I don’t watch much television; so, I had never actually seen the show, The Biggest Loser. I was loafing around during the holidays watching a little tele and the show came on and I gave it a chance to catch my attention. I was emotionally drawn into the plight of the contestants.
I was fascinated and taken aback to see the massive size of these people most 200+ lbs. Obviously, this is extremely unhealthy for people to live at this weight level. Immediately, I started questioning how people can allow themselves to get to that point.
Did you know adult obesity has more than doubled in the United State between 1960 and 2004, rising from13 percent to 33 percent.”? About two-thirds of American adults are overweight and one-third are obese. *
The burden put on the healthcare system and the cost to the economy is staggering. The total cost is 117 billion dollars. A direct cost of 61 billion: workdays lost 39.3 million, 62.7 million in office visits, 239 million on restricted-activity days and 89.5 million in bed-days. About 59% of adults do no vigorous physical exercise. * Unbelievable!
Experts say that obesity is now a “lifestyle choice.” Modern medicine can cure so many diseases and illnesses that a person can and more people are taking the risk of dealing with a disease that might result from being obese.
Obese people are more likely to develop: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some forms of cancer, hypertension , high blood cholesterol, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and more.*
I can imagine the pain you must deal with on a daily basis. There is the obvious physical discomfort. But, I believe the worst pain is the emotional torture you must feel like: isolation, desperation and loss of control. A lot of this weight issue has to do with the emotional health and well being of a person. It must be devastating to be made fun of and feel different and ostracized from the general population. These are similar feelings you experience when you are dealing with any addiction.
So, how come people don’t, won’t, can’t find help or make the help work for them?
I guess once you reach a place in your mind or your body or even your spirit it is super hard to make significant changes. The amount of restraint and exercise a person must do to reverse a severe condition like this is all consuming.
Even though my own personal struggle with weight is small and petty in comparison to the contestants on the show; I have five to ten pounds that can come to me like wind but takes a mountain for me to move away.When I find them hanging on my body, I wonder, “Why do I waste time and energy going round and round with the same old thing?” I have battled that small amount of excess many times before, and each time, I ask myself was “it” worth all that. I know it is not. Then why do I choose NOT to control my behavior or make choices that I know will hurt me?
I think it is representative of a lot of other addictions we have as a human culture, such as: alcohol, drugs, sex, dependencies on people and things. We have made our lives so comfortable it can be easy to find a “medication” for what ails us. It is true work to find out why we do things that are not good for us or hurt ourselves. Even after that, it can be a vicious cycle of undoing and redoing the very behaviors we have identified and taken steps to altering.
So, acceptance and patience might be the very thing that can “save us from ourselves.” Also, we might consider baby steps that allow for new ideas, attitudes and behaviors to set in and then, of course, the celebration of your victories with something as small as your very own appreciation of your own achievements.
*Weight-control Information Network, http://win.niddk.nih.gov/index.htm