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Fat and Obesity

A few days ago I was flipping through the newspaper and saw an article about the Mideast facing an ‘obesity crisis’. I read it in silence and then sat there pondering the issue.

Fat and ObesityThe article had a sense of urgency to it. It reminded me of many newspaper articles that seem to be driven by fear. It seemed to say “Hurry, the
obesity monster is coming and we’re all gonna die!” It reminded me of the swine flue hoopla that was severely blown out of proportion.


Well, if the obesity monster is coming to get us, where are our weapons? How are we protecting ourselves and our children?

The truth is, we’re not.

People already know obesity is a problem. They see it in the mirror every day. They understand the consequences of eating junk food and leading
a crappy lifestyle. They know that their choices are affecting their health and probably their life span.

But why aren’t they doing anything about it?

Now THAT is a topic that I would like to see discussed in a conference. The ideal weight loss campaign would not just have the typical ‘diet and exercise’ push; it would also help us understand why educated adults continue to self-destruct with bad food and lifestyle choices.

I remember when I first went to college, my diet went out the window. Junk food, late night eating, ice cream tubs, you name it (yes, me!). Week
after week I was feeling less comfortable in my clothes. At some point I stopped tucking my shirt in. Then I started unbuttoning my pants after a
big meal. And then one day, I vividly remember thinking “my jeans are too tight, I need to buy new ones.” And I did. I also started buying baggier
clothes.

Not at any point did it occur to me that maybe the problem was not that my clothes were getting tighter, but that I was actually getting fatter! It still amazes me how I continued to be in denial even after I had to change sizes. The human brain is wonderful at making you think there’s “nothing wrong”. That you’re doing ok except for the tiny belly or the slight bloating. Weight gain has a funny way of creeping up on you, and you find you are accepting it slowly as it happens – it’s almost like accepting the death of a sick person who was getting slightly sicker by the day.

So, if you’re reading this and believe that you’re weight problem is ‘fine for now’ then think gain, because it’s not! Do not get too comfortable at an unhealthy weight.

Most people spend their whole lives waiting to lose weight and ‘start living’ and before they know it, their life is almost over and they haven’t lived it yet.

Once we admit that obesity is a condition that we are causing, then it becomes much easier to find a solution for it.

Looking for external help for an internal problem

The irony of all this is that everywhere you look, someone seems to be offering a weight loss solution. From crazy fad diets to pills and surgery; all these experts are telling you that they know what’s best for you and that you should be listening to them. Each expert seems to be saying, “follow me, I’ll show you how to do it best!”

The result? Mixed messages. Confusion. And you end up doing nothing.

So, let me shake you into reality for a minute. Your weight problem is caused entirely by decisions that you are making on a daily basis. What that means is that you have to look into yourself to find a solution. But for most people, that’s too uncomfortable.

In my consulting office, one of the first questions I ask people is, “when you look in the mirror, what does the voice inside your head tell you?”

I get answers like,

“It’s only a few kilos, why can’t you do it!”

“Who is this ugly fellow with a pregnant belly?”

“Who is this person. What have you done to yourself?”

Do you ever catch yourself saying things like that? Do you notice that the voice always speaks to you in the third person as if it’s one of your parents putting you down?

My point is that we can be really harsh on ourselves. That’s why when I tell you to look into yourself for the answer, you’d rather not.

One lady I saw recently told me that I was her last stop in her quest for weight loss. She said, “I tried everything and nothing worked, and if this doesn’t work then I’m going for surgery”.

Let me tell you, there’s no surgery in the world that can stop the voices in your head or improve your relationship with yourself.

Real Solutions

If I claim that I have the answer to your weight problem, then I’d be lying. Only one person has the answer to your weight
problem and that person is you.

All I can do is help you find that person again and make sure that when you meet there will be lots of healthy options around.

Stop running. Take charge of your own health and stop waiting for someone else to do it for you.

It doesn’t really matter what research shows, what really matters is what you will put in your mouth next and what exercise decisions you will be making today.

 

By Alia Almoayed

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