Put the Fork Down
The obesity percentages in the US are off the charts. Overall 38% of adults in the US are obese and 17% of teenagers are also considered to be overweight or obese. It is said that “Misery loves company,” should this be true, I am not the only fat and miserable person hanging out in the clubhouse. I am not self-defined by my body and I see myself as a sum of many parts but the scrutiny of medical practitioners, society and those that love me have an effect on how I travel through my life.
Doctors and the medical community putting clinically or morbidly obese into our permanent medical record make some of us, Fat-Folks believe we should be wearing a big scarlet F on our clothing. I have to come clean, in stating that I am not defining self by doctors, society and the reflection in my own mirror I am in reality lying through my chomping teeth. What I had to do personally was flip the script and realize a healthier body is going to enable me to walk the earth for a bit longer. Below I have put together several points I had to look at before my personal weight loss journey began:
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1. I had to examine if I had a problem with honest and fearless self-assessment.
I had to first answer my personal, “Why?” Was I pursing a healthier way of life because of health concerns to get free of all the toxins I put daily into my body or was I secretly longing to be invited to the cool table in the cafeteria? If you were a social misfit prior to losing weight you will continue to be a social misfit. Body shape has very little to do with popularity although advertisers would like you to believe so. Think about it, how many commercials do you see with a group of fat folks whooping it up? Many people who have lost weight still suffer from social anxiety. The reality also is that if you were an abrasive, obnoxious person when overweight you will remain that way, making it extremely hard to ascend any social ladders. So be brutality honest when you answer the question, “Why am I doing this?” The truth may set you free.
2. I had to examine if I was losing the weight for myself or just trying in order to get people off my back.
Some of us acquiesce to a weight loss plan simply to get well-meaning family and friends off our backs. Doctors also play a pivotal role as they
often prescribe weight loss and exercise for all that ails the obese I have never heard a MD prescribe self-assessment in the place of diet, exercise and in some instances stimulates. This was a major hurdle for me, as I sat munching on carrots I grew increasingly more resentful. As an act of defiance I found myself gorging when not under medical or loving inquiring eyes. I had to be ready to take control of my own unhealthy life and do it on terms I could be comfortable with.
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3. I had to examine my fear which manifested itself into laziness. I was for many years the “Why try,” spokesperson. I had tried and failed every new diet fad and exercise program out there and had always gained my weight back.
Average weight loss is 2 pounds a week and it takes a long period of time in which patience, self-care, discipline and self-control are required. Let’s face it we live in a got to have it now world. Everyone wants a fast efficient way to shed the weight. When a person like me looks down at a scale and sees a large number of pounds needed to come off we do the math. Two pounds per week=8 pounds per month=a thousand years to lose the weight! You have to again be brutality honest with yourself and admit the pounds didn’t accumulate overnight and aren’t going to come off overnight. Many of us would like to believe we went to bed one night with the body of a triathlon runner and woke up with the body of a couch potato. Sorry folk’s nature just doesn’t work that way.
I am not including this last point in my list merely because it is my own personal demon. My age is the biggest deterrent in my fight to lose weight. At fifty+ years I feel I can’t lose a great deal of weight without medical intervention. I spend a lot of time thinking about gastric-bypass, gastrointestinal bands and gastrointestinal sleeves. These thoughts are nightmares that haunt my days. I really don’t want my plumbing re-routed or a stomach the size of a banana. Is this the only choice my aging metabolism and laziness leaves me? I hope it is not.
You are not alone.
Fellow obese tribesmen what do you see after appraising your true reflection? Do you feel overwhelmed with being overweight? Welcome to the party you are not alone millions of us are also guests. As for me I love myself more and feed myself less every day. I fear, I worry but I also maintain a healthy lifestyle the best I can. I’ve started taking down my mental mirrors and no longer fear every scale in my home. I try on my own terms everyday which is all I believe any of us can do. Do you want to lose weight long-term? My advice would be start from the inside out. Be brave. Allow yourself to fail along the way. Divorce yourself from the concept that you are your pant size. Remember as well you are not alone. Some of us are trying others denying and unfortunately some of us are dying. We the, "Fat Folk Tribe," are with you in spirit as you travel your own personal journey.