Friday, August 1, 2008

Why Bother?

When in the midst of trying to lose weight, there comes a time when we're not seeing the scale move, when we feel hungry, when we're angry because we can't have the size slice of cake we want to have, that we are tempted to throw up our arms in disgust and ask, "Why bother?" We look at our overweight friends and family and use them as an excuse to say to ourselves, "They aren't doing anything about their weight and they don't look like they're doing too badly." The truth is, we don't know the inner thoughts of our friends and family, we don't know what motivates them, what is truly important to them, what their will power is like, or whether they even have the will power. Besides, wouldn't you like to show your friends and family that you do have the will power to make positive changes in your life? That you can succeed? And maybe your success will motivate them?

Still, here is one of the most important reasons I know to "bother" with losing weight: our children. Our children are learning from us how to live. We teach them through our examples. And right now, their weight gain and their battles with adult forms of conditions and disease like diabetes and high cholesterol at ages that they shouldn't even know how to spell such words, is showing we're not doing a very good job. The rate of childhood obesity in this country is staggering. With half or more adult Americans now overweight, America's children are following suit by making poor nutritional choices resulting in more than 30% of them in the overweight or obese category. When I was in elementary school, nearly 40-years ago, I can remember only one child in our class who was overweight. One!

It's not enough to tell our children they shouldn't eat junk food when we're holding a bag of Oreos in our hands. Your lifestyle changes: making better low-calorie choices, being mindful of food portions, and healthier snacking, will allow your children and even grandchildren to see not only that it can be done, but that they are important enough, and valuable enough, to make similar changes in their own lives. Hopefully, they won't grow up fighting the same food battles we have. Let's help them see and solve this problem now by showing them we can do it!

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