Every time I go to the supermarket, I see more people there. Funny, but you would think that people buy more because they make it easy to shop. Where we live, it is hard to shop and hard to park, but people still buy. They buy more and the checkout lines keep getting longer and longer.
Every time I go to the supermarket, I wonder how come people are so fat and so hungry. You can look at a person’s shopping cart and almost guess their weight. The carts are full of boxes as if the shoppers are in a war and have to store food, just in case. Well, they are in a war – the lost war against their weight.
Obesity in the world is increasing and numbers are a real worry. Statistics from around the world puts USA as the leading country with 30% of its population being obese, followed by Mexico with 24%, UK with 23% and Australia with 21%. Closing the list with 3% obesity are Korea and Japan. These numbers increase every year and if, many years ago, we talked about “the overweight issue”, now we are talking about something that it is much bigger – obesity.
There are so many overweight people around us that we have reached a point where we think obesity is a term we use for giants. We say people are obese only if they need two seats on the bus or use XXXL-size clothes, but the truth is that many people around us, about whom we have gotten used to thinking as overweight, are actually obese.
You are overweight if you weigh 2-3kg (5-6lbs) over the standard weight. Obesity is defined as 30% overweight (some places say you are obese if you are 20% over, but I am going to be friendly here and use 30%). For example, if my standard weight should be 60kg (132lbs), I would be classified as “obese” when I reached 78 kg (172lbs).
I think the reason obesity is increasing is because people very easily adjust to things they do not like and are unhappy about. They start thinking this is the norm when they tell themselves, “I am not happy to be 65kg, but this is life. Everyone faces the same situation. I work too hard, I have gone through pregnancies (12 years ago), I have had a baby, I do not have time to exercise…” And the list of excuses is long. Very long. And the longer it is, the harder it is to be healthy and fit.
Obesity is a slippery slope
Many overweight people are shocked when the doctor tells them they are obese. Overweight? Yes, we are used to it, but obese?! That is a whole new game. Houston, we have a problem!
I think the main problem is that people do not understand that to get from 60kg to 78kg you go through 61, 62, 63, 65, 70 and so on. It takes time to get from 60 to 78, which makes it harder to fix.
It is a shame people get so used to this unpleasant feeling of overweight that they reach obesity. Their body tells them it is not happy, but they get used to that feeling. They get used to 62kg and then get used to 64kg and it keeps growing. Like “Catch 22”, they feel bad, so they take care of themselves even less and the weight goes up and up and up…
Only after the doctor says, “You are sick. You have diabetes. You are obese. Your heart is weak”, only then they start doing something about it, but by then it is much, much harder.
I have clients who say, “It is easy when you have to lose 2-3 kg, but I have to lose 13 or 30 kg” and I think this points us to the solution. If it is easier to lose 2-3 kg, get into action right away, because at this stage, you can already see where you are heading. If you go any further, you might start telling yourself, “If it were only 2-3 kg it’d be easy” instead.
Make sure your “red flag” is not external, like the doctor, or someone you love saying something that makes you all teary, but internal, where you tell yourself it is time to act.
Use happiness as your scales!
Happiness is a good way to fight obesity. Instead of getting used to the unhappy feeling and allowing it to drag you down to being obese, fight this feeling with action. Treat each kilogram (or pound) as a way for your body to tell you to take care of yourself. Tune into your happiness frequency and make sure you get up and do something right away.
When you feel tired and not energetic, do something about it!
When you feel your cloths are just a little bit tight, do something about it!
When you feel you’re breathing heavily when you bend, do something about it!
Do it immediately! Now!
Not tomorrow and not on Monday. Not after the wedding, not after the party, not before a special event and not when your doctors say so. There is no better time then RIGHT NOW!
Overweight is just like many diseases that are easy to handle when you detect them early. In many cases, early detection is a question of life and death. Use your happiness scale to early detect extra kilos and when you go to the supermarket, remember: the only war is the war in your head. There is plenty of food and you are not really hungry. It is a war between the happy and the unhappy states, where “happy” says I do not like this feeling and “unhappy” says “never mind”.
Let happiness win!!!
Happiness is a choice!