Paging back in time, I can recall pre-pubescent days when I didn't need to waste brainpower thinking about what I was eating. Life was an endless box of Ring Dings, Twinkies, Charleston Chews and other assorted sweets and savories. Prior to my teen years, thinking about the impact of what I ate didn't exist - what was all this fuss about dieting I heard from the adults anyway? If anything, my relatives were looking for ways to pack weight on me. Slim by design, a trait that's been passed along to my two children. But then I woke up one morning and sprouted two mountainous hips, and a set of saddle bags that would take down the Kentucky Derby's finest.
According to the CDC, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. That means that the average American is 23 lbs. heavier than their ideal body weight. But are we reaching a point of accepting this new version of the "average body?" On a personal note, when I weighed in at 140 lbs, I can vividly recall sitting in my doctor's office almost in tears, convinced that I could just drink water and breathe, and still not be able to lose the weight. It was at that point that we took a serious look at the state of my health, and after doing a bit of detective work, discovered that I had an undiagnosed thyroid condition, hypothyroidism. Without a long complicated explanation, I basically have a sluggish thyroid that impacts my body's ability to metabolize. At last! Something that could be addressed to fix my weight problem!
If you're finding that you just can't shake the weight you're looking to drop, here are some suggestions ...
- See Your Doctor - Many people have weight problems that have not been properly addressed for a number of different reasons. Become your own health advocate! Get your annual physical, and ask your doctor questions about your weight situation. They can help direct you to narrow down to what's at the root of your problem.
- Manage Your Food - Take a good hard look at what you're eating, the frequency at which you're eating and think about portion size, a huge problem here in the US. Start thinking about planning your meals, and the calorie density of the foods you're eating. A great book to invest in is Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, it shows you where you can make better food choices.
- Get Going! Get in gear and get moving - even little choices like taking he stairs instead of an escalator or elevator can make a difference over time. Take the time to find activities that get you going whether it's a video game system like a Wii, playing tennis, running, exercise classes - if you can find something to stick to, you'll not only burn more calories, but you'll build your self esteem and feel better overall!
If you're dissatisfied with the state of your weight, you don't have to accept it as I did. I vividly recall that feeling of frustration and hopelessness as I stared into the mirror at what I swore was someone else. It is possible to change your body for the better, but be prepared, it's going to take time and effort to get to where you want to be. The payoff is the moment you step into that pair of jeans you could barely squeeze into before that now are falling off your hips!