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Author: WhitemiataXP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 58676  
Subject: All you American born/raised folks... congrats! Date: 6/5/2003 11:51 PM
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I was having a conversation with a woman @ the gym about dieting and stuff came up I thought I'd share. Something my TMF wifey posted reminded me of it...

Boy, I really feel sorry for you American born/raised folks. It's funny but when I moved here, I had to adjust to everything tasting freggin' sweet. S#it even sauces that are meant to go on freggin' salty s#it are sweet! What in the world is the deal with America's love affair with sugar?

When something wasn't Sweet it was overwhelmed with I dunno how to say it better than "fattening fluids"

For instance I was used to Salads being spiced up with either lemon juice, or a tad of olive oil, a bunch of vinegar, some salt and pepper.

meanwhile on this side of the pond it's mayonnaise and it's friends Ranch, 1000 island, etc. etc. etc. ... by the time you're done eating a Bennigans salad with 100g worth of croutons, 300g worth of thorougly battered and fried chicken, more dressing than salad itself, and the ubiquitous roll & butter... you could have had the freggin' Death By Chocolate cake and at least you wouldn't have the thought that you ate healthy to go along with the extra weight you'd gain from your lunch.

But seriuosly, I really thank my lucky stars that I *learned* a lot of the nasty habits that have gotten me to my current (albeit 13lbs smaller than a month ago <yay!>) porterly-ness ... so they're not truly second nature to me.

I think I mentioned the memorial day party... they had these delicious strawberries... really yummy, and other than me and one other person that I know of... everyone else was either sprinkling sugar on top of them, or dipping them in fudge. It just boggled my mind.

I feel sorry for them because prolly those behaviours are so ingrained that stopping them must really feel like deprivation.

When I tell friends here that as a kid, other than maybe cookies for breakfast on occasion (and by the way we didn't have stuff like chocolate chip, oreo etc they were much simpler and less sweet/fattening), sweets came in the form of Pastries which were ALWAYS and ONLY present if we had guests for lunch (so I'd say maybe once every 2 weeks) and cookies and birthday cakes for birthday parties. They're amazed. Ok, of course there are also sweets for Christmas, Easter etc... but you'd be surprised how much significantly lower in calories, fat etc, they are compared to our typical any day dessert (most of my friends here think Panettone can't even qualify as a *dessert* LOL).

I can honestly say that in 21 years that I lived in Italy we NEVER had ice cream in the freezer. Not once. Mom would make popsicles sometime, with ice tea, or something.... but it was a hit or miss thing that possibly occurred 2 times in a summer then not again for 3 years :-P

And eating in front of the TV?!?! Nope, didn't happen... eating was at the table. Even snacking... that had it's time... "merenda" ... miss the merenda time and there was no snacking.

Anyway, I hear a lot of folks here say that they think europeans are thinner than Americans primarily because of the signficantly larger amount of walking that they do... and that's prolly a factor... however there are profound differences in eating habits that IMHO not only make one diet healthier than the other... but that also put Americans on weight loss programs at a significant disadvantage... as they must contend with the feeling of deprivation that I presume must come with eliminating some of the nastier habits.

The point of this post is twofold... I thought it would be amusing to some of you to get a glympse of the different habits in another country, as pertaining to eating in general... but I also wanted to take a second and really truly congratulate you American born/raised buddies on the weight loss path for having to muster that much more strength to overcome habits I really can't blame YOU for.

Pat yourselves on the back, and keep it up!!!

Alessandro

P.S. Of course I'm describing how things were 10-15 years ago. Back then there was ONE McDonalds in Italy, in Rome. Now there are 2 in the big city near my home town alone... and I'd be surprised if there aren't more than 100 nation-wide. The equivalent (albeit smaller) of our Malls are sprouting up all over... with food courts and everything... I anticipate that soon enough we'll start seeing american-style obese people walking the streets of Rome, Paris and Frankfurt.

Which kind of begs the question... since things are leaning towards getting progressively worse... the guy in the seat next to me on the plane comes to mind. No wait, not on the seat next to me, on the seats next to me. he was taking up 2 seats... and still didn't fit... (most uncomfortable flight of my life, should have asked for a refund) ... one'd think that'd be the bottom. But in my experience when folks reach the bottom, a lot of them grab a shovel and start digging further. So... what's the next phase? How does it get worse from there?

