I have such a long row to hoe, on my weight loss journey. I do not like associating my lifestyle transformation to a diet. With a lifestyle change, I can accept that every day is not picture perfect. There are days, such as Monday, where I want to indulge on chocolates throughout the day. I accept that, but I also know that I cannot do that every day.
I have made a conscious decision to not allow cheat days either, because they are so restrictive. I eat what I want, for the most part. There isn’t anything stricken from my food choices; however, I have modified tremendously how much of it and how often I will indulge. Macaroni, for example, is a favorite food. Yet, because it is 10 points, on the Weight Watcher scale system for 1 cup, I will eat it only once a month. 10 points for one measuring cup of macaroni is absurd. I really enjoy snacking on peanut butter and Ritz crackers. Sometimes, I just want some peanut butter, and this is typically how I would consume it. What I had no idea of was how easily those points add up, if consumed carelessly. If I need a peanut butter fix, I will just make me a peanut butter/jelly sandwich. One tablespoon is enough to spread on one slice of bread; it is 200 calories or 5 points for 2 tablespoons; I just need one. I still do not eat it as often as I use to, but have found a better/lighter way of getting my fix.
To quench my sugar fix, I have found balance with cookies, smaller portions of cake, 1 cup of orange sherbet, or fresh fruit. We are in the season of watermelons! I love watermelon, although it is difficult finding the seeded ones I love so much. I can indulge on a big bowl of strawberries or a sweet banana. I also really like grapefruits and oranges. At any given time, I always have a huge array of fresh fruits, in my home. I still haven’t given up my sweets. I have just modified the type of sweets I eat, primarily. If I want a slice of chocolate cake, I will eat it. I am simply thinking about my food, and the difference this makes is amazing.
Finding a balance is so important for me. I also do not give my daughter horrible sweets. She loves bananas, mangos, and watermelon. I try to give her as much fresh fruit as possible. She is so young, but I am responsible for shaping how she views food.
I am no expert, but this has worked for me. I do not want to live in the gym, so my option is controlling my food, and I have found success.
We have First Lady Michelle Obama asking everyone to introduce activity to our children and into our daily lives. We have Mayor Michael Bloomberg forcing change by trying to control the ordering size of beverages. We have Jennifer Hudson singing will power into losing the weight. What are the consumers (the obese) doing to take part? If they are not willing to become a part of this issue, then it will not change. The incentives for losing the weight only benefits the obese. It is their health care premium rates that will not drastically increase; they are not forced to vacate the airplane or pay for an extra seat. With their employers knowing that they do care and are actively involved in transforming their lives, job opportunities could also increase. It is a win-win for those that are obese to become actively involved in their lives.
Why is it so difficult for those that are obese to move out of their on way, which includes minimizing the ridicule, the doubt, and stereotypic behaviors?
Change is hard. There is so much uncertainty in change. The doubt and fear are crippling (Saltz 2007): What if I do not do well? What if I fail? What if I stop and cannot start again? Will the new look suit me? Can I handle the change, both physically and mentally? What if I gain, and not lose?
The war on obesity is not about food size or money, but that of a mental blockage, in my opinion. As Dr. Saltz (2007) stated, finding what triggered the weight gain is life changing. I cannot imagine a person wanting a pass over a job opportunity, mistreatment, or discriminated against because of their weight. Although, many of us may not do well avoiding misery, I am sure it is not sought after. That’s a part of life. We can wish life perfect; however, it comes with trials and tribulations. Some of our issues is weight; some have issues with drugs and alcohol. The vast difference is those that are overweight/obese cannot hide what is so obvious, and are immediately placed at a disadvantage. It does not mean that all obese people are slow, stupid, uncaring, uneducated, or writhing with loneliness and unhappiness. Quite often, we are seen, before we are heard, therefore escaping the stereotypes become very difficult.
The insurance premiums will continue to rise; the airlines will continue to increase rates. It will be the same story as the smokers. Anyone that is obese should expect this to happen. Right and wrong is not my argument. In sake of competition, businesses are going to stay competitive, and this is another way to increase revenue. What we must understand is that it is not anyone’s responsibility to correct this problem, but that of the obese. Yes, we can face the issue of whether it is morally or ethically wrong for organizations to make profit for what some consider as a mental disorder, but can we really blame them?
Understanding that creating revenue is a chain reaction, when more than one type of organization can find profit, in a problem area. The insurance companies can decrease reimbursement rates on physicians, because they are seeing the patient often. The self-funded employer groups can ask that certain diabetic supplies and high blood pressure medicines be excluded from the formulary or durable medical equipment policy. The airlines can increase rates for their plus size customers. Head hunters can assume that their percentage will decrease, because there is a perceived notion that someone overweight is not appealing or physically suited for a job.
The increasing health care cost of America’s most visible consumers are that of the obese. The obese are not the only cost drivers, but this is a campaign issue, due to health care reform. Obesity has an estimated annual price tag, nationally, of $190 billion (Begley 2012). This sticker price guarantees this issue is not leaving anytime soon.
So what can be done about obesity? We, you, them cannot do anything, only I can affect change. If this is in fact a mental disorder, then this has to be acknowledged and handled appropriately, by the obese person. If it is a choice to become overweight, then accepting all that comes with it, has to become a part of daily living.
Saltz, Gail (2007). Conquer your fears about losing excess weight. MSNBC. Retrieved from http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/19488269/ns/today-relationships/t/conquer-your-fears-about-losing-excess-weight/
Begley, Sharon (2012). The Cost of Obesity. The HuffingtonPost.com. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/obesity-costs-dollars-cents_n_1463763.html