Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Solving the LDS obesity problem

You may recall Jamie Pierre skiis off cliffs as a way to witness his faith. I think a lot less Mormons would be obese if we bore testimony not only by waddling up to the microphone but also by skiing of cliffs and other extreme sports. Think about the cultural shift that would happen in parts of Utah if one's devotion were measured by how fast one could run the Wasatch 100.

Also, I think the author misses the point on why Mormons tend to be obese. The problem isn't comfort foods at funerals, the problem is that once a person gets done doing their calling, going home teaching and raising a family then there just isn't alot of time left to work out. And there certainly isn't a lot of time left to work on being an avid your-favorite-past-time-here. Besides, one can not reach the levels of obesity that one might see at the LDS ward house by simply eating funeral potatoes 3 times a year.

Fortunately for me, my calling associates me with 14 and 15 year old young men and keeping up with them keeps me in shape. Once I tried to race one of them up a hill at camp. He's on the Waterford Lacrosse and Basketball teams. I run half marathons. Even race? Not even close. Not only did I cause extreme pain in my wind pipe sucking wind but I also lost the race by a wide margin. He didn't even have the decency to act out of breath.


Dawnawanna said...

My friend and I have often wondered how much better at triathlons we'd be if we didn't have church responsibilities that took up so much free time.

For me it has meant that I didn't do 3 races last year because of various youth activities. It means that I get up at 5am ~3x week to go swimming. I also do my running with Leah in the stroller, I have my own cheering section. (Last week we passed a couple of guys out running, boy were they emabarassed to get passed by a stroller-pushin-mama...But it made me feel good). I do some of my rides pulling the trailer, or Leah rides her trike in the garage while I ride the trainer. I wonder what I'll do when she's too big for the trailer...

I think you can do the working out, you just have to be creative. I think chasing the kids at the playground is working out, it's not working out if you just sit and watch. Walk with the kids to school, play basketball with the kids, let them ride bikes while you walk or run, etc. I gave a lesson on exercising with kids a while back, it's feasible.

archiblogger said...

How interesting that you would discuss this on your blog. I recently read about this in the Seattle Times (I believe).

I don't know if we can play the "I don't have time to excercise card" on this one. I think the problem is bigger than that. I think LDS people just aren't following the Word of Wisdom like we should.

It has been my experience that many LDS people just simply do not live healthy lifestyles. How many people do we know that have 64+ oz. jugs to refill at their local Harts full of Diet Coke, or whatever? Also, I am constantly amazed at the number of fast food places in Utah when I am there. Of course, it's easier and more convient to stop in at McDonald's with the kids than to make a meal at home. However, there is a price to pay.

Also, I am even more amazed and disgusted at the number of people who drive a few blocks to go to the church. Opting to walk a few blocks instead of driving to the church may not make a huge dent on a weight problem, but it's a start.

I am curious if this weight problem is confined to Utah or if is seen everywhere among church members.