Observing Food Inflammation
I believe one of my best skills is the ability to observe. I observe myself, my surroundings and others around me. It’s something I learned in my first decade. And it’s something I continue to hone now that I’m in my fifth decade. At times I wish I could turn it off because I notice annoying things. Like the slightest bit of dirt in corners or the smallest of spiders on ceilings. However, I mostly observe important things like people’s reactions to conversations or situations. I also observe the rogue blemish that might occur on me or people I know. Ultimately, I’ve learned how to observe what I call food inflammation. It’s a distinctive look prevalent in people that are consuming predominantly industrial food (including fast food).
Inflammation is now Everywhere
In the 1950’s when someone was heavy or overweight, people would use terms like jolly, or round to describe the physicality of the person. Also, the number of people that were ‘jolly’ was approximately 10% of the population. According to WebMD, the current statistic is that 75% of men are overweight or obese. 69% of women are either overweight or obese. We could discuss the many reasons why obesity is increasing. However for the purpose of this blog, I will focus my observations after talking to thousands of people per year.
Many of the people I encounter are incredibly food-inflamed. Even the ones that identify themselves as ‘healthy’ or ‘healthy-eaters’. The inflammation I observe is different from systemic inflammation which occurs silently in the body. That type presents itself as auto-immune conditions and other serious chronic issues. The food inflammation I observe is a physical distortion of one’s appearance. It is apparent in the upper neck, mid-section and behind the arms.
What does it Look Like?
The primary food-inflamed look I observe is right below the ears and into the jaw line. Generally, there is no delineation between the jaw line and the neck. This is a distinctive indication of inflammation that I believe is caused by the foods you’re eating. The second is the upper mid-section. Pressing this area and feeling its firmness is another indication of food inflammation; more firm, more inflamed, less firm, less inflamed. Finally, food inflammation likes to hang out behind your arms, with ‘hang’ being the operative word.
The secondary food-inflamed look I observe is the ‘fast-food inflamed look’, which is slightly different from the industrial food inflamed look. Generally, with this distinction, there is no delineation from the chin to the bottom of the neck. The lower mid-section (tummy) looks as though you can pick it up, it’s as though there is a layer of skin that has formed, and it is just hanging. Sadly, a lot of people designated as overweight or obese have a combined look; both industrial food inflamed and fast-food inflamed.
You might have heard of the popular term ‘skinny-fat’. This look is especially true for the people that are food-inflamed. However you describe it, it is relatively recent. It’s up to us to observe and become aware rather than judge. We need to ask more questions about what we’re buying, be mindful of our surroundings. When we’re aware we should try to teach rather than preach.
Overwhelming, most people are receptive to understanding this feedback. However there are a few that are not receptive to this analysis. They either become incredibly defensive or become overly sensitive. They might see the discussion as judgement rather than an inspiring observation. An observation that can ultimately help them get to the next level on their clean eating journey. Or at least help them to consider starting their journey.
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