In "These Are the Fattest Cities in America" Joanna Fantozzi calls attention to the obesity epidemic. What she means by the fattest cities is unclear. I assume she is talking about the percentage of people who are fat.
I am walking down the sidewalk of a city in the top five listed as the fattest cities. I am fat. In my opinion, I could afford to lose forty pound (I’m being kind to myself.) At 73 I feel healthy—young and vibrant. People tell me I look young, but I think my adipose tissue deceives their eyes.
Grandma is on my mind. She always ate well and often walked long distances. She ate a simple high-fiber diet mostly consisting of vegetables. She was never overweight. Despite her simple life, she died when she was 74.
I’m trying to improve. Today I have walked 12, 000 steps. As I walk the loop my husband and I have mapped out for ourselves, I smell hamburgers and French fry grease from two fast food restaurants. Around the corner, I see people flocking into a fried fish restaurant. The smell of frying fish drifts through the neighborhood.
I don’t like being fat, and I’m sad that the beautiful city I live in is one of the fattest cities in the United States. I’m trying to change—trying to lose weight—and yet I know being overweight is only one of the unhealthy habits that hurt people.
Back at home I grill tilapia.
(Mary Lou Cheatham and Sarah Walker Gorrell are the authors of Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek.)