Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Overweight: Been There, Done That

Although currently I don't look like it, I struggled with my weight as a child and teenager. Rotund is a good word to describe my former physical appearance. It was difficult being overweight, as most kids teased those who did not "fit in"; being a nerd only served to compound my problem. Frankly, I'm glad I did not "fit in" because I imagine it must have been boring to be the same as everyone else, but I must admit that I'm glad I am no longer overweight.

Where Did They Come From?
I don't recall seeing as many overweight people 10 or 15 years ago as I do now. I am puzzled. Seriously, why the sudden increase in the obesity rate? I only ask because being overweight or obese is associated with a host of significant secondary health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Both require medication to maintain a patient's health, but for most overweight people, a proper diet and exercise (eat less, move more) could help them to reduce their amount of medication. In fact, some folks may no longer require medication once they reach a healthy weight. Common sense tells me a healthy diet and exercise could reduce the cost of health care!

A Food Philosophy That Works
I have been able to maintain a healthy weight for 10+ years through proper diet and exercise. My philosophy is to eat less and move more. When I dine, I eat until I am no longer hungry rather than eating until I feel full. It was difficult at first, but after a few weeks I adapted. After each meal my hunger is satisfied and I don't feel stuffed. Yes, I eat frequently (mainly snacks), but I see it as a bonus since I get to sample many flavors throughout the day. I don't cut junk or fast food from my diet, but I do limit my portions. I guess the bottom line is that a healthy diet does not mean cutting the foods you like. Instead, go ahead and eat the foods you like, but eat less of it.

I ultimately hope the American public attacks the obesity epidemic head-on. There's too much at stake!

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