Monday, September 30, 2013
Obesity & overweight. That's the problem: it makes us prone to diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It saps the quality of our lives. We can't keep up with our spouses, or the kids, or the grandkids as we used to. And it hurts our self-esteem whenever we can't find clothes that fit, or we see ourselves in family photos, or when someone makes a thoughtless comment.
The solution seems simple: burn more calories than calories consumed. A one-size fits all solution. And on some level it is just that simple. But the reasons why we don't do it, or why we do it for a little while and then stop, or why we reach goal and then heart-breakingly gain it all back plus an additional five or ten pounds are diverse.
Obesity & overweight are what scientists cause a heterogeneous problem, meaning that there are many causes. Some of us gain weight because we eat out of boredom or to deal with other emotions such as trauma, some of us lack exercise opportunities because our jobs are sedentary and we don't have time to exercise after work, some of us have hormonal challenges. The list goes on. Heterogeneous.
So while we (all of us obese and overweight folk) have to burn more calories and consume fewer (and better) calories, the individual strategies that will keep us on track and lead us to success are probably as diverse as we are.
Why am I writing this? Because I am you. I have struggled with my weight since I was a child. I have yo-yo dieted. I have lost huge amounts of weight several times in my life and then gained it all back plus a little. I even joined SparkPeople and then drifted away ... with the predictable results.
But I kept coming back and with the help of this wonder resource (www.sparkpeople.com) and this wonderful community (all of you) something is different, really different, this time. This morning when I woke up and weighed myself I was only 0.4 pounds away from forty pounds lost. And there is no slowing down in sight.
I finally seem to have found the tailored solution that will enable me to achieve permanent weight loss and a healthy life. Keep watching my page, because there are going to be big changes in the next year.
But my point in writing to you, is not that I can do it, that I am doing it. My point is that I have shared your struggles and if I can do it, so can you. If you are struggling right now, do not give up. Seek to learn from your struggles. When you binge, or fail to exercise or track, try to understand why it happened. I promise you this: it is NOT because you are a bad person, or because you lack willpower, or some other negative thinking like that. We live in a toxic food environment where the whole foods of my grandmother's generation have been replaced by processed crap and our lives have become increasingly urban and sedentary.
But there is hope. I'm not sitting around waiting for the food or exercise environments to change. I have found solutions that work for me. And I found them with the help of this web site and with the support and knowledge of all of you. My solution may not work for you. It is not one-size-fits-all. But I am convinced that there is a solution for you. We are all in this together and I believe the future is a lot healthier than today.