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Author: HippeauFlip Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37610 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 12:43 AM
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Yup, you got it right on the head.
We live in a land of great excesses. We have too much. We are accustomed to luxury. We "deserve" to treat ourselves, weekly, maybe more, by going out to a resturant and loading up.
We "deserve" candy, cheesecake, ice cream because we work so hard (in our air conditioned offices where we never break a sweat).
Yup, yup, yup.
Worse than that is that most Americans, at least 80% don't even realize it.
I wasn't raised with sodas or packaged cookies, they just weren't as common back then, but we had sweet tea with every meal. We had ice cream all summer and cakes or pies in the other months. It was just normal for us.
My mother fed, fed and fed us and forced us to clean our plates.
As an adult, I had to re-learn how to eat and it's still a challenge some days to limit my portions. I can't blame the restuarants, because I don't HAVE to eat it all.
To my co-workers, I am a weird-o for only getting one single small brownie from the all you can eat buffet, and one single plate from the buffet proper, and half of that was salad with no dressing. (I can't stand salad dressing, mayonaise or anything like that. I never could)
they think I'm wasting my money, but which is the bigger waste, the $3.95 for a buffet or shoveling excess food into my mouth where it will be stored as fat by my body and make my clothes uncomfortable, increase my chances of heart disease, diabeties, high blood pressure and stroke and make me guilty later because I DID eat it.
(I am never guilty later because I didn't clean my plate)

ANywhoo, yup, you are a very observant man. It's changing slowly, due to all the obesity and diabeties, but a lot of people simply will not change their terrible eating habits.


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Author: WhitemiataXP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37612 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 1:09 AM
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I wasn't raised with sodas or packaged cookies, they just weren't as common back then, but we had sweet tea with every meal.

Wow! There's one I missed... the whole sweet stuff to drink. And making me feel like I'm some kind of miser for ordering WATER to go with my meal at a restaurant. Sheesh, I wish they'd just charge the same amount for water as for soda and stop treating those of us who don't necessarily think that all food should be accompanied with either: SUGAR, ALCOOL or NUTRASWEET, like we're 2nd class citizens!

We had ice cream all summer and cakes or pies in the other months. It was just normal for us.

Since you brought that up... in the summer it wasn't uncommon for mom or dad to buy us an ice cream on sunday when we were at the park with our friends... but the ice creams were so small... and the walking around was so much, that prolly from a calorie standpoint, they were freebies ;-)

To my co-workers, I am a weird-o for only getting one single small brownie from the all you can eat buffet, and one single plate from the buffet proper, and half of that was salad with no dressing. (I can't stand salad dressing, mayonaise or anything like that. I never could)
they think I'm wasting my money, but which is the bigger waste, the $3.95 for a buffet or shoveling excess food into my mouth where it will be stored as fat by my body and make my clothes uncomfortable, increase my chances of heart disease, diabeties, high blood pressure and stroke and make me guilty later because I DID eat it.


LOL! I've had the same thing happen! Here's my explanation to them:

"I paid $X.XX for the meal. I consider that amount of money to be what I pay for the priviledge of enjoying lunch with you guys... it's obviously not tied to what I then choose to eat from the buffet. Way I see it the $X.XX is a fair price for the experience. If I stuff myself, I'll pay an additional price immediatelly with the stuffed discomfort and again an additional price with the getting fatter"

I've found that convincing myself that the money I spend on food is to buy the experience rather tahn the food makes it much easier for me to disconnect the quantity of food from the price.

And incidentally the same applies to food I MAKE AT HOME!!!!

If I've got some pasta left in my dish and I'm really not hungry anymore, I used to just eat it so it wouldn't go to waste.

Now I just tell myself "was lunch good? YES! Did I enjoy it? YES! Did I save a lot of money compared to if I'd eaten out? YES! If I eat that pasta, rather than throwing it out... do I get any richer? NO! just Fatter!

sounds silly that I have to consciously play that whole thing in my head, but I'm firmly convinced I have a demented "must eat everything I paid for" automatic behaviour and I'll be damned if I don't figure out how to overpower the sucker, if it takes giving myself dumb little pep talks (quietly of course) 'till I'm blue in the face.

Alessandro

Who thinks that the whole problem lies in the fact that "ANYTHING" and "EVERYTHING" sound so close to one another.

