Weighing up

                                        Weighing up

Here’s a thought--- Fat is not a “problem” it is a symptom.

We tend to look at being fat as a problem to be resolved when in fact the increase and sometimes decrease in weight is a symptom of the underlying cause.

If an overweight person was able to say “I’m fat because….” They would be 60% of the way to resolving the “Problem”

When we look at obesity as the problem we only look at the physical effects and how to tackle them. The diet route or the “Eat less move more” mantra is vaunted as the solution---except that when you stop dieting you regain the weight --- that is because you have not dealt with  the cause of your excess pounds.

Some examples might make what I’m trying to say clearer, and these are genuine:-

 Maisy got raped she lost her confidence and was scared of attracting that sort of attention again--- her subconscious worked out that if she did not look conventionally attractive fewer potential rapists would target her--- so it triggered comfort eating and soon Miss X was a substantial size, with no confidence, who took no care of her appearance. It served the purpose but did not enrich her life.

Dave grew up in care, the home was not good and it was drilled into him that poor children must eat up all they are given, they would be seen as  ungrateful and wasteful otherwise—non compliance was backed up with punishments. Dave grew up believing that he was poor and vulnerable and must eat whenever possible in case “Something” happened and he could not feed himself. He had never been taught to cook and lived on convenience meals and had no understanding of food and its effects. He felt the weight  he put on was unjustified because he did as he had been taught.

Steve was a long distance lorry driver, he worked very long and unsociable hours so meal times were at all hours of the day and night. On long runs  he might use his rest break for unloading the vehicle rather than taking time to rest and eat sensibly. Sitting behind the wheel all day gave no cardio vascular exercise and at 37 he had his first heart attack.

Lifestyle, beliefs and circumstances  were responsible for the obesity in each case. 

When we are tired we eat more, our bodies crave the quick fix foods like sugars and fats to give a burst of energy – that is only a short term fix which then gets repeated and repeated.

We are told to eat up everything so our inbuilt monitor, the feeling of being full is over ruled and we plough on till the plate is clear.

Who has never been offered sweets, chocolate or cake as a treat ?--- and as we grow up those foods become our reward to ourselves, compensation for working hard, for not being able to go out, for doing well or if we have done badly—the catch 22 situation whatever the occasion it is made better by food !!

So how do we get Not Fat

We have to look at our relationship with food--- treat it  with caution--- in the same way that we would not let kids juggle with sharp knives even though knives do have a place in their lives  --- we should not just eat everything we see and expect nothing to go wrong.

So many “old wives tales” or “Bon mots” as they were called are, bit by bit proving themselves to have value---- “Everything in moderation” was a line I heard people quoting as I grew up—you don’t hear it now --- but you should because it makes sense. Fat is essential to our functioning as is salt, natural sugars are beneficial too.

So where from here---- we all eat natural, organic food, have a stress free life and live to a ripe old age in good health-------absolutely true for those who can manage it but for the rest compromises have to be made.

Manage stress—learn how to recognise it, take action to minimise it, make changes to eliminate it

Eat good food--- avoid processed food or ration it and supplement it with fresh fruit and veg often.

 Be aware of your health--- work to live and if possible do work you enjoy.

By now you are saying --- we know all this ----- that is true, you do---so why are you not acting on all this, you know that if you follow the formula you get the results you want.

 An old man of 97 was asked how he felt about reaching such an advanced age, he said , “If I’d known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself”. 

There are always exceptions; people who say “I go to the chippy everyday and I’m not overweight”—if that is the case you can be pretty sure there is something drastically wrong with them that is being masked by the high fat and carbohydrate intake.

If you are struggling to change knowledge into action call me. 

I will help you build motivation, find a dietician (the state will pay for that) and help you access some free exercise training( Also free). This paragraph appplies to people living in Wales, services in other countries may not be free.

This graphic will help you understand some of the issues that obesity brings

© Martin Williams 2013/15/16