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Weight Loss is my First World Problem

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

We had an AMAZING speaker at my Rotary Club meeting last night. This gentleman (from my local area) just got back from a 3-week trip to Malawi, Africa where he helped install 120 water wells for communities in the "bush" that had no clean water sources. Did you know that about 4000 children die PER DAY in Africa from contaminated water sources? Many people's closest clean water source is a two-hour walk from the villages and people walk (no one has cars) two hours each way every day for water for their families and communities! The problem (and the solutions) are too much to go into in this blog...but suffice to say I left the meeting feeling like I needed to do something to change the world.

And another thing. After looking at the photos of these beautiful African children (that he took - not advertising or promo shots), with their yellow eyes and sickly distended bellies, I was so sad. So sad that I focus so much of my time and mental energy each day to beating myself up over what I percieve as my "distended belly" - which is caused by my own excesses instead of malnutrition, lack of water, and disease. While I certainly intend to keep making progress on my weight loss goals, I felt very much that my weight loss is my own version of a "first world problem." Our obese society is a reflection of the excesses and bounty we take for granted here in America. And next time I inwardly groan at having to refill my water bottle (getting in my 8 cups a day is a real challenge for me) I will remember these children who would do ANYTHING to have fresh clean water at their fingertips at any given moment...and literally are dying because they don't. And I vow that next year my biggest new years resolution will be focused not on weight loss, but instead on giving back and counting my blessings!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yep, regardless of how little the average North American earns, we're wealthy in the eyes of the majority of the world's population. Very humbling stuff.
    2776 days ago
    What a wonderful and important blog! Thank you.
    2782 days ago
    Such an important blog: thank you.
    2782 days ago
    We have traveled quite a bit in second- and third-world countries and it is always eye opening to see how thin they are...totally agree with you that obesity is a first-world problem, and it's embarrassing to travel and be "just another fat, soft American."
    2783 days ago
    I have a few friends who have worked on clean water supply in Haiti and in various countries in Africa through engineers without borders and through water for people, two organizations that are trying to affect positive change. Access to clean, safe water is a huge issue in much of the developing world.
    2783 days ago
    This is such an inspiration blog! Thank you for the reminder that I should be thankful that I have clean water and (more than enough) food to eat. I feel like we sometimes get caught up in ourselves and what we're working on that we forget there are bigger problems in the world.
    2783 days ago
  • MSHEL7
    Very good, we need more of these kinds of blogs. Here I am feeling blah over my exercise program, imagine if I had to walk to get my water every day. Yes, a 1st world problem. Thank you for posting.
    2783 days ago
    Its so true. Its wonderful when things like this come along and change our perspective.
    2783 days ago
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    Thank you for sharing this. You're so right !
    2783 days ago
    Those poor children. I implemented Clean the World into my hotel two years ago. It's a company that takes all of our half used shampoos and soaps and they break them down into new soap and send them to these people who do not have any. It's amazing how many lives our little hotel has saved from doing this. What a great thing this man has been doing and I'm sure that you will be great helping others as well!
    2783 days ago
    Wow! What a powerful blog! Very inspirational too. You are so right! We often let our own struggles (whether it be weight loss, having to drink our water or any number of things) grow in our minds until they block out our view of just how fortunate we really are and how many people around us in the world are hurting this very second. And I am right there with you - deciding to finish this journey so that I can focus my attention on helping others.
    2783 days ago
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