Truly enjoying what America has to offer (and this country surely does have A LOT to offer) should be done by appreciating how you can often choose to have almost ANYTHING you want.

Switch that ANYTHING with EVERYTHING and suddenly you have obesity, cronic debt... etc. etc. etc.

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Author: sarkie Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37622 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 9:51 AM
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Alessandro -

Speaking of sweets, I've been meaning to ask you if you are familiar with something I saw on the Food Network a few weeks back. On Everyday Italian, the chef said one of her favorite things in the world is ricotta cheese spread out on a plate and sprinkled with sugar! She said she could eat a huge plate full all by herself. Have you ever heard of this? Have you ever tried it? I have to admit, it sounds really tempting and decadent - maybe not a whole plateful though.

Sarkie

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Author: WhitemiataXP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37623 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 10:00 AM
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Alessandro -

Speaking of sweets, I've been meaning to ask you if you are familiar with something I saw on the Food Network a few weeks back. On Everyday Italian, the chef said one of her favorite things in the world is ricotta cheese spread out on a plate and sprinkled with sugar! She said she could eat a huge plate full all by herself. Have you ever heard of this? Have you ever tried it? I have to admit, it sounds really tempting and decadent - maybe not a whole plateful though.

Sarkie


I'm not sure how much that would differ from the dessertish thing I suggested to Jan in the sugar substitutes thread.

4tbsp ricotta, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp unsweet cocoa or coffee grounds (preferably the very fine expresso kind).

The thing I've had is then mixed, as opposed to just sprinkled... not really sure how much difference there would be between spreading and mixing.

I love it, it tastes yummy, not overly sweet but still "dessertish"

Depending on thickness you spread it out, what she describes could easily be just say 6 tbsp of ricotta... that plus 1.5 tbsp of sugar'd still be under 190 calories, still a bit less than say a subway chocolate chip cookie. Except it'd also be almost 1/3 of your calcium requirement, 11g of protein and a good Vitamin A source.

Alessandro

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37632 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 11:39 AM
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"I paid $X.XX for the meal. I consider that amount of money to be what I pay for the priviledge of enjoying lunch with you guys... it's obviously not tied to what I then choose to eat from the buffet. Way I see it the $X.XX is a fair price for the experience. If I stuff myself, I'll pay an additional price immediatelly with the stuffed discomfort and again an additional price with the getting fatter"

maybe it's the phrasing of ALL YOU CAN EAT - almost makes it sound like a challenge or a get your money's worth contest. Instead of just buffet - Please choose as much or as little as you care to.

peace & phrasing
t

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Author: WhitemiataXP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37635 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 11:45 AM
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maybe it's the phrasing of ALL YOU CAN EAT - almost makes it sound like a challenge or a get your money's worth contest. Instead of just buffet - Please choose as much or as little as you care to.

peace & phrasing
t


Excellent observation! I bet that does have a huge impact on folks' behaviour at a buffet!

Alessandro

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Author: QASteph Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37660 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 2:59 PM
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The funny thing is that while I grew up in America and I wasn't as deprived as you were (no ice cream in the freezer *ever*? egads!), I see it as a time difference as well.

Growing up we had sugar cereals only on Sundays (like frosted flakes or honey nut cheerios, most of the sugar cereals out there were never allowed). Dessert was not a given; we had dessert maybe once a week and then it was frequently homemade and thus, possibly, less sugary. We very very infrequently had sodas - those were an unimaginable treat. I do not ever remember having a candy bar in our house unless it was near Halloween or, possibly, Easter. We picked strawberries and dewberries and ate them with no extra sweetening; sometimes we didn't wash them either :). Even after our small town got a McDonald's, it was extremely rare for us to go there. Eating out at a real restaurant was reserved for very special occasions maybe twice per year. Some of that was because my parents were living with 5 kids on one teacher's salary. Some may have been where we lived back then (Arkansas). But I think quite a bit of it is an attitude shift over the past few years. Not even that many years - I'm only 27.

Now, a whole 15 or so years later, soda is a daily occurance (I don't like the taste of regular sodas and so have always had diet sodas but even those shouldn't be daily...). Dessert is almost as frequent. Candy is in bowls or containers on at least 5 desks at work that I can think of. It is considered retraint to get fast food or eat out only once per week. Like I said, I don't know if this is geographic -- small town in AR vs. larger suburban area in CA -- or economic or if these past 15 to 20 years really has changed the face of the whole country that much.

