Recently, I’ve been falling into a strange awareness. I’ve been noticing the way we all look in this country. I’m talking about that statistic we hear about in the news: about 1 in 3 of us being considered very obese. This is usually something we see, we nod about, and then carry on with our day. I am this statistic. And so are a lot of other people.
Three kids playing in the church parking lot near my house, and all three are very overweight. These kids are maybe 10. I’m at the grocery store tonight, and there are people with over a hundred pounds to lose wheeling monster carts of food down the aisles, piled to the top with Coke Classic, Oreos, pork chops, and she’s trying to get a big mega bag of chips onto the top without it falling off (I’m not making this up).
I started my fitness and nutrition efforts last August. On my Mom’s birthday. I had 100 pounds to lose, according to the various measures of obesity that I could find online. (By the way, some of these are ludicrous, and I don’t count the BMI as a decent measure). So far, I’ve got 50 pounds gone, plus or minus, and I’ve got a lot more to go. And it’s not easy.
Fitness for me includes a six day workout program that started with only eight minutes of working out in the morning, and has grown to about an hour a day. It takes me a lot of exercise and eating well to move that scale. More so, I couldn’t even stay with the same program. I’ve had to change it up twice already. Thus, the Core Performance workout I mention below.
Now, I’m a desk jockey by trade. I work in a mostly sedentary role. When I come home, there’s not a lot of motion required, either. Even with a nearly-two-year-old. If I were the majority of America, I’d plug into television or my computer as a release from the stresses of the day. This, of course, after my nearly two hours of commuting time each day.
We put our television away for the spring and summer. This forces us to come up with creative ways to entertain ourselves in the evenings, and for the most part, this now revolves around physical activities. Even using the computer is somewhat restricted by its current placement in the apartment. It’s just another way to try and stay moving.
Where I’m going with this is: how is America coping with this? Did you know that complications from obesity and poor dietary habits is almost ready to surpass smoking as the number one preventable death in America?
Walk into your super-sized grocery store and go to the book aisle. Find just one diet book. Then look around on the shelves around it. There are more people telling you what to eat than you can listen to at one setting. And, if the stats are a good measure, no one’s listening.
Obviously, someone is. There are 2/3rds of the country still not obese. And there are those of us who have found reasons to change their ways and lose the weight.
In an article in this month’s Fit Body magazine, you can read about how exercise affects you as you age. In your 20s and 30s are obvious the prime times. In your 40s, you can’t do as much about weight loss (it says), but you need the workout for your energy. Into your 50s and 60s, it’s about quality of life. The work you do in that time frame determines your future. This stuff makes me wonder about it all.
But what then? The weight loss industry is this massive machine. It’s a great place to make a buck, because so many people know they’re going to have a rough time of it. But man, isn’t there some other measure one can take? I feel like making up big “the sky is falling” placards and putting them around my neck. I want to shout out: hey, if I can do this, YOU can do this.
And yet, it’s all about me. I have to just do my thing and not pay attention. Because I can’t lead people there. It’s not about that. You have to go because you want to go. It’s nothing to do with what I want. It’s nothing to do with my perceptions.