Obesity among US adults and kids has become such a prevalent problem, that the First Lady has made fighting childhood obesity (and by association adult obesity) her primary platform. So what can you do personally if you struggle with serious extra body weight? How can you fight a disease that has entrenched itself so tenaciously in your body and mind?
First ask yourself how do you problem solve other dangerous or threatening issues in your life? Do you ignore them? Allow them to continue until the danger threshold has been crossed? Or do you strategize and respond to roadblocks with new strategies? Why would you then treat an entrenched disease that has the potential to rob you of a good quality of life or even more years on earth the same way? And why would you minimize the impact this issue (obesity) has on you budget, your professional career, and your family? Whether you realize it or not, your obesity also impacts others. You can actually be taking others down a really dismal journey right along with you.
When kids have seriously overweight parents, statistics tell us their life destiny includes a strong risk of developing obesity. Not just because of genetics, but because the same habits making you fat - will potentially make them fat as well, or at minimum put them at risk of health problems quite early in life. Kids also have emotional issues when parents are seriously overweight. They are embarrassed when people are unkind. They are sad when their parent's weight prevents participation in physical activities that they want to share with mom and dad. So though your immediate impulse is to tell them that people are all shapes and sizes - which is true - the reality is that just like smoking or drinking can impact your health and the health and well-being of those around you - so can being obese.
Programs that treat addiction behaviors often involve steps. That's because changing addictive behavior takes many strategies that build upon each other. When it comes to weight issues there may be validity in a similar approach. The only problem is that when it comes to smoking or alcohol - you can create ways to mostly keep these vices out of your life. We all, however, have to co-exist with food - even if it is our vice. Deeper than that reality is another reality. How do you use food? Is it a source of pleasurable nutrition, fuel that tastes good, or has it become a treatment or habit? If you overeat because it's your #1 drug of choice or because you have become so used to overeating that it seems normal - then you probably need therapy and re-training and that can take a huge commitment on your part. Diets for many people are temporary and recurring strategies with no finite long term value if you still have other demons. That may be because food isn't the main issue - why you eat and how you eat is. So if the reality that obesity kills is not enough to inspire sustained weight loss and behavioral changes, then maybe you need a different kind of treatment plan. Just something to consider.
Published On: March 15, 2010