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Author: Beejayw1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37670 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 5:45 PM
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Boy, I really feel sorry for you American born/raised folks. It's funny but when I moved here, I had to adjust to everything tasting freggin' sweet. S#it even sauces that are meant to go on freggin' salty s#it are sweet! What in the world is the deal with America's love affair with sugar?

When something wasn't Sweet it was overwhelmed with I dunno how to say it better than "fattening fluids"

For instance I was used to Salads being spiced up with either lemon juice, or a tad of olive oil, a bunch of vinegar, some salt and pepper.

meanwhile on this side of the pond it's mayonnaise and it's friends Ranch, 1000 island, etc. etc. etc. ... by the time you're done eating a Bennigans salad with 100g worth of croutons, 300g worth of thorougly battered and fried chicken, more dressing than salad itself, and the ubiquitous roll & butter... you could have had the freggin' Death By Chocolate cake and at least you wouldn't have the thought that you ate healthy to go along with the extra weight you'd gain from your lunch.


Hm. Big generalization about a big country that's about 8 x the size of, say, Italy, which has its own regional issues, as well.

I've lived all over this continent, and one thing I have to say is that there isn't any one thing that you can say about America (cooking or otherwise) that holds true all across the country.

Sweet? 'Fattening fluids'? You've been hanging out with the wrong folks.

Beej
Off this thread again.

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Author: HippeauFlip Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37675 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/6/2003 7:26 PM
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maybe it's the phrasing of ALL YOU CAN EAT - almost makes it sound like a challenge or a get your money's worth contest. Instead of just buffet - Please choose as much or as little as you care to.

peace & phrasing
t

Excellent observation! I bet that does have a huge impact on folks' behaviour at a buffet!

Alessandro


I was on a business trip back in December with a guy from my shop and many other people. There was a Mexican resturant right across from our hotel and they had an all you can eat lunch buffet.
A group of us went one day and after a couple of cheese enchiladas and some rice, I was full, everyone else made maybe 2 trips through the line. No one was overly glutonous.
The guy I work with, after 3 plates, said it was time to rest, let everything settle and then he'd go back up, because he was "by God" going to get his moneys worth.
Just so you know, this buffet was only $4.95.
We left him there and went back to class.

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37687 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/7/2003 10:03 PM
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one of the 'strangest' things I do is always ask for salad without dressing (naked)......



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Author: WhitemiataXP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37688 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/8/2003 12:23 AM
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Beej,

Not that I disagree with you or anything. Thing is that while certain specific customs may be in fact particular to an area, others frankly aren't.

No that doesn't mean that EVERYONE partakes in them but I'd say that by far a vast majority does.

Here are a few examples:

1. Drinking sweet drinks with one's meal - at least when eating out. Please do point me to a state where that's as non-prevalent as it is non prevalent for instance in Italy.

... actually that's it... I don't think it's even necessary to go further with that...

heck you could say that I was generalizing if I said that Italians eat pasta all the time. I'm pretty sure you'd be able to find a lot of Italians who don't... but they'd be statistically insignificant.

If you think that there aren't habits that are typicaly Italian, typically French, and yes, typically American then I'm fairly confident you're making a conscious effort not to see them.

Alessandro

Sweet? 'Fattening fluids'? You've been hanging out with the wrong folks.

I don't want to sound like a pain in the ass, but please do show me a state, region, county or what have you in America where you can't find at least 15 different types of very fatty salad dressings in a grocery store.

Then do the same experiment anywhere of your choosing in Italy.

Then maybe find me a state in the U.S. with less "ALL YOU CAN EAT" restaurants than all of Italy... I lived there for years, traveled all over, lived in the south, in the center and in the north, in large cities, and small towns, and I've NEVER SEEN A SINGLE "ALL YOU CAN EAT" restaurant.

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Author: sjfans Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37691 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/8/2003 3:43 AM
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I don't want to sound like a pain in the ass, but please do show me a state, region, county or what have you in America where you can't find at least 15 different types of very fatty salad dressings in a grocery store.

Then do the same experiment anywhere of your choosing in Italy.

Then maybe find me a state in the U.S. with less "ALL YOU CAN EAT" restaurants than all of Italy... I lived there for years, traveled all over, lived in the south, in the center and in the north, in large cities, and small towns, and I've NEVER SEEN A SINGLE "ALL YOU CAN EAT" restaurant.


