Anyway, it was nice to hang out and eat deliiiicious mushroom quesadillas and vegetarian chili while downing Corona Light and Margaritas... any excuse to overeat is a-okay with me! That said, I really need to get back to my regular (better) eating habits. I definitely fell off the wagon this holiday season, what with K off in Washington and me sitting at home with my parents while they plugged me with all kinds of confectionary delights (cookies and chocolate and eggnog, oh my!) and I would really like to shake the heaviness that I feel as a result of all of my edible indulgences.
Having said that, I often get rather hot-and-bothered about the cost of health in this country. Not only is general health care impossibly expensive for most people (I'm lucky enough to have a plan through work, but the deductible is pretty high), but even I, as someone with a definite interest in health and a reasonable income to support it, have a hard time justifying the expense of a gym membership. When I first started working where I am now, I received a $25/month fitness reimbursement, which cut the cost of a membership in half and (I thought) made it realistically affordable. Without that assistance (thanks to the tanking economy), I have a hard time spending $60 a month to go work out in the tiny, itty-bitty gym that is available to me here in Waterbury, which looks like a dungeon and smells like a locker room. I did attempt to go running before work during the summer, but I certainly cannot bring myself to go jogging in subzero temperatures for the six months of winter around here. Conundrum. Instead, I spend a little bit extra at the grocery store to make sure that I'm getting the most nutritious food possible for my buck--fruit, veggies, fiber-rich granola, yogurt--if I can't take advantage of the endorphin-high, I need to be putting some serious positive energy into my body to keep me afloat.
So many things about America just frustrate me, a lot of the time. I won't get too far into it because I could go on all day, but this is a really important issue and as one of the most developed countries in the world, we should recognize and embrace the value of healthy living. It is absurd to me that 1/3 of women (and 60 million people) in this country are considered obese. Not just overweight... obese. No wonder the health care system is so problematic! These people are developing all kinds of health problems, from diabetes to heart disease and back again! I think that the government should somehow encourage people to get up and go the the gym or get some sort of exercise, maybe by subsidizing gym memberships or providing assistance to fitness facilities so that they can lower their membership costs. Maybe there could be some sort of local incentive to shop at farmers' markets or to buy more vegetables at the grocery store. I don't know, I'm not a politico... it just seems like there have to be ways to help people who really do want to improve their natural quality of life but can't quite afford it--going to the gym does make you feel better, even if only for a little while. After working out, I always have more energy and feel accomplished and generally uplifted... I think people would just be happier if they were healthier, and that would solve a whole slew of other problems in our prozac-popping nation.
I think that Tieka's story is incredibly inspiring. She was always a beautiful girl (and certainly never obese), but after reading her blog I definitely got the sense that she found so much happiness and peace with herself after losing the weight that she did... and that is the important thing. In a 1998 interview for Rolling Stone, Fiona Apple said, "Of course I have an eating disorder. Every girl in fucking America has an eating disorder," and unfortunately, I believe that this is also true. I won't say every, but 99% of women in this country are negatively influenced in varying degrees by the skinnyskinny models in the magazines... it is undeniable. In my opinion, that is just as bad as obesity. Why can't we all just strive to be healthy? Basically, the point of that rant is that this month I am going to buckle down and shell out for the gym membership again, at least to get myself back on track. After that, we'll see what happens... maybe exploratory walks in the woods and long summer swims will have to suffice :)
(shirt: Marshall's; skirt: Goodwill, hemmed; tights: grey (Goodwill), white floral lace (TJMaxx); shoes: Madden Girl; crystal beads: Grammy Flood)
Annnd for the outfit: I love love love this white rosette shirt from Marshall's. I wish I could wear it every day. I got this skirt at Goodwill and purposefully hemmed it a little longer than usual, just in case I ever need to wear something appropriate. It's an okay length, but of course I wish I had made it a wee bit shorter. For some reason I'm really into grey lately...