don't like her or Barry. That's no secret. When someone decides to preach, lecture, or lead a movement about getting people healthy or eat right, I don't see any issue with scrutinizing their appearance ie their weight.

In that regard, I look at this as little different than Matt Furey doing the same thing. When doing this, you really need to walk the walk. He, like Michelle, needs to drop some weight. Both don't seem to be putting a huge amount of effort into it.

Even though they both have the right message, it's hard to take them seriously. When I dug up those pictures I used in both blogs, it's easy to see that there are A LOT of people don't take her seriously.

That, in my mind, cheapens a perfectly good message and I think that's worthy of criticism.

Anonymous said...

As I read your entry the first time, I felt distaste that a man would comment so flagrantly and publicly on a woman's body. The explanation you gave for the cause did not help that feeling when I read it a second time. Just being honest. Sorry.


Anonymous said...

I bet Michelle could kick asses of those two waifs. She's plain stronger. You are always saying being thin and malnourished is not a sign of health in a woman. Besides it's that big skirt which makes her thighs look bigger in the photo than they are.

Justin_PS said...

Wow! Lots of love out there for Michelle!

Fatman said...

Your comment was silly in its childish attack on Michelle Obama, but I understand and agree with the basic message. The comment you made carries a whiff of Teabagger guttersniping, and I did not have you pegged as one of those subhuman lifeforms.

It is also silly because her message is sound - people should eat more fruit and vegetables. The two women you are comparing her with are a) Caucasian, hence likely to be smaller by default, and b) a former model and a former TV personage, hence much better looking than the average person, so the comparison will not hold merit with any even remotely thinking individual.

Matt Furey makes a living as a "fitness guru", M. Obama does not. Lots of famous people try to give out exercise and diet tips while not looking like the paragons of strength and health. Having said that, and without harboring any physical attraction to the US First Lady, I must say that she looks better than probably 98% of US women, that is not even including the fly-over states, where the situation is yet more abhorrent.

I do agree with your idea, though -famous people who are not famous for strength and health should stay away from diet and fitness campaigns.

Justin_PS said...


Thank you for your equally-mature insights and for your insightful comments.

Don't be a stranger!

Anonymous said...

Fatman. Pr. Letizia is not Caucasian. She's Hispanic.