Friday, November 15, 2013

Finding Fit

Adejoh Idoko Momoh

First it was at the Wal-Mart, then the Premium Outlet would follow. It would be the same thing at the local Wendy’s or Burger King: all fat people.

Some riding automated carts so they didn't have to walk about shopping for their groceries or ordering the most fattening item on the menu irrespective of their balloon-sized-weight. It wouldn’t be too long before I would ask myself:

‘Where’s all the fitness, sexiness Hollywood has made me believe is synonymous with America?’

I would go to Food Courts, look around for a snack: candy, frozen yoghurt, sugar coated Danish and I would conclude America is a society that encourages obesity among its young. A society that charges a higher premium on small soda packs only so you are encouraged to purchase larger ones.

I would see this first hand when with a Nigerian friend training as a doctor in Florida at the time; I would go to the Altapointe Mall in Winterpark. Tired from seeing ‘Elysium’ and window shopping, we would settle for a blizzard. I would ask for a mini cone and my friend a medium, the red haired server lady would ask:

‘a mini?’ wearing that look sales people wear when they think you made the wrong choice and can do better. ‘if you’d upgrade your mini to a medium, you could get both cones for 99 cents each as opposed to the $1.30 cost of a mini or $2 medium’.

My friend, himself a few pounds heavier now would say;
‘Take the upgrade, whatever you have left over, I’d finish’.  I would look to him and smile. Run my palm over my now slightly bulging tummy and say, ‘I’d take the upgrade’. The lady would smile back as though I had made the wiser choice.

She would turn the cone up-side-down as though to show the blizzard was frozen stiff and I would remember my friend saying to me earlier nothing is quite as good as a blizzards frozen deliciousness.   

As we took our seats to enjoy our blizzards, I would notice a white haired lady with her American accent bent to reach the lowest layer of a phone case booth, her thighs about half the size of my waist and I would wonder: how in a society with unlimited options and organic food, people still couldn’t make the simple choice of living healthier lives.

Adejoh Momoh ( can be followed on twitter @adejoh