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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Signs"

We had to make a LONG drive over the weekend and so I had the chance to see lots and lots of signs on the freeway each direction. I didn't notice the signs so much on the way out as I was anxious about where we were going, but on the way back once boredom set in I couldn't help but notice the signs.

There seemed to be three main themes and I just couldn't help but laugh at the irony of two of them. The first theme was the gambling/casinos. Nothing too striking there, other than it sure reminds you how old you really are when they are advertising your favorite singer from the past and your kids have no idea who they are, and they now look old enough to be a grandparent. Makes you wonder if you too look that old.

The other two themes, which where overwhelming in amount, kind of struck both a funny bone and a sore spot with me. I kid you not when I say at least every four miles there was a sign for some form of weight loss gimmick. The overwhelming majority were for the lap band procedure.

I just couldn't help but think one couldn't help but feel fat or overweight when every four miles was a sign for either the lap band procedure or a diet clinic or some form of liquid diet. I can see and understand a sign or two, but for the 150 mile drive home I was reminded every few minutes that I am fat.(I'm not by the way, but you sure can't help but wonder when being bombarded with these signs every few minutes)

What was somewhat ironic and to be honest, enraging for me was the fact that the signs right in front of or right across from these weight loss signs were signs for fast food restaurants. What is the message here? The media is always sending these sorts of mixed messages. Who are we to listen too? I watch American Idol or Dancing with the Stars and am told via Carl's Jr. that I am sexy if I eat this over sized, dripping burger or sandwich and men will watch me with their jaws dropped as I look like a sexy vixen eating this artery clogging death sentence of a meal. But then, right by this Carl's Jr. sign on the freeway is a reminder of how fat I am once I consume this meal and need my stomach stapled.

As an adult and one who makes health and fitness a hobby and lifestyle and soon to be career, I can easily decipher these mixed messages, but what about our young and impressionable youth, especially the young ladies? What kind of messages are we sending them?

Driving another direction through Palm Springs which we often do, there are just as many signs, but these are for various forms of plastic surgery. It seems no matter where we go, or even how hard we may try to avoid negative forms of media, it seems to find a way to sneak into our lives and taunt us and remind us of how inadequate we are in the eyes of the worlds standards! No wonder we have so many who struggle with eating disorders and body image issues!

Then we have the real problems of unhealthy school lunch programs and lack of PE programs in the school. Not to mention just lack of general healthy movement of any sort thanks to our lifestyles today. It is hard to stay healthy physically and even more so mentally in regards to healthy thought processes about our bodies when we are constantly bombarded with these sorts of mixed messages and overwhelming negative ones.

I suppose it's just all a good reminder of where we really need to be looking for our self worth and it's not the commercials on TV, the radio or even the signs on the side of the road. A good place to start is :

Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

1 comment:

Lisa said...

It truly is maddening, those mixed messages! On a drive to Chicago one time, I noticed how many billboards for casinos were next to signs for counseling clinics offering help for gambling addictions! Weird culture we live in.