Do not confuse gluttony with simple freedom of choice.

We live in the U.S. of A. Sure we can go to the grocery store and find 15 fatty salad dressings. We can also find 15 non-fat salad dressings. We can probably find specialty salad dressings as well and that's at the regular grocery store. Go to any gormet food store (and you don't have to be in a huge city to have one) and you can find zillions of varieties of numerous foods from all over the world.

Yes, there are "all-you-can-eat" restaurants here. That doesn't mean everyone goes to them all the time. I have a fairly large circle of friends and we go out to eat occasionally together. We never go to those places. When we did was when we were poor college students and could survive on one large meal a day. The cheaper that meal was had, the better.

There are other advantages to those places. One instance that comes to mind is in coastal areas of the US where there are all-you-can-eat seafood places. For one, most people in those areas are on vacation and in the mood to be a little over-indulgent. For another, it gives you the opportunity to sample many foods you wouldn't normally eat without paying for separate dishes. You can try a little of this, a little of that -- oh wait, you don't like that? well try a little of this instead.

But far and away, those all-you-can-eat places are overrun with families with numerous kids. Children under a certain age often eat for $2 or $3. Heck, at Ci-ci's Pizza even adults eat all they want for $3.99. The children eat for even less. Where else can a busy family satisfy Suzie's no-sauce request, Tommy's pepperoni fetish, Mom's all salad diet, and Dad's pasta craving without Mom cooking 4 separate meals? Then when the kids are done eating they can run off to the arcade room to play games with the other kids while Mom has a moment of peace and quiet. Lazy? Maybe. But at least we have the luxury of treating ourselves to that once in a while.

Yes, there are those who take advantage of the gluttonous nature of the buffet. Once, several years ago, DH and I went to Golden Corral's buffet breakfast. We got there around 10:30 and ate what we wanted and finished around 11am -- also the time the buffet breakfast ended. We noticed several tables around us of Hispanic patrons (nothing against Hispanics but this was the case) who had finished eating a little earlier but, they weren't leaving yet. DH and I lingered a while having a leisurely Sunday brunch. Well, when 11am rolled around the waiters cleared the breakfast buffet and set out the lunch buffet, which cost several dollars more. Turns out, once you were in the restaurant you were in. You could sit there and eat all day if you wanted. The people who had been there before us got up and proceeded to eat off the lunch buffet. What a feast for a poor Mexican worker who makes a minimum wage to fill his belly all day on 4 bucks without having to cook!

This does not mean we all eat like pigs. We (fortunately) live in a land of plenty. One cannot blindly translate that the choices we have mean that the majority of the population takes advantage all the time. Yes, it is easy to abuse our freedoms, super-size our meals, and over-indulge to the point of making ourselves fat. That doesn't mean we were all brought up to do so.

Comparing the cultural habits of America to any other country must also include a comparison of their socio-economic climates, politics, and personal freedoms for for past few decades. That, my friend, is comparing apples to oranges to say the least.

sjfans

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Author: WhitemiataXP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37700 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/8/2003 3:19 PM
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sjfans,

Everything you say is wonderful and it sounds so great, and you can bet anything you want that I believe that YOU and YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS for the most part do not overindulge, do not frequent the all you can eat buffets etc. etc. etc.

But you can take the whole "don't generalize rethoric only so far" the fact of the matter is that on average Americans are SIGNIFICANTLY FATTER than Italians.

You can ascertain this by the statistics

You can ascertain this by walking throguh the streets of Italy and just LOOKING WITH YOUR OWN EYES AT WHAT PEOPLE LOOK LIKE

Or you could go into clothing stores in Italy and find that an italian XL t-shirt is a muscle-shirt for someone who routinely comfortably wears an American "LARGE" ... you'll then find that you'll have a heck of a time finding a store that sells XXL Italian size... which is close enough for an American XL size... and you can certainly forget about purchasing clothes anywhere comparable to 2XL 3XL etc.

Now of course you can tell me that's due to availability of choice... Us here in America have the choice of buying a t-shirt that there would be called a Teepee.

Explain this to me, please... I have a lot of friends over there, and I have a lot of friends over here.

