Every year Americans get larger. We are getting fatter, and we care less about the health risks. As a physician, I can see the effect on health, but societal pressure is going opposite to the medical evidence. The science is being ignored to spare the feelings of the obese.
As we spare the feelings of the obese, we are doing several things that will harm us all. We are making obesity socially acceptable and have gone further to pretend that highlighting obesity is the same as racist speech. It is not. As obesity increases in prevalence, the conditions that create obesity are becoming normalized. In the long term, this impacts our children and leaves them with a lifetime of obesity. Obesity may become socially acceptable, but it is not medically sustainable. We need to take better care of our citizens and start by telling the truth. Obesity is the most destructive disease to Americans. We will be paying in ways not yet foreseen.
The science is clear. The medical observations are in, and obesity is not an acceptable fashion statement. It is a disease state. Like smoking, no amount of obesity is without consequence. All obesity will cause medical damage. The only question need is, how much. Many will have long lives in spite of their obesity, but the facts are clear. They could have had better lives. The sad news is that obesity is not a personal disease, it is a societal disease. We have an epidemic.
The epidemic is that of the whole organism. The organism is humanity. As the maldistribution of food resources leads to obesity all over the world, the entirety of the planet will suffer. There is a need to clear and plant; rare and kill more animals. This race to produce more food is destroying not just our bodies thru obesity but is destroying the biosphere.
As we destroy our planet’s ability to sustain us, we are killing ourselves. How we handle food is not a personal matter, it is a species matter. The capacity of our planet is finite. We live on a rock covered with a small volume of air and water in a giant vacuum. If the potable water runs out, or the breathable air disappears we have no place of refuge.
All of us can directly impact the planet. We can eat less. The science is clear. If we eat organic or non-organic, there is no difference. We need to eat less. There is no superfood. There is food. No matter the nutrient content, excessive quantity has the same result, obesity.
Eat less and leave a healthier planet for our children. Teach our children to eat less and save the planet for our grandchildren.
Maintaining a healthy weight in our culture is becoming more difficult. Just look at the people around you. Most of us are overweight. As the epidemic of obesity continues to grow, we seem to be less concerned. We seem to be more concerned about the consequences of fat shaming and not on the fact that life expectancy in some segments of the population is declining. Obesity is primarily a disease of excess compounded by a lack of insight.
If we want to change the trajectory of this epidemic, we need first to acknowledge that there is a problem. As I have gained several kilograms over the last few months, I’ve had to confront the trip wires in my life. It seems to me that we all need to honestly evaluate the obstacles preventing us from maintaining a healthy weight.
Let’s challenge our obstacles and surrender to the facts. 1. I’m making poor food choices 2. The people around me are allowing me or encouraging me to eat poorly 3. I don’t recognize appropriate portion size 4. I eat too much and too often 5. I buy too much food 6. I move too little 7. Everything I believe about exercise is wrong 8. Dessert is food 9 Calories matter.
My simple advice, which I should take myself. Stop listening to the people in your life who overeat and are always complaining about their weight. Stop eating out. Eat whole foods. Eat a plant first diet. Remove the highly processed carbohydrates. Eat less often. Count your calories. Sleep better. Stop worrying about what you will look like after you have lost the weight.
Dads, be an example to your family. Be disciplined and eat better.
Life has both a tenacious and fragile grip on our flesh. Acceptance of its challenges is the beginning of enjoyment. The rose bush comes with her thorns, and her flowers are much less fragrant than we expect. Her flowers are beautiful and surrounded by sharp barbs. How we deal with the thorns is all we can pretend to control. Life is the struggle.
I will push on. I will not allow the pain to prevent me enjoying the fragrance and the beauty. I will enjoy the jabs and chant the reminder. Life is the struggle.
I will allow the breath of life to penetrate deep into my soul and catch the fragrance of the flower. The struggle is life as the scent of a rose is fleeting.
As I slide down the backside of life, I will not forget that life is the struggle. I will hold tight and breath deeply as I traverse the thorns. I will lick my wounds and recognize the magic of my bleeding. I will affirm that life is the struggle.
On that day when the struggle becomes too much, I will exit on my terms. My exit may be your thorn. Feel the pain, breath deeply and remember, life is the struggle. The rose is less fragrant that you remember and the view from the mountaintop is only as beautiful as the struggle to get there.
Enjoy the struggle until the enjoyment is gone. Exit without any apologies.
The morning after an intense overnight Florida thunderstorm is always refreshing. In spite of the noise of nature I had a great night. Sleep came easily and was deep and refreshing. I woke just as my alarm was about to jolt me. I waited in bed until it started the low-rise and turned the alarm off so not to wake my princesses. The dogs, Marley and Bailey, were already up and awaiting their early morning walk.
As I listened I could hear the quiet of the early morning. No rain could be heard. The dogs were calling for me. I quickly dressed and meet Marley and Bailey and took off on our walk. This is arguably the best time of the day. Marley and Bailey were my eyes and ears and I got lost in the haze.
As I drifted along my pace quickened to a slow jog, then into a brisk effort to keep up with the dogs. I was brought back to reality by my timer chirping into my ear “first mile complete”. As my consciousness returned I looked up to see the yellowish moon disappearing from the sky. It was a beauty and reminded me that looking up is always worth it. Soon I was back in the haze of nothingness just feeling the air go in and out of my lungs. I felt as if I could run forever.
“Pop, Pop” My tranquility was interrupted by what sounded like fire works. I nearly ran over Marley as he had stopped and started to bark fiercely. I had never heard him so aggressive. He was standing his ground while Bailey was pulling in the opposite direction. As I scanned the area I noticed that a large alligator was running from the Lake in our direction. Instantly I felt the saliva evaporate from my mouth and I was parched and paralyzed. My legs felt like jello and I could not move. My palms where dripping and the world was going in slow motion. Bailey took off and Marley stood firm. There was a warm feeling in my pants and a heaviness on my hip. I could not move but that heaviness was my CZ 75B. I fumbled for what felt like a lifetime before setting it free of the holster. My brain had come back to reality and I acquired my target and fired until the slide locked back. Marley had quieted and I could hear sirens. Bailey was nowhere to be seen or heard. Marley and I sat on the curb and he licked my face as if to comfort me.