Yesterday, I stumbled across the above photo with the caption
“ I’m too poor to be healthy! “
“If I was well off, I’d be able to buy fresh food and afford a gym membership!”
It was something I saw and immediately found hard to digest. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that fresh food is expensive; obscenely so. We do live in a world where it is hard and expensive to be healthy because we live in a world where everything is supersized and instant gratification is expected at all times. People are busy and there is no time. No money. See, how I did that? There ARE a million excuses as to why our lives are not as we would like them to be. This caused quite a stir on my Facebook timeline.
As someone who had active eating disorders for 8 years and who is now overweight I can tell you a few things
1) Even if you have all the money in the world and all the fresh food and gym memberships, if you don’t use them they don’t work. Believe me, middle class suburbanites all over the world can attest to this. Am I right?
2) Even if you are the “ideal” weight that does not secure that your life will be “ideal”. That’s a myth. I know. I had the ideal weight and body size and I still “needed” to lose “just 5 more pounds”. If you don’t fix your perception of yourself, you can’t be happy because no matter what you look like, you will still be unhappy on the inside. Being skinny is not a magic happy solution.
3) You have to be accountable for and to yourself in order to change yourself. Blaming others for your situation is giving up. I firmly believe that where there is a will, there is always a way. You only have to be willing to look for it and work at it.
4) The real reason most people are overweight, myself included, is simple; lack of movement, an abundance of unhealthy choices and not knowing correct portion sizes (who could blame them. We live in a world of indulgence and excess.)
** Also, I am completely aware that there are people with health and medical issues that make losing weight even harder than normal or even impossible but most of us are fat, if we are honest with ourselves, because of life choices we make. I made the choice to starve myself for 8 years. My metabolism is shot dead but it’s not impossible. I just need to work harder at it than most but most days, I still choose to eat the pizza or drink the Latte because I want it. I sit on my ass all day at a desk working. This is why I am overweight. I can’t blame anyone or anything. No one shoved the food in my mouth. No one forced me to not prioritize working out. Only I can do that and it doesn’t cost anything to walk.
So, I did my research and I found the real story behind the salacious title ( we all know how online publications like to do that) unfortunately, she really is full of shit, as I originally thought. Here is the story from the Daily Mail UK..
An obese mother-of-two who lives on benefits says she needs more of taxpayers’ money to overhaul her unhealthy lifestyle.
Christina Briggs, 26, from Wigan, says she hates being 25 stone (350 pounds for you Americans) but she can’t do anything about it because she can only afford junk food. Meanwhile, exercise is out of the question because she doesn’t have the funds to join a gym.
The single mother told Closer Magazine: ‘It’s not easy being overweight and on benefits. If I was well off, I’d be able to buy fresh food and afford a gym membership.
‘I tried swimming but it cost £22 a month and it meant I had to cut back on my favourite pizza and Chinese takeaways.’
Unemployed Christina gets £20,000 in benefits a year and lives in a council house with her two children by different fathers, Helena, 10, and Robert, two.
She left school as a teenager after falling pregnant with her daughter following a one night stand.
The family feast everyday on takeaways, chocolate and crisps as Christina says they can’t afford low fat foods. As a result, the mother is currently a dress size 26.
She has been warned by her GP that her health is in danger because of her size – medical complications relating to obesity include heart disease and diabetes. Christina is desperate not to leave her two children without a mother and doesn’t want her size to take her to an early grave.
But she insists ‘it’s not my fault – healthy food is too expensive’.
She feels her only hope is for the government to give her more money so she can afford to buy fruit and vegetables and join a gym.
She also believes she should be paid to lose weight as that would give her the motivation to fight the flab.
She told the magazine:
‘I need more benefits to eat healthily and exercise. It would be good if the government offered a cash incentive for me to lose weight. I’d like to get £1 for every pound I lose, or healthy food vouchers.
‘If the price of healthy food was lowered that would help, too. I need help, but I need it from the government.’
She added that she can’t get a job to gain more money because she’s needed at home to care for her children, especially as her daughter has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and issues with her kidneys.
‘There’s no way I could get a job. I don’t feel bad about the taxpayer funding my life and my child’s medical problems, because I don’t treat myself or buy anything excessive. I just get enough money to live on – the taxpayers should help fund my diet.’
There you have it, all in her own words. It’s Thursday and this entire situation needs a throat punch. She KNOWS that she needs to exercise and eat more healthy. She knows that much. BUT she is making excuses and blaming others. Does she need more nutrition education? Yes! Does the cost of healthy food need to be more affordable? Hell yes to all of that! But are all of her life problems because the government is not funding her weight loss program? HELL NO!
You can’t tell me with cabinets filled with junk and refusing to give up on her favorite Chinese take-out that her current weight situation is not entirely of her own doing. Choices my friends. Buy in season veggies and fruits. Shop sales. Walk. Move. Buy frozen or canned fruits and veggies, they beat a bag of chips any day.
Here are some links to help you eat healthy on a budget:
Real Food on a Food Stamp Budget
Good and Cheap Eat well on $4 a day
Ways to Stay Healthy on a Budget
Free Online Workouts
What do you think?
Is she too poor to be healthy?