She was getting out of the car next to mine at the supermarket parking lot today, all 5-foot nothing of her. She couldn’t have been a day over 35, and not a pound less than 180.
It was a laborious task, as she placed one foot painfully on the ground, then swung her body out, placing the other foot on the ground. Next, she bounced several times in an effort to stand upright. It was obvious where the heaving had come from — her cankles (no defined ankle so that it appears that the calves are directly joined to the feet)— protesting the extra weight they had to carry.
As she had parked nose in and I, tail in, only one of us could get out at a time. So I stayed in my car till she had swiveled herself to an upright position. Once there, she flashed me a beautiful smile, and proceeded to limp heavily into the store.
As I wheeled my cart around the store I met up with the rest of the family. I had been so focused on her getting out of the car I hadn’t noticed the kids who had got out the other side and zipped into the store before their Mom.
When our carts crossed near the soft drink displays she asked her 9-year-old daughter what she would like to drink in school. Sure enough, the young lady picked a few bottles of pink liquid whose labels Mom had not read (or known to read). The child must have weighed at least 100 pounds.
Mom was looking for her elder child, who, unbeknownst to her, was leaning against the ice-cream fridge, licking a spoon from some apple goo they had handed him at the free tasting booth. I was afraid the glass might give, engulfing the lad in a cascade of glass and ice cream. I didn’t even dare guess at his weight.
Diabesity has hit the younger generation. No longer the curse of middle age alone, it has extended itself to the nation’s young, under-exercised and over-burgered demographic. All three of them were at least on their way to full-blown Type 2 Diabetes. The boxes and cans already in Mom’s cart would send them hurtling down the path to heart disease. Wish I could have helped. What would it have taken to open Mom’s eyes? Their very lives were in danger.
But then, many adults wait until they’re on a gurney to make a decision to do something differently. Wonder why?
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Jacquelyn Johnston M.Ed.
Professional Health Coach and Educator,
Solutions and Support for Optimal Health
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