Today as my partner had to go out of town for work, I decided to take advantage and join him. The plan was the discover a new town while he is at his meetings. Unfortunately it was not the nicest day. It ended up starting to rain – pour – and I was looking for a warm shelter. Not having an cafes in the area, I ended up walking into a diner. I am not talking about Deny’s or another chain diner, but a good old, real American diner, a hole in a the wall tiny corner spot. As a traveler I love walking into tiny local joints to observe people, to listen into conversations and to learn about the culture. Diners especially can bring interesting stories.
Today I got to observe the health, healthcare and food crisis in America… Now as a health coach perhaps I should have said something, list 20 documentaries and websites, tell stories and hand out my card (f*ck, yea, smart self-marketing), but I decided to put my researcher mask on (my previous career was in social research): just sit and observe.
There was Joanie (I am changing all the names), the chatty and obese waitress. I observed as between serving and washing dishes she kept shoving food into her mouth. She even ate from someone’s left-over probably without even realizing it. I found out that she has a torn tendon in her shoulder likely from bowling as she has been a bowler for 25 years. It is getting more and more difficult for her, she is using lighter bowls and as she is ‘aging’ (and gaining weight, I am guessing) it is more and more difficult for her to move. Next week she is going in for stomach surgery for a problem I have no information on. While finishing off a slice of pie she explain how she has to watch her sugar because she is diabetic. I don’t think she realized that she was eating a pie full of sugar!
And then there was Laura, the other waitress, very outspoken with a deep voice from smoking. Yeap, she is a smoker – only 1 or 2 packs a day she said. Her husband on the other hand is smoking 3 – 4 packs a day, sometimes more. He had a heart attack before and is suffering from lung cancer. He gets chest pains and they have to call the ambulance several times a week due to his extreme chest pains. He is not willing to quit smoking. Laura thinks it would be enough to cut down to 1-2 pack a day because he only gets pain after the second pack…
I must mention Johnny as well. Johnny has been going to this dinner for over 40 years. Every day. He was sitting there drinking coffee after coffee. (“Can someone pour another cup of coffee to Johnny?”, screamed Joanie into my ears.) He was scratching lottery tickets at the same pace as he was drinking his coffee. Then he ordered a large mac ‘n cheese, not even being half-way through with it he proceeded asking for a hot pocket as well.
Pete was sitting on the end of the table nibbling on some fries, then as the lunch menu was up asking for a small bowl of mac’n’cheese with bread and butter on the side. Then he asked for 2 hamburgers to go with it. And a diet coke. And a Snickers bar…
Linda walked in to buy some lottery tickets. She didn’t win and walked out. She was back in 5 minutes for more. Then she left. Then she came back for more. “I am just waiting for my bus anyways.”, she mentioned. She did this five or six times. She bought countless lottery tickets. She didn’t buy any food. She was complaining that she can’t afford to eat more than a meal a day…
Donnie ate two burgers with some fries and was discussing that it is so much better than Burger King but more expensive. Then he went into a deep discussion on burger comparing every chain food restaurant on the plant.
I could go on with stories. The two ladies leaving as I was walking in who clearly finished several plates of eggs, sausages and pancakes with cups and cups of coffee. The man complaining his burger wasn’t big enough and asked for more. The third waitress who kept complaining how tired and hungry she was yet she was also snacking constantly on mac’n’cheese, candy bars and pies. I should not mention the cleanliness of the place. It had a character for sure, but hygiene not so much. Half of the discussion was on food (like burgers and mac’n’cheese) and health problem (of course not in relation to each other). The other half was on TV shows that made me completely lost as I don’t watch TV ever.
Living on no-quality food without any nutrients, never seeing vegetables, overeating but being undernourished, not exercising, feeling over-worked, being unenergetic and tired, smoking and drinking, vegging out on the couch in front of the TV, scratching lottery tickets hoping for some luck, being unhealthy and so on – yeap, it was right there in my face.
As I was sitting there sipping my tea (the least toxic item in the entire place), writing in my journal, listening in, observing and occasionally engaging in their conversation I couldn’t help to think: this needs to change!
You may wonder why I didn’t intrude and give a speech on whole foods… It wasn’t my place at the time. When I went inside, my goal was to quietly journal. I ended up observing. I learned a lot watching this crisis in my face. I didn’t want to advertise myself either… I did ‘accidentally’ leave a few health and recipes brochures I happened to have with me. Small seed like that count too.
But now I feel even motivated and happy to be part of the change that is much needed in our world! I am here to take care of me and help others to take care of themselves. I am here to educate, to inspired, to listen, to guide, to support and to love.
I am here to be part of this change. Are you with me?
We can change the world. We can change our lives.
Yes, YOU can change your life and the life of those around you.
If you need guidance, support and love along the way, if you are looking for a health coach, you can always contact me for a free health consultation or sign-up for my services. Or if you want to be a health coach yourself, you can also contact me, I can let tell you about my experiences at IIN and help you to get special discounts.