Front page article of today’s Sun-Sentinel is not really news at all. Apparently, Americans in almost every single age group (from toddler to senior) are more obese than they were previously. Actually, a greater percentage are obese than previously. And what are we doing with this information? We are making larger clothes, larger stadium seats, larger everything. Another unrelated article in the health section of the same paper states that studies done on individuals that undergo gastric bypass surgery to reduce their weight, show NO extended lifespan as a result of these surgeries. So I walk away from the paper, upset. More and more people are allowing themselves to become obese. There is NO question that being overweight increases our risks for the big lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease and our answer is simply to make things bigger and just let these people get sick, end up on lots of expensive medications and die prematurely.
So as many books that have been written, as much as we are educated about the risks of being obese and as much as we want to stay healthy and productive, there is a tremendous disconnect. In my humble opinion, there really is only one answer. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and take control of our own destiny. Achieving and or maintaining a healthy weight is a commitment that we must reinforce every single time we put a fork, spoon or hand to our mouths.
For everyone looking for THE way, I will say what I have always said again. There is not A way. There is no magical or simple answer. What there is, that will work most every single time, is a simple equation…calories in vs. calories out. Though those numbers are different for each body, you can pretty easily figure out what works for you. Start with a number that seems to work for most (males keep calories somewhere around 1800 a day and females below 1500.) Those are approximates. If you workout with some intensity every day, you may be able to go a little higher. If you sit at a computer or desk all day, go home and do no formal exercise, you probably need to decrease that number. Age matters, too.
Now, here’s the thing. My guess is everyone reading this has a pretty clear idea of what they need to do to have a healthy body weight. Making it happen is up to YOU.
Visit the new food plate. I can almost guarentee that if you fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, keep your calories in check and get in some daily (breaking a good sweat) exercise, you will watch that scale come down. Feeling overwhelmed? Check out Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition on ABC tonight at 10 eastern time. The loss you will see will surely beat the loss we witnessed by our Miami Heat last night. I wish I could say it was a good game, but the only good that I can make of it is that clearly the Mavs played a better game than our white hot boys and I always believe the best team should win. I also noted that it is really true about good things coming in small packages. At just 5′ 9″ that Mavericks point guard, Barea, sure showed us a thing or two about size and whether it matters. In this case, the smaller the better.
The smaller, the better. Maybe that’s the message of the day. Bigger should be reserved for muscles and caring hearts. And hats off to our Miami Heat for making it almost all the way. There’s always next year.