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Updated on July 28, 2013


Self harming is a term we now associate with actions taken by those mentally affected, upon their own bodies in the form of wrist cutting or knife slashing etc. However, another form of self inflicted "injury" affects far more people in the developed world than this, albeit serious, condition.

Regular readers of my Hubs will not be shocked to learn that once again, I am returning to the subject of obesity and ways in which the individual, by changes to lifestyle can actively develop ways to overcome their own problem.

Neither will regular readers be amazed to find NO pictures or illustrations, for my Hubs are intended for the reader who has gone beyond the Primary stage of literacy.


My senses were uplifted yesterday when, quite by accident I discovered a talent for running in a 5 year old nephew. This came about when I decided to combine my daily bike ride with taking the young boy, his sister, grandmother and my wife around our Country Park to feed the ducks.

After a short distance the youngsters decided their toy motorcycles {without peddles or motors} were as useless as swimsuits in snowstorms and offloaded them to their custodians to transport for them . At that time I decided to push on a bit and did so only to hear the patter of small feet at my rear wheel. The boy had decided male company was needed.

Thus we progressed along gravel paths and grassy trails for a mile or so to the lake edge where we awaited the female contingent. At the time I noticed he was not breathing at all heavily after the run and was positively enjoying the experience.

Eventually, the girls arrived, the ducks were fed ,though in all truth they were not over enthusiastic about it, and we then set off for the return to home. This time the inclines were more up than down but as I changed down gears to pedal up, those small feet kept me close company.

Eventually, after a testing mile or so upwards we arrived home where again I noticed the lad was hardly out of breath at all. Clearly, at this age he has a talent worth encouraging in an age where many of us wonder for the physical health of the young who spend ever more time on sedentary games on electronic machines insted of taking up physical activities. I give this anecdotal snap shot to bring down to individual perception the opposite end of the activity spectrum.

The upshot of poor Physical Education in schools, the explosion of electronic games and the ever increasing dependence on fast, fatty and sugar loaded foods sees us heading ever faster towards a clff edge so high that there is likely to be little hope for the mainstream of humanity unless things are changed.

Of course, that single statement embodies the whole problem for the implication is that the change will come, if it does ever, from the outside. Governments, Councils, Health Authorities are the places our society looks to to providet the solution to the obesity problem.

It is apparently not the problem of the individual but the authorities to deal with this all consuming problem and in that ,for me, lies the root cause of the problem. My nephew at 5 has no such obesity problem and can run like the wind. That is no accident for he has been parented properly. Each morning, I see overweight 5 year olds on their way to school accompanied by waddling mothers {if the 4x4 is not available}. Those 5 year olds will likely follow their parents into obesity and cost the rest of us fortunes that should be spent on disease that are not self inflicted.


Years ago, a pop song from one Helen Shapiro dealt with " Walking Back to Happiness ".The song had nothing to do with obesity but today it could point at least PART of the way to avoiding or recovering from obesity or even less serious problems caused by being overweight.

At 73, my physical activity is less than years ago and quite rightly, but, as my Consultant told me last week, "Just keep on being active". That plus a sensible diet is the simple formula that everyone can, and should, follow.

Information recently compiled by a National Newspaper give small, but clear indication that by following a sensible lifestyle, ALL people can benefit.. A sensible programme was given to 5 people for the study. Each, having been given preliminary medical checks, embarked on a 5,000 steps a day planned walking regime for 4 weeks. The daily total, measured by pedometers was arrived at as the subject determined, eg,. 4 periods of 1250 steps etc. Power or pace walks which give the user a period slighly out of breath, plus abdominal exercises were also included, but nothing too stenuous is involved

Linking diet to excercise is vital, so carbohydrates were off the daily menu till at least 5 pm.


After the month long programme results were compiled as below :

1. Subject is Female. 42 years of age. Previous Weight 11 st. 8 lbs. Post Activity Weight 11 st.3 lbs. Weight loss 5 lbs.

2. Subject is Female 82 years of age. Previous Weight 13st. 3lbs. Post Activity Weight 12 st. 8 lbs. Weight loss 9 lbs.

3. Subject is Female. 47 years of age. Previous Weight. 19st. 4lbs. Post Activity Weight. 18 st 9 lbs. Weight loss 9 lbs.

4. Subject is Female 60 years of age. Previous Weight 9st.4lbs. Post Activity Weight. 8st. 9lbs. Weight loss 9lbs.

5. Subject is Male. 65 years of age. Previous Weight 14st. 7 lbs. Post Activity Weight 13st. 7lbs Weight loss. 14 lbs.

The above results were obtained by each person following a sensible regime of excercise having been given basic technique training. Other benefits can follow from lowering Body Mass Inex, Body Fat Percentage, Cholesterol, Pulse Rate and Blood Pressure lowering and visibly, a lessening in the waist size.


It is now generally accepted by medical experts that Obesity is the greatest growing threat to life and has been for sometime now. It is also accepeted that for too many years there has been neglect of the problem across society. Parents are ignorant of the problem and thus, in too many cases become not only sufferers themselves but influence the lifestyles of children and even grandchildren to escalate the problem as the generations move ever on.

The information above is far from earth shattering, nor is it rocket science, but simply shows that the individual can take charge of their own condition and improve it makedly by adopting simple lifestyle changes and sensible physical activity.


If we are to precis the above into a roadmap for ALL people, regardless of race ,colour, creed , or age then I believe it is a simple as ABC !.

A. Consult your Doctor and ask for advice to follow to lose weight.

B. Follow his advice and seek advice and assistance on specific exercise programmes to suit yourself. A local gym should be able to provide this.

C. Consult a Nutritionist {your Doctor can refer you to one at your local Hospial }. You will receive sensible dietary advice and "no nonsense " information on foods to use or avoid as well as daily meal suggestions.

Of course, all the above rely upon the sufferer having made the mental commitment to lose weight and to follow the advice given. It is claimed many obese people are obese because of psychological reasons. Again, the GP is best placed to determine that and to refer to the appropriate specialist if so. Regardless at the end of it all it is the individual with the problem who eventually has to deal with it. Support is just that, SUPPORT.The individual, by his or her actions and resolve will alone determine the outcome.

In the Bible, Lazarus it was who heeded advice and took up his bed and walked. Maybe today many would benefit from taking a leaf from his bed but simply leave the bed behind and take up some some sensible walking. The facts of many studies, including the one here fully support that !


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      j w adams 4 years ago from Essex/ Alanya/ Hurghada

      Absolutely. As you note Lazurus was indeed raised from the dead by Jesus and I was alluding to that whilst confusing the issue of the man who was also told to take up his bed and walk to illustrate the point that activity is the key ingredient in evading the tentacles of obesity. I will be interested to see how many others spot the matter. Anyway, well spotted.

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      Shawn 4 years ago

      Good article and message. One thing though, Lazarus was Jesus' good friend which He raised from the dead. the man whom He found by the pool and told to take his mat and walk was a man who did not know Jesus because the Bible says that the man went to the temple, the jewish leaders asked who healed him but had know idea because Jesus slipped away into the crowd. :)