Monday, September 13, 2010

How Did We Get Like This?

I feel like it's a question that every person asks themself at some point, when they realize that things have gotten out of control and something needs to be done. For some reason today, I've been thinking a lot about how so many people can end up being overweight or obese. In the United States, 66% of the population is overweight, and 30% or more of the country is 30 or more pounds overweight. Is it an accident? Do we all just love food so much that we can't control ourselves? Are we all essentially oblivious to what eating whatever we want and sitting around doing nothing all day will do to our bodies?
I hate to say it, but it's yes to all of those. We're lazy, we're uninformed, we're lacking in the resources and knowledge to do better.  It's something most of us were raised with. I never knew how to make healthy choices when I was growing up, and I never was presented with healthy choices from my parents or my school or anything. I grew up with horrible habits, like a lot of people who end up overweight as adults. Or we had an active childhood but once we got to be an adult and kept eating the same and sat at a desk all day, the weight started to pile on.
I think everyone needs to go through their list of excuses of why did I end up this way? Its a lot harder to get out of this mess when we don't know what got us into this mess. I've been thinking lately especially about how kids think about food and healthy choices. I've been trying to steer my cousin towards healthier choices, and to learn how many calories are in what foods we eat. And when I watch the TV show "Too Fat For 15" and I just want to scream when I see how little support the kids get from being at home sometimes. They make really great progress at the boarding school, but their families reverse it once they are back at home. 
It takes a lot of willpower to reverse all these years of reinforcement for an unhealthy lifestlye.  But honestly, I'm surprised how easy it has been. I don't ever question what I'm doing. I don't really have extreme moments of weakness. I've never had a day in 7 months where I'm like "Screw it, I'll eat whatever I want and not care about calories". I log everything every single day and I workout 6 days a week. I honestly can't tell you where it comes from, since for the first 22 years of my life, I could care less about any of it. It's almost like I'm addicted to it. I like how it makes me feel. I feel accomplished when I work out, I feel successful when I can buy a new clothing size. I feel beautiful and wanted when I get attention from guys. It's so completely the opposite of everything I used to feel that I don't want it to stop. 
Anyway, I've just been thinking a lot today. I feel like everyone is capable of change, it's just a matter of seeing why we need to change. And getting a catalyst that starts it all in motion. 

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