At any given point in the day we, women, are bombarded with marketing and advertising efforts promoting a “skinnier you”. The headlines on ads or magazine covers read “how to lose 30 lbs in 30 days”, “Supermodel (insert name here) loses the baby weight — learn how”. Products have now surfaced that allow you to contour your face and body to give the illusion of a skinnier you, and most spas now offer med services covered by insurance policies that can help you with body sculpting, anti-aging and non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as cellulite reduction, spider vein removal, Botox and laser hair removal. Books, blogs and best sellers are often fitness – or diet-related, each one promoting the latest weight loss “magic pill”. When do we draw the line? I don’t know about you but more and more people find it difficult to focus on the aspects of their life that do positively nourish their mind and body when they constantly feel the pressure to fit into a size 2.
Obesity is an epidemic affecting the world around you.
Let’s forget about all the intoxications and accusations that make people feel “fat” and worse about themselves. Let’s reverse the judgment we have towards people carrying extra pounds and suffer from obesity. Is it a matter of willpower? Do we consider them losers? Do they have a problem? Obesity is a growing trend in the world and the United States is one of the most obese countries in the world according to World Health Organization. Surveys show that 2 out 3 people suffer from obesity in the US which comes with a list of health related concerns including heart diseases, liver and kidney diseases, cancer and premature death; not to mention the psychological effects of lowered self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Obesity, also, more often than not leads to eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia and anorexia which can spiral a person’s well being further down the rabbit hole of isolation and clinical depression.
The power of social.
Instead of focusing on the formulas of BMI and whether or not you should shed those few pounds. I want to talk about the social effects obesity not only has on the person diagnosed but about how it affects the people around them i.e family, friends, co-workers. According to a study published by New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that two phenomenons : friends are the biggest influence when it comes to weight gain. If one friend loses/gains weights the other in the circle follow suit; and the emotional effects of weights are carried collectively. Research found that the emotional stress of weight carried by one affects another. Maybe this is starting to put into perspective why 37.5% of adult Americans suffer from obesity.
What’s worse is our culture, the media and the community see obesity or even simply having a few extra pounds as disgusting and unattractive. It is time to stop this nonsense before we all get sick. I know what I write might sound shocking but it is only the simple truth, so let’s change this!
No one has figured it out yet.
Civilization as we know it began about 6,000 years ago. In all that time, no one has figured out a diet that works. No one. No diet. No pill. No exercise regiment. No combination of all of the above – in the long-term anyhow – that actually works for everyone. For the simple reason that there is not only one way ahead. We have to stop looking to others for a miracle cure and must forget the the cheat sheet to a quick fix. We try the most insane weight loss strategies, diet for years, consume toxic foods made of synthetic fats and artificial sweeteners and struggle desperately to reach an ideal, acting on the symptoms without focusing on the underlying cause(s). It is time for a more holistic approach.D
Did you know? I started this blog with the goal and mission to share my wisdom and knowledge of Holistic Nutrition and the Psychology of Eating with an audience that would be interested in learning more about the relationship between the brain, the body and food. I want to offer a fresh framework for weight because the world has gone too far and most concepts and ideas have in large part failed us all. Let’s take a new path forward and look at weight from a different perspective.
The truth about weight…
- Weight and health have always been complex phenomenons, there has never been a simple solution. It’s time we take a different approach, recognize its psycho-physiological complexity and try to heal from the inside out.
- Being underweight or overweight are symptoms that we need to address. They exist as a caution signal to let us know something is not right, we need to listen to that signal. While extra weight or being underweight can have metabolic and nutritional causes, they are very often primarily caused by emotional factors. We are being asked to learn lessons. Life lessons like forgiving, learning to love oneself, making peace with the past and loving what is. Yes loving what is, and not loving ourselves when we’ve reached a size 2. This is insane!
- Did you know that obesity is becoming a genetic issue passed from one generation to the next? That’s one of the reasons we’ve seen such a spike in child obesity.
- Let’s face it, weight and obesity are not personal challenges, they are collective. It’s time as a culture that we recognize that over 200 millions Americans are suffering from it and it’s up to us all to help them heal. The problem is us. You. Me. The culture, the collective.
- Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are on the rise. Many of my clients in large part are suffering from these painful disorders. The source — you guessed it — is often emotional rather than food-related. Ever heard of the phrase eating your feelings? These are deep psychological issues. They are a way to deal with uncontrollable intense emotions. It is about time to understand the soul lessons and help those in pain with love and compassion.
- Another scary statistic: 1 out of every 10 girls at the age of 9 is dieting due to bodily insecurities. How did we let this happen? At 9 our girls should be making friends, hosting slumber parties and playing with crafts.
It is about time to reconsider what we know about weight and obesity and take a deeper, more holistic approach. As I previously mentioned, weight is a very complex subject, it is a mind, body, soul, heart, psychology, cultural and even spiritual reality.
All you need is love.
More than just a Beatles’ song, the benefits of love are numerous. Love happens NOW and not when you will let go of those extra pounds. Would you dare telling your toddler “I will love you when and only if you lose all this baby fat”. Never. Then why do so many of us people talk to ourselves that way? Enough with the rules and the diets and the preconceived notions. We must take our identities and self confidence back, and we must do this with love and wisdom. Let’s love and be supportive of our spouses, our children, our friends. By being open minded and curious. By experimenting, making mistakes and trying new things. We do this by getting to know ourselves better and by loving ourselves again. We do this by following our passions and dreams. We do this by refusing to live in fear and by embracing the perfectly beautiful disaster life can be. If you take anything away from this, just remember to love. To love yourself and to love others. I hear it can move mountains… Keep this in mind because the stress that comes from emotional and mental dissatisfaction and insecurity far outweighs the toll weight gain and obesity could ever take.
I invite to read my blog “WEIGHT GAIN: DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER“.