Obesity is becoming an epidemic in the U.S. It's been an ongoing epidemic in the trucking industry however. It's not as bad in the flatbedding, specialized, heavy haul, bull hauling, or HHG/trade show parts of the industry. These men and women must move, load, strap, chain, tarp, lift, bend, strain, etc (including jumping over, and under bulls) as part of their load. Now, we still have our oversized drivers in these areas, but it's not as rampant as in the dry van and reefer aspect.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why these men and women get to 300 or more pounds, and I've come up with some conclusions. A lot of what I see is lack of self respect, lack of self worth, and laziness.
I asked a VP at TravelCenters of America/Petro Stopping Centers why we didn't have more healthy food choices while eating at their restaurants (this was during a nice breakfast we had with him). The honest truth? Because they serve what sells. They constantly roll out more healthy food choices, and get screamed at to do it, but in the end, everyone wants a thick burger stacked with bacon and fried foods, so they waste money with the healthier options. They've put exercise rooms in certain locations as a trial period. I love these exercise rooms for I can work out in private, since no one can dedicate 15 minutes of their time to pedal or hit the treadmill. So, they've once again wasted their resources listening to you, while you would rather take the lazy road, griping and complaining the whole way through.
Last night, I posted in quite a few places. The question was simple, and the answers were typical. "Why don't you cook in your truck?" Some were lazy, some it was beneath them, some would interact with others and watch the pounds add on, and some thought it was beneath them. The funny part is, one attacked me for this question. My thought is if the question offends you, you may be the one needing to cook out of your truck.
Here's the excuses. I will follow them up with a rebuttal like always.
1. I don't have time. (Don't you spend over an hour in a truck stop to get served "real food," and 30 minutes for a packed fast food restaurant. Some things take less than 5 minutes. Some take no more than 30. So, where are you losing time? You may want to take a gander at these recipes.)
2. It stinks up the truck. (So do your farts, your sweat, your diesel smoke, your smoking (if you smoke cigarettes), your breath, your feet, your armpits, etc. Should we remove all of that also? There are things called air freshener, lysol, febreze, plug in's, etc also if you think your farts smell better than food.)
3. I like the social interaction. (You can get the same social interaction while in one of the aforementioned exercise rooms, doing laundry, or sitting in the restaurant for an after-dinner coffee.)
4. There's no way to do dishes. (If you shower, (I do use the word if for a reason), you can wash the dishes in the shower before you shower. Takes a whole whopping two minutes max to clean your cookers. There are paper plates and bowls, and plastic utensils that can be thrown away.)
So, where's the excuse in not cooking??
Next up, exercising. I had an exercise buddy via the phone. He would walk as much as I would every day. I believe he has since given up. It's not that hard to walk a few laps around the truck stops. Many people do it every day. Add some lightweight hand weights or ankle weights to help with a better overall impact.
I am known to climb on top of the flatbed, and do squats, side lunges and lunges. Yes, people will walk right up and stare. Until you stare back at them like "Why are you looking at me?" in a completely psycho manner. At this point, they realize you have hand weights, and you may be a little nutty, and the run the other direction.
Crunches are also a wonderful way to get started. They're low impact, and a lot easier on a heavier body or bad back than sit-ups. Of course, with any exercise, start off slow, so as to not do more harm than good. The links will demonstrate exactly how to use the exercises I use.
You can also buy a cheaper all-terrain bike, chain it to your catwalk, and have a great tool to exercise and see the town around you when you have time.
Bruce is a true story. I love Bruce, he's a good friend. He's a skinnier man. When he revealed to Lou and I he once weighed over 400 pounds, it shocked us. When we figured out he lost it while trucking, while diabetic, it overly impressed us. He needs to be a mentor for this issue, for he's got the "get your ass in gear" attitude that many out here need.
Here's the editor's choice (editor, i.e. Lou) for cookers. As always, we have recipes here, and if you have a recipe, you can always send it. I will post it.
George Foreman Grill (great for chicken, salmon, tilapia, vegetables, steaks)
Xpress Redi Set Go (great for pizza, burritos, omelets, muffins, pigs in a blanket, etc)
Crock-Pot (great for lasagna, roasts, pork loin, stews, chicken & dumplings, etc)
Pasta/Rice Cooker (great for cheesy broccoli & rice casserole, pasta dishes, mac & cheese, soups, etc)
Barbeque Pit (great for anything on the pit, and fits in your side box)
Fridge (fits a week of food, and some canned sodas, without issue. Wal-Mart has an inexpensive replacement in-store warranty also. We've always had one this size in our truck; from Freightliner, to Peterbilt, to Kenworth.)
Inverter (the priciest piece if you don't already have one, but it'll pay itself off within the first two months)
Here's to your health, and your wealth! Bon appetit and adios to your waistline!