It’s Not Your Fault

The nature of the weight loss industry would have you believe that the reason you have accumulated unwanted weight is that you lack self-control. If you’re like many others, you’ve probably bought into this lie and beat yourself up about it far too often. If you could just skip the donut, say “no” to the bag of chips, get off your lazy bum and work out in the mornings! “IT’S SO SIMPLE,” they say. If it were so freaking simple, then why has obesity done this in less than 30 years?!

Look back further at the past 100 years. What’s changed? Has something happened in the past 30 years that has made people rabidly shove Twinkies in their mouths?

NO. People. Have. Not. Changed.

What has changed, though, is the environment we live in where things like sugar became high fructose corn syrup and fat became trans-fat thanks to the industrial revolution and the advent of food processing, combined with things like big beautiful buildings filled with cubicles in cities that are pedestrian un-friendly.

Days of humanity used to be spent outdoors gardening, farming, tending to animals, building, creating.

Now we are all indoors hunched over desks wondering why we’re all so fat.

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Stop blaming yourself, and stop listening to the weight loss industry and the behavior change models of weight loss that convince you that it’s your behavior that got you into an energy-zapped, miserable, overweight mess. Quit it with the negative self-talk and recognize the pieces of your environment that are working against you. Get angry. Get really, really angry that the world as a whole has let the health of its people become less important than the money in big food and pharma industry pockets. Let your anger move you - literally, and figuratively. Those with the power to rewind and undo some of the hot mess that's been made are moving slower than a snail's pace, and obesity isn't slowing down to wait for them to catch up (I'm talking to you, government).

We get angry and scared and can talk all day about terrorism. The constant feelings of uneasiness in large crowds. The news stories that come across the screen nearly weekly with gruesome images of evil and hate. In 2015 there were over 28,000 terrorism-related deaths.

Why aren't we talking more, though, about the 614,000 that died of heart disease, the 591,000 that died of cancer, the 133,000 that died of stroke, the 76,000 that died of diabetes? All in all, that's over 1,400,000 people's lives that were lost from largely preventable diseases that are caused largely by overweight and obesity. Just in America. I am by no means downplaying terrorism, only attempting to highlight the sheer numbers of people affected by death from preventable causes and to stress how much more intensely we need to be focusing on this issue from an environmental standpoint as human beings.

From a personal standpoint, once you recognize the aspects of your physical environment that are not beneficial to your health, you can begin strategizing how to overcome them. It takes some serious out-of-the-box thinking at times and it’s not easy, but I know one thing – it’s worth it. You and your family are worth it.

Get weird, get crazy, get angry, get healthy, and for the love of God, stop blaming yourself.