About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fighting Obesity with Diet and Exercise

There has been a lot in the news lately about the obesity epidemic in our country.  With 65% of our population over weight or obese, something needs to be done to reverse this unhealthy situation or we will end up having to build more hospitals to house all of the sick people dealing with obesity related diseases.

It is difficult for me when I hear Doctors or Health professionals say that surgery is the answer for people who are obese.  Just last week I heard a doctor say that it is the only answer to this problem.  What ever happened to eating correctly and exercising regularly?  I understand that when a person becomes obese that there is obviously more of a challenge to eat right and exercise, but it certainly should not be ruled out as an answer to the problem.

If an obese person began to eat healthy foods, healthy portions, and add in exercise on a daily bases, they would be able to lose the weight and become healthier for it.  I also realize that people that gain a large amount of weight by eating white flour and white sugar products can become addicted to those types of foods which will make them obese over time.  This addiction is just like being addicted to drugs, alcohol, or any other type of substance.  It will be difficult to break this addiction, but not impossible.  Surgery is not the only answer, it is "a" answer if one so chooses.


With any addiction therapy can be very helpful, and in most cases should be a part of the treatment.  Usually when anyone has an addiction, there are issues inside that need to be dealt with.  Many times  addiction is used to numb or ignore what is really the problem.  Therapy is vital to stopping addiction.

Age is another factor.  The older the person and the longer they have had the weight on, the harder it will be to get it off.  But, it is still not impossible to do it with proper diet and exercise.  The thing that will be required is self discipline, focus, and commitment to sticking with your resolution to get the weight off and be healthy.

Self discipline is something that many people forget about.  Like these doctors that I hear promoting weight loss surgery's....they never talk about what really needs to be focused on like eating correctly and exercising regularly.  They just announce that surgery is the only way that these people can lose the weight.  Really?  It  may be one way to create weight loss, but if that person does not begin to eat right and exercise regularly, guess what...the weight they lost with surgery, will be back in time.  

We need to stop acting as if being obese is not in a persons control.  It has to do with unhealthy lifestyle choices like eating processed foods, fast foods, and junk foods, in large amounts as the main source of dietary choices.  It has to do with not moving their body with exercise on a regular bases.  It is a choice to be obese whether anyone wants to hear that or not.  We choose what we eat.  We choose whether we exercise or not.  It is all a choice any way that you look at it, irregardless of what the source of our pain is.

We wouldn't tell an alcoholic or drug addict that it is not in their power to stop their addiction, and that the only way to do it would be to have a surgery.  It is "only" in their power to stop their addiction, and it will be difficult, challenging, and maybe the hardest thing they have ever done, but it can be accomplished if they truly want to change and live a healthy life.  The same thing applies to anyone who is obese.  They can choose to stop doing the things that have created their situation, just like a heroin addict can choose to shoot heroin or not.  I am not saying it is an easy thing to do, but breaking an addiction is never easy.  There are many addicts that have over come their addictions, and many who have not.  It is a personal choice to do so, and a food addict is no different.

I hope that people stop thinking that food addicts are any different than any other addict.  They aren't. They need support, love, and help like any addict does, but our society acts as if obesity is not that big of a problem. Why?  Well most of our population is overweight, so most of our population believes it is not that big of a deal. With 65% of our population heading in that direction, it is a huge problem.  We could rid ourselves of most of the heart disease in this country along with most of the type 2 diabetes, 50% of some cancers, most of the stroke victims, and more.  

The money that could be saved on taking care of obesity related disease could be put to better use like our children's education that has been raped of funding.  There a billions of dollars every year that go to caring for sick people that are dealing with obesity related diseases.

I have people in my life that I love dearly that deal with obesity.  It pains me to see them suffer with this issue.  I know that it makes them unhappy and miserable to have that weight on them.  I know they hate it more than anything else in their lives.  I understand how hard it is for them to stop their food addiction, but the answer is not to say it is impossible.  The answer is to begin to live the lifestyle that will reverse their situation.  Their answer is to get therapy, and have a support system that helps them reach their goal of being leaner.  Maybe surgery is part of that answer, but it is certainly not the only part of that answer, learning to make better choices is the most important part of the answer, and dealing with the core reasons why they use food to numb their issues. 

I pray for anyone who has this "monkey" on their back.  Addiction of any kind takes away the quality of life that we should be living.  Remember that "food" is just like any other drug when it is used for an escape.  We need to find solutions to our obesity epidemic.  Using surgery as the only solution...is not the answer.

Till Monday,

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