Sitting here thinking about the science behind weight loss. It is, after all, National Obesity Awareness Week, and apparently while 26% of us are obese, only 6% admit it.
How do they know? Do they mean we don’t admit it to others? Or we don’t admit it to ourselves? Or that we admit it but don’t do anything about it? And who are they, anyway? And who are “we”?
Steve Miller is delighted to tell us that there is no such thing as Healthy Obesity. And he linked to The Daily Mail, so it must be true. But surely an overweight person who exercises regularly has more chance of being fitter than a skinny person who does no exercise? Surely?
What’s ticking me off is that Steve, among others, is obsessed about Food. He bangs on about telling family and friends they are fat, and they need to change what and how they eat, but he makes little to no mention of how movement can impact so positively on our lives.
For me, weight loss, or weight maintenance, are impacted by so many factors. Food is the most obvious, and widely accepted, but what of mental and emotional health and exercise? For me, emotional and mental health and exercise are going hand in hand. Running leaves me feeling better, and walking lots helps me sleep through the night more peacefully. I could change my diet, and lose weight, it’s almost a given. But when I tired of that change and started back to my old habits I’d gain weight back. I know for myself, from my own experience.
The big difference this time around is the exercise. Yes, ok, I do a lot at the moment. And I wouldn’t expect everyone to follow my lead. But the different factors are so tightly entwined these days that I can’t imagine a life without movement. And moving and training encourages me to want to eat foods that will support me. When I eat foods that support me I feel the energy to get up and go! And when I come back from a run I am hungry for foods to help me repair and restore. See a pattern? A theme here?
So why the obsession with food?
Could it be because it’s the easiest thing to change? And the easiest thing to shame people over? “Oh you had a pizza? You lardy bum!” And it’s the quickest way to see change. Cut calories and weight will come off.
The weight will come off, yes.
But how often and how easy is it maintained? How much muscle did you lose along with the fat?
And how do you speak to yourself around food and around your body? Are you kind? Critical? Disparaging? Loving?
It makes a difference.
Food isn’t the only aspect in our life, and that’s the way it is with health.