It’s politically correct to embrace obesity these days. It’s no longer acceptable to say “plus-size,” and the word “fat” is totally offensive. While we are making a valiant effort to shield the heavy-set among us from emotional harm, are we ultimately doing them a disservice?
The correct answer is yes.
You can call it curvy, ample, hourglass, or whatever, but all that extra weight is really quite physically harmful. Doctors have been telling us this for years. Studies and medical research have been consistent on this issue. There’s just no way around it: Carrying all those additional pounds raises blood pressure, puts you at risk for diabetes, adds stress to your heart – not to mention your back and knees. We could wax eloquent about the deleterious effects of fat for an hour and it’s likely we wouldn’t hit on all the ways being overweight is detrimental to your body.
Enough is Enough
Thin people may now tune out and turn the page, but for those of us who are engaged in a life-long struggle with the battle of the bulge, listen up. I always fell back on homegrown wisdom: “You don’t see many obese old people walking around,” my mother once opined.
In our bewilderment, we turn to the often contradictory and confusing jumble of nutrition studies. If you’re over the age of 30, you know that bodyweight research has been more than a bit vexing. A 2009 study told us overweight people live longer, but in 2018 this research was entirely debunked. The world of nutrition education is constantly evolving, and this can be emotionally distressing for those who want to lose weight. Back up the 18-wheeler because most of us have read a truckload of these studies: Eat only low-fat foods, eat high-fat foods for your brain, drink coffee, stop drinking coffee, avoid carbs at all costs, oops – massive amounts of certain proteins and you can end up with gout. Eggs, apples, meat, mercury-laden fish have all made the bad-for-your-body list at least once in the last hundred years or so. The list of do’s and don’ts is endless.
Who to believe? Should we run, not walk, to the latest trendy diet? In a confused state, we throw up our hands and wonder if the only sacrosanct things left to consume are water and air. Oh, the frustration of it all. We mutter to ourselves that they can send a man to the moon, but there is still no dog-gone fat pill. We are exasperated, confused, and finally become weary of it all.
Please pass me another piece of that chocolate cake.
Bringing Logic to the Table
If we run back to the wisdom of the ages, we can fall back on that adage, “Everything in moderation.” And therein lies the answer, folks. If we stop seeking the holy grail of a fat pill that will likely never make it through FDA approval in our lifetimes, it might be best to seek out the old-fashioned tried and true methods.
These unsexy but efficacious techniques include stepping away from the buffet table, smaller portions, commitment, and determination. Janet Sherrill has been a Weight Watchers (now known as WW) coach for over two decades. Twenty-nine years ago, Janet lost 32 pounds and has kept the weight off. As someone who understands the weight loss battle intimately, Sherrill told Liberty Nation, “In order to have a successful outcome you have to believe you deserve it and make it a top priority in your life that you never, ever let go of because nothing tastes as good as taking care of yourself.”
We can dress up obesity with politically approved words, but deep down, we know we are clinging to a false self-satisfaction that is hollow. Intuitively we know that carrying around too much weight is not only unhealthy; it keeps us from experiencing the joy of looking and feeling our best.
It’s unclear whether children’s writer Enid Blyton had a weight problem, but we’re going to give her the last word because they are so very apropos in the battle to lose those extra pounds: “The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.”
So, this day after Thanksgiving, one last toast: Here’s to the truth and to your health.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.