This is an update on my first post about obesity in
According to the World Health Organization, it is the calorie dense foods that people have started enjoying in abundance – foods that contain lots of fat (extra calories, and most likely trans fats too) combined with refined sugars (worst offender of which is high fructose corn syrup hidden in many commercial products) and white flour (I added this last one as it acts similarly in the body to sugar). Combining a sugary diet along with high fat is a recipe for disaster. Also, the lack of exercise nowadays was mentioned as a culprit. Hmmm… Those foods are indeed often very yummy (says a carb addict and someone who loved golden corn syrup on white bread with cheese sliced on top, when I was a much younger woman. We also trucked bucket loads of sugary cocoa cola into our house. I provided my children with Kool-aid made with real sugar. Thankfully, I woke up not too long after that and discovered Splenda Granular.), but it is the addictive nature of sugar that makes one crave more and more to the point that eventually when we’ve overdone it, insulin resistance begins to occur. Insulin resistance happens when the cells of the body are no longer as sensitive to its action upon them, and in response the pancreas has to produce more insulin and more insulin as time goes by. Insulin is the fat storing hormone in the body. This insulin resistance is the "evil thing" that changes the body and makes us into fat storing machines instead of purely energy consuming and producing machines. At this point, it is no longer the person at fault. Something has gone drastically wrong in the body! It is like fighting an uphill battle to lose weight, let alone maintain a good, healthy weight, if one has managed the weight loss through superhuman effort. For some it is easy to lose weight, but maintaining proves to be the difficult part due to the above mentioned factors.
The tragic thing is that the young generation coming up is suffering and at younger and younger ages. For instance, we all knew in years gone by that the French were eating well (butter, cheese, cream, meats, wines, vegetables and fruits with less emphasis on empty carbs ironically) and remaining slender. We wondered enviously how they did that. My first visit and only visit to France when I turned 46 years old showed me a Paris that had a MacDonalds or another American Fast Food Franchise on practically every corner, plus many wonderful-smelling bakeries with all kinds of sugary, high-fat desserts temptingly displayed. Yes, alas my husband and I succumbed to not only the desserts, but also those famous French croissants (yes, they are excellent)!! If it is difficult for a committed low-carber to avoid these temptations, then think how difficult it is for those folks for whom these foods are not necessarily off limits! The fact is today in
One thing we can do besides eating less (low-carbing makes this easier as it cuts cravings for the bad carbs that call our names) is increase physical activity. The easiest way is to find time to walk. I prefer evenings, but some people would prefer the early morning. Walking is weight-bearing exercise that helps prevent osteoporosis, plus it is using up calories and keeps the metabolism humming, even while reducing calories. Other forms of exercise, including weight lifting, are also beneficial. Anything that gets the body moving is far better than being sedentary, which combined with a bad diet and being overweight is implicated in an increased susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc.
On the bright side, the facts are that having some of these things go wrong and being very overweight often does not shorten one’s life by more than a paltry few years, but it is the quality of life that goes down the tubes sometimes. I have known people classified as obese, who’ve been that way for most of their latter adult years, who have lived to 100 or close. However, sometimes they had challenging health problems that made life less enjoyable for them. Longevity is still mostly controlled by one’s own particular genes, I think. However, we can definitely improve the odds of living a healthier and thereby more enjoyable life, by being proactive and finding what works for us to either lose weight (difficult, I understand), or at the very least remain as active as humanly possible, and adopt a healthier diet, by cutting out the sugars and foods with hidden sugars and white flour (a friend calls them: “white death” and the late Dr. Atkins called them “anti-nutrients” that steal nutrients from the body in order for the body to process them).
I hope I reported on the facts fairly well and at the same time was sensitive to people’s feelings and also gave some food for thought and awareness along with hope for some people. I never want to hurt feelings – that is not my intent. People are people irregardless of size and we all have feelings and living in an overweight body is challenging and stressful to a person living in a narcissistic society, where we acutely feel that others may be judging us.
In the end, life is not about looks or weight, it is not about things either, but it is indeed about loving people and about relationships and most of all, it is about finding and loving God. Just my thoughts today….knowing also, that some relationships are beyond mending on this earth, but by praying and asking God, just maybe it will be different in heaven one day. I speak from my own life script, so please remember to cut me some slack. Thanks.