Here, when I look at my friends I think I'm "NORMAL"

There, when I look at my friends, I think I'm FAT.

if you want, when I go this summer I will take a nice panoramic from my father's balcony... which is right on main street where everyone in the town goes for walks in the summer... then maybe you'll see what I'm talking about when you find that you can't find anyone that would fit the definition of "OBESE"

Heck... here there are so many of us who do fit that definition, that we've now upped the bar for fear of offending each other and instead of saying "you're obese" we say "you're technically obese" or "according to the charts you would be obese"

Does that mean that EVERYONE in America isn't FIT?

NO.

Does it mean that there aren't huge groups of people who are fit?

NO.

But bottom line if you came here to South Florida, I could drive you around to a gazillion places where you would see copious amounts of visibly way beyond "technically obese" folks. You could NEVER do the same in Italy, unless you found some touristy restaurant where a bunch of Texans are taking a break before visiting the colosseum.

Alessandro

P.S. I feel like the more I'm replying to this the more I may be writing things that could be perceived as offensive to Americans in general. I don't mean to do that at all. As much as I believe in restraint and self determination, I am convinced that the reason why we are so much fatter is because of the availability of all this junk food. I predict that when McDonalds reach similar saturation in Italy than they have here, and once Malls totally annihilate the small stores requiring folks to walk... Italians will fall in line and look just like we do. Wether that's a good or a bad thing I leave to everyone to determine for themselves... I have my personal opinions on that and they're not up for discussion.

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Author: DanielDauenhauer Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38890 of 58676
Subject: Re: All you American born/raised folks... congra Date: 6/28/2003 12:55 AM
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Growing up we had sugar cereals only on Sundays (like frosted flakes or honey nut cheerios, most of the sugar cereals out there were never allowed). Dessert was not a given; we had dessert maybe once a week and then it was frequently homemade and thus, possibly, less sugary. We very very infrequently had sodas - those were an unimaginable treat. I do not ever remember having a candy bar in our house unless it was near Halloween or, possibly, Easter. We picked strawberries and dewberries and ate them with no extra sweetening; sometimes we didn't wash them either :). Even after our small town got a McDonald's, it was extremely rare for us to go there. Eating out at a real restaurant was reserved for very special occasions maybe twice per year. Some of that was because my parents were living with 5 kids on one teacher's salary. Some may have been where we lived back then (Arkansas). But I think quite a bit of it is an attitude shift over the past few years. Not even that many years - I'm only 27.

Sorry for the very late reply, QASteph; I started lurking a couple months ago, but fell behind on my move to Austin.

I'm just two years older than you and also grew up poor out in the country (but OR instead of AR), and my experience was similar. One of the results is that I don't like sweets that much, since I rarely had them when I was young; I often refuse proffered pastries or candy bars just because they don't appeal, and I actually feel slightly ill at the thought of putting additional sugar on already-sweet things such as cereal or fruit. Another result is that I don't like to snack, again because it wasn't an option when I was kid; eating was only something I did at the dining table to stave off hunger. One consequence that may be unusual is that I eat very slowly, taking very small bites -- a habit originally developed to squeeze as much enjoyment as possible out of the very rare treat of a hot fudge sundae at Burger King or McDonald's -- so restaurant portions are often simply too big for me (the full feeling has plenty of time to kick in before I'm done), and I have no desire to finish them.

You may be wondering why I'm posting here, given all that. Well, I was pretty fit five years ago; but, lots of beer, a gradually declining metabolism, and enthusiastic sloth (I joyfully avoided unnecessary activity) -- plus the accelerant of quitting smoking a few months ago -- all played a part in adding a couple unwanted inches around the middle. The strategy that I've been using so far has been reducing alcohol -- if I can follow it, restricting myself to the equivalent of two pints of beer or less and not drinking on consecutive days will be close enough to quitting, and a lot more enjoyable ;) -- shrinking portions (such as two eggs instead of four, or a piece of fruit instead of lunch), and starting exercising (half an hour on the treadmill six days a week), and I'm already seeing good results.

With my...well, I guess I could call it an aversion for food...I had no excuse, deserve no sympathy, and will probably reach my goal soon without undue strain; so, to keep from irking those who have to really work at it, I'll mostly just lurk. But, I want you to know that everything I read here is very much appreciated! For example, I am taking to heart the tip that fat must be kept off after the first time it's lost (since it becomes much harder to lose the second time), so I am trying to think in terms of permanent lifestyle changes instead of one-time projects. Thank you for the advice! :)

Cheers,
Daniel Dauenhauer

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