Obesity… Who Is To Blame?

ObesityWell how did I get here? Before I continue let me tell you I intend for this to be blunt. If you are overweight with thin skin you may want to skip this article. You will skip this article if you can’t handle the truth. Well the truth is how I see it. Obesity it a curse on humanity. Many folks who are overweight have excuses, in fact I think MOST people who are obese have many excuses. It’s a thyroid imbalance, I recently quit smoking, I’m an emotional wreck, my love partner dumped me <politically correct?>, I’m big boned, dieting doesn’t work on me, my medications are to blame. OK here comes that blunt message I was talking about. YOU <me too> ARE FAT BECAUSE YOU EAT TOO MUCH FOR YOUR LEVEL OF EXERCISE. There, it’s out now. The dirty little secret that everyone knows but can’t seem to come to grips with. It’s the elephant in the room! When I say everyone I mean everyone who is a fat ass like me. I used some of those excuses myself but not one of them affected any change in my size. So one day just for shits and giggles I stepped on the scale and it registered a HUGE number and I said to myself, “How in the hell did I get here”? So I know that when I quit smoking it had an effect because in a short few weeks food TASTED better so I ate more. My job had evolved into a more sedentary one so my exercise level dropped while my food intake increased. That there my friends is exactly how I got there!

Let me start at my beginning. When I was a kid I was “husky” but seriously I wasn’t fat, hell I was running everywhere. I would run through the woods and run or walk for miles. When I think back on my childhood I was always on the go. I watched TV when my parents said I could. Otherwise I was playing outdoors no matter what the weather was with few exceptions. Rain probably was the only weather we avoided playing outdoors especially if it was a thunderstorm. Other than that we played outdoors. Outdoor play involved a lot of physical activity. As a teenager I was out with my friends or working, all of which involved physical activity. Food was never an issue so I developed bad habits about eating that back then had little affect but later on would (will) be the death of me. I went in the U S Navy and boot camp was good and so was my Engineman A-school training. Then came Submarine basic education and I was still good. After I completed all of that I got assigned to the USS Sea Owl SS405 out of New London, CT. I don’t blame the Navy but my exercise level dropped off dramatically and it’s easy to get lazy. I’ve now been out of the Navy for over 40 years and my weight has fluctuated up and down over the years through my personal and professional life I always managed to stay in good enough shape to do what was expected of me. I had a 20 year 2nd career as a Paramedic/firefighter and near the end of it I was having trouble maintaining a “reasonable” level of health and weight.

I quit smoking and my doctor said of my weight gain, “you are better off fat and a nonsmoker than to be a smoker.” To some degree I can see his point BUT giving up smoking to just replace it with morbid obesity was not a very good trade off. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Long story short the radiation treatment table had a weight limit and I was over it. Shit, I had to lose weight just to get radiation treatment to battle cancer. I began to see the light. I did South Beach Diet for long enough to get through the radiation treatments. But as time went on my weight continued to go back up and then that day I stepped on the scale  as mentioned above was the last straw. I couldn’t exercise because I was in sad shape, bad knees, ankles and feet. So I had to start out with diet only. I did Nutrisystem for about 8 weeks. I lost weight but it was expensive and boring with very little variety. My daughter suggested Weight Watcher and I decided that since I had everything to lose I should give it a try. So without getting into nitty gritty details about their plan suffice to say it is working. Next week it will be one year since that “Oh Shit” moment when I stepped on the scale and changed my life. I have lost more than 55# and will continue to use the plan and will add more exercise that will hopefully accelerate my losses to meet my more aggressive goal of losing a total of 100# by Labor Day 2014.

So the answer to the question, Who is to blame? We are to blame. IT IS MY OWN FAULT! I let myself get lazy and did not cut back on food intake to compensate for the lack of exercise activity. I don’t need a bunch of psychobabble to tell me why I am a fat ass. This is very simple. If you want to lose weight eat less or increase your level of activity; even better, do both! Don’t wait to lose weight, it only gets harder as you get older.

Consider these Pink Floyd lyrics:

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

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