Note to self: Do not, repeat not, go to Costco before noon on a weekday. This seems to be the time that every elder decides to hit the store. Now, as a future elder, please don't accuse me of being an Ageist. I'm a realist.
In the parking lot, I got in my cardio for the day by dodging senior drivers who forgot which thingy was the brake, and which thingy was the accelerator. Eldest and Youngest Sons, you have my permission to take away the car keys when I get to that point.
After surviving the Parking Lot of Death, I noticed some disturbing connections inside the store. The health of the elder seemed to be directly related to what was in their cart. I would imagine that it's no coincidence that the more carbage in the cart, the heavier the elder. The worst example of this was the couple directly behind me in line.
One caveat here: The stereotype of the pushy and aggressive fat woman, though a stereotype, still rings true. Fat cells soak up estrogen, leaving too much testosterone circulating in the bloodstream. Hence, the aggression, facial hair, and sometimes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Okay...
The woman was morbidly obese, and kept inching closer and closer to me, and I thought that it was another case of an overly-aggressive fat woman. Then, I realized: the woman was having trouble standing, and was trying to get closer to the check-writing level so that she could lean against it. She was out of breath. Standing. In. Line. Out of breath. I looked at her husband, who had to have weighed at least 375 - 400 pounds, and he was also out of breath. He was flopped over onto the cart. He was too heavy and out of shape to help unload the carts. The wife was having to do it all herself, and was struggling. I looked at her. I looked at him. Then, I looked in their carts. Yes, carts. Multiple.
This scenario is not what I want for myself in the future.
There was no way that those two were not diabetic, with the high blood pressure and calcified arteries that diabetes brings. I can't imagine what the morbid obesity is doing to their heart and kidneys, much less their hips, knees, and ankles.
The sad thing is that those two people are starving. Literally. Because of their high carb and sugar, diabetes-producing diet, their circulating blood insulin level is always too high to allow them to tap their fat cells for energy. Their blood sugar gets too low, the body reacts by triggering cravings and hunger, they eat even more carb and sugar, and the cycle starts all over again. Ad infinitum. They might have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 - 50, but they are starving. To death.
I want to be the 91-year old woman who ran the marathon in San Diego in 7 hours and change. I want to be an elder who can drive well in a parking lot, because I am still clear-headed and not confused. I want to be in line, unloading my own cart of meat, whipping cream, cheese, and veggies, and be able to stand on my own two feet.
That's worth much more to me than a cart full of crap.