Monday, May 19, 2008

Weight Loss Skills

"People haven't changed in the past 100 years, but our environment sure has
and the reason we're gaining weight so quickly now is that since weight gain is
the default, that means by definition maintenance of a healthy body weight in
our current environment has actually become a skill. "

How true! Eating a balanced diet and healthy portions is completely counter-cultural. Losing weight and/or maintaining a healthy weight is most definitely a skill that you have to master. You have to finagle your way through grocery stores and restaurants with all the prowess of a tight rope walker to avoid falling into the numerous big calorie, big fat nets that are all around you.

Don't believe me? Just ask yourself.

  • What do children eat at school from age 5 to 18? (Processed foods.)
  • How does the size of a small soda today compare to the same order at any fast food restaurant 10 years ago? (Double the size, if small is even an option at the chain you frequent)
  • Which is cheaper to buy at your grocery store: a box of Hamburger Helper or whole wheat pasta, chicken breast and peas? (The highly processed, high fat, high calorie, high sodium Hamburger Helper, of course)
  • How big is the average nice restaurant salad? (Enough for 3 good meals.)

There is almost nowhere you can go (except maybe your own home) where you can choose foods and eat them without weight gain repercussions. You have to read labels and pay more and ask for things to be specially made. The dressing has to be on the side. The fat has to be trimmed. The two extra portions on your plate have to be put in doggie bags for later.

It's a skill people, and it takes practice. Just like any skill. And the learning process isn't very fun sometimes.

"And just like other skills (martial arts for instance), just because your
minds' eye might know what it looks like to do a jumping, spinning hook kick, it
doesn't mean you can simply jump up and do one. To extrapolate a martial arts
analogy to healthy weight think of it this way: Just because your minds' eye
might know what a healthy lifestyle looks like, to expect yourself, without
instruction, to be able to simply jump up and happily live with one is often too
much to ask (people do it unhappily all the time - that's called dieting)."

So fight the good fight. Keep up the hard work. Never give up...and a lot of other cliches about staying with even when the going gets tough. You're riding without training wheels. You're diving off of the high board. You're clipping a newborn baby's finger nails. It is scary and tough and sometimes you cry, but it is worth it and the benefits are endless.

The preceeding is quoted from Dr. Yoni Freedhoff's blog Weighty Matters. Click here to read the whole article.

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