Okay, so there are some people in the United States who, legitimately, have to have help losing weight. Some people truly have glandular problems. Or genetics makes it more difficult for them to control their weight. But really…
Look around. Very young, teenage, mid-20’s and on up through the ranks…Americans have tipped the scales and more are overweight than not.
Here’s the bad news. Being fat is just the beginning of this tale of woe.
Behind all those extra pounds are billions and billions of dollars being spent on diseases that are directly linked to carrying extra weight – diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hip, knee and ankle wear requiring replacements, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and yes, even cancer.
The numbers are there – how many obese, how many associated diseases, how much faster death is going to arrive at your door if your favorite foods are large portions — all fried, dipped in sugar or laden with high fructose corn syrup. And still, people plow through refined foods like white bread, pasta, and french fries and wash them down with soda.
The numbers on how much obesity is costing this country are almost as staggering as the numbers of people who are overweight. We spend more on obesity than we do on smoking.
In fact, it’s estimated that, if something doesn’t change, in just 6 years, we will be spending just under $200 billion (that’s billion with a b) treating the results of overeating. More than 1/3rd of the US health care budget is going to be eaten up by the preventable diseases resulting from obesity.
If it’s preventable, why are so many people in this country not…preventing it?
That is the big question. And some of the answers are almost as disturbing as the problem, itself.
I’m not a doctor. Not a nurse or a health care professional of any kind. I am old…er. I have gained and lost the same 20 pounds for more than 40 years. I blamed my lightly padded hips on my daughter for 40 of her 45 years of existence. But I was lying to myself. You see, I know what caused my overweight condition and, I’m willing to bet, most of the excess weight the rest of us are dragging around.
You aren’t going to like the cause. I didn’t either.
I kept opening my mouth and inserting food – granted not french fries or hoagies or even donuts (although I dreamed about eating donuts) but I wasn’t eating healthy foods. Bottom line? I was, am and always will be the only person responsible for how fat or how thin I am.
This is not a revelation. It is a fact. Instead of opening my mouth and shoving food in it, any food, food I thought tasted good, food to fill an idle moment or a sad moment or a lonely moment….I decided to shut my mouth, stop thinking of food as solace and start thinking of it as fuel, energy, a way to power my body, not soothe my brain.
Guess what? It worked. In 12 months, I lost 38 pounds. And I really didn’t think I had 38 pounds to lose! But I did and it was easier than I thought it could be. And my hips don’t ache anymore. My food bill has gone down because I’m not buying $5 bags of corn chips or cases of sugar water…I mean soda. And I like walking, riding my horse, gardening and doing yoga without any pain.
Guess what else I learned? There are no magic pills that let you eat all you want of everything you want and “…still lose weight.”
Anyone else wake up and realize your weight is directly tied to your hand which is directly tied to your mouth? Share your story.
And in my next post, I’ll share what really makes me mad about obesity! Warning: You may not like what I have to say.