Wednesday, June 14, 2006

There is a solution

In addition to being the title of a chapter in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the title of this post refers to the ever- ... ahem ... growing, apparently worldwide problem of obesity.

The problem, though, is that the solution seems to be different for each of us.

Recent news articles have pointed to the following [an incomplete list, to be sure] as important factors on the problem side of the 'obesity epidemic:'
  • The food police
  • Lack of micronutrients
  • The food industry
  • Poverty
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of cooking abilities
  • Inactivity
  • Intestinal bacteria
Diet Blog addresses the solution side today, and promises more discussion of the topic in the future.

No, weight management isn't easy; if it were, wouldn't we all be thin and healthy? Well, thin anyway. Addressing that list of problems, you can find those who, despite lack of sleep or poverty or inactivity or whatever have never had a weight problem.

I'm not assuming that once I reach my goal I'll be able to maintain a healthy weight the rest of my life. I am assuming that with effort, vigilance and planning, I'll have a better chance at it.

And what I've learned since the first of this year is that no matter how badly I wanted to lose weight, or how hard I tried, I wasn't going to be ready to do the real, consistent, steady work of it until I was ready.

An AA member asks his sponsor, "When will I get my job back? When will I get my family back?" And the sponsor replies, "You'll get your job back when you get your job back. Your family will come back when they come back."

That doesn't mean the person who's lost everything just sits on his or her ass and waits for the Good Life. It means there's some footwork, some effort, some sacrifice involved in order to get what we want. My previous dieting efforts failed, in large part, because I didn't lose five pounds a week, every week. My expectations for a woman my age, at my level of activity, were completely unrealistic. I was far too easily discouraged and far too impatient with the process.

Losing five pounds a month is my reality. Once I accepted that, my whole attitude changed. And that has been the key.

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