Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sharing my blessing with others

I spent a lot of time thinking about the confluence of my first internal surgery and the hurricanes coming down to Florida last year, because it all happened around this time.

One thing that happened during my bout with uterine fibroids was I gained a ton of weight, and I was chubby to begin with. I arrived in New York City last year wearing a size 20. (Yeah, I know!) I was actually happy with that, because I'd worn a 22 right before my surgery. I now fit comfortably into a size 16; I'll be happy if I can go down to a size 12.

I saw appeals for plus-size clothes. So I figured I had some to spare. They were gently-worn, even. I bagged, labeled, and boxed them up today, with sizes on the outside. I bought them in Florida, so they'll be suitable for the climate. L'Ailee put together a bag, too. Her itty-bitty clothes will probably go to the tween-age kids, who I hope will appreciate her interesting combination of jock-girl and goth-girl. (Actually, she put in quite a few basic things--"How many black and gray tank tops do I *need*?")

I hear a lot about how even America's poor people are fat and how there are so many fat evacuees. That's not a good thing. I suggest that anyone who wants to make comments like that take a good hard look at what's available in the grocery store. Look at what has a "WIC-approved" label under it--milk, eggs, butter, white bread with no fiber, "juice" boxes with a trace of actual juice, canned fruit with heavy syrup (which means, sugar-water.). Think about how many working poor people don't even have the food stamps. Compare the price difference between a box of Little Debbie apple cakes and a pound of fresh apples. Actually look at how many apples a pound of apples is--usually three or four. Better yet, don't go to *your* grocery store. Go to one like Food Lion or Bi-Lo or Sav-a-Lot, in a poorer neighborhood. Try to figure out what a mom can get to feed her kids healthily when she only has thirty dollars a week to work with, in that store.

Then shut the hell up about the refugees' size, why don't you? A bit of knowledge can silence the most pompous windbags, if it gets to penetrate.

Some peoples' suffering didn't begin with Katrina, and won't end there, either.

And me, I danced around the small but serviceable house, "pannicule" and all, and gleefully exclaimed over how there's no way in hell I'll ever need those great big clothes anymore.


Nancy said...

Well said Cracker. And I have lots of large size clothes to donate. Living here in So Cal, I too have many that are good for the climate.

I would love to get the address where you are sending them. We sent kids clothes to my step daughter in Houston. But, I have not heard where I can send large sizes and I have everything from 18 to 24. And purging is my middle name right now!

Nice post!

SassyFemme said...

You brought up such a good point about how healthy food is expensive, and unhealthy food is cheap. It costs money to eat healthy, and be healthy. It's so messed up that it's like that. I wish that the assistance programs would give some kind of voutures for healthy food, or reduced prices or something. I don't know how it all works, but it just seems like in a country where we have what's referred to as an epidemic of diabetes caused by being overweight, and its occuring in large numbers amoung the poor, something should change. It can't come from the poor, because given the choice between quantity and quality, they HAVE to choose quantity, to feed their families.

Qivan said...

Good point, Cracker, VAncouver has these government funded cafeteria's that serve really healthy food at a very minimum cost. You can get a decent, nutrious meal for under 3 dollars Canadian, and in keep in mind your dollar is worth more than ours. And it's not just homeless people using it, but working poor, people on welfare etc.

cats said...

oh, thank you! how very very true. i've bought food for women and children moving from the shelters into their own apts. it's not the easiest thing to do to get healthy (and good tasting food) for a few dollars.

Karen said...

I too have lots of clothes I have been holding on to.
since losing some weight, I have lots of clothing that I am planning on sending out.

I think that if healthy food were affordable, this country would shrink a size or two--we have had times in life where all we could afford was dry beans, rice, pasta etc. Doesn't make for a healthy diet -- but when you have a family to feed you are thankful to have it. But yet the government wonders why obesity is so prevalent among low income families.....