Two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and one in three kids is the same. So says the CDC, as well as others. And I believe them. There are numerous negative physical and mental consequences of obesity: heart disease, some cancers, depression, and many more. Billions of dollars are spent every year on diet and other weight-loss programs. Why is it so tough?
Some say our culture makes junk food and inactivity too easy, that we should tax sugary drinks, and subsidize fruits and vegetables to make them cheaper. Perhaps that would help a little. But have increased cigarette taxes eliminated smoking? Government regulations are not the answer.
And Christianity is no antidote to obesity. Just look at the congregation any Sunday morning in church. Some might say church-goers are even more overweight than others.
Food, body image, emotional health – it’s complicated. Food becomes a way to deal with stress, and a vital part of our social connection with people. And you add in factors in our environment that make eating too much, eating unhealthy food, and exercising too little the easy way to go. It’s a perfect storm. And the only people benefiting from all this are those in the weight-loss industry, and perhaps medical professionals earning money on the diseases obesity brings on.
Now if you have money to burn, or want a structured program, go ahead and pay a coach, a nutritionist, a personal trainer, a Weight Watchers subscription, or some other program. It’s certainly better than spending your money on many of the other possibilities. Just realize they can’t do it for you! There’s nothing magic about any of them.
But if you can’t or don’t want to, you can still lose weight and be healthier. It may be hard, but who said anything truly worthwhile had to be easy? The principles are simple:
- Manage your stress wisely
- Eat a variety of foods based on vegatables, fruits, whole grains, and moderate amounts of healthy protein
- Stay away from processed foods, and those with added sugar and fat
- Move your body regularly, and more than you have been
- Get up again tomorrow and do it again!
I promise you, if you do the above every day, you WILL lose weight if you need to. You can do it! Small changes do add up to big results. And it’s never too early – OR TOO LATE – to get started. So what if it’s hard. The results will be worth the effort. YOU decide!
Is losing weight a struggle for you? What have you been doing about it? What could you do differently today – and tomorrow?