We KNOW we are overweight, but don't you think it helps sometimes if people - professionals or loved ones I mean - remind us of the fact every now and then? My sons very occasionally say "You shouldn't be eating that if you want to lose weight Mum" and my usual reaction is to become very defensive. Usually I'll say something like "Oh, I've had a tough day. Just leave me alone..." or I'll concur and make an excuse "Yes, I know, but I have been so GOOD for ages. I just fancied a little treat..I shan't have another for a long while." In other words I mean..."Don't question me! Leave me alone to enjoy this!"
We can kid ourselves for years and years and years that we really are going to take the problem seriously and do something about it - and once we embark, people like me become slightly resentful that I have to behave and eat differently. Madness.
I quite like it when something fires me up and reminds me that being fat is unhealthy. I watched a TV programme last night about two overweight girls - in their early 20s - who joined two massively overweight women - in their 40s - for a week, in their home, and lived their lifestyle. Now the younger women were big as a result of partying, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, eating junk food and taking no exercise at all. They watched TV for pleasure or went online, and spent hours catching up with friends on Facebook. The older women - the middle aged ones were enormous. They ate massive portions of food at home..mostly fatty and fried, and sprinkled salt over everything. They didn't eat vegetables at all, and because they were so big they were permanently out of breath and house-bound. They could just about get out of their chairs and waddle. They drove everywhere...even to places just up the road from their home.
Anyway, we watched how they ate...and the younger women were given a wake-up call. Their diets and lives were different but these older women were also ill. They communicated, chatted, laughed together but took numerous pills every day. They couldn't wash themselves effectively, or put on their own shoes. if anything fell to the floor it stayed there. One woman was so big she slept in an armchair, fully clothed. One had ruined her kidneys, and both suffered from hypertension, ulcerated legs and Type 2 diabetes (Type 2 diabetes is caused by the overweight couch-potato lifestyle, and is quite different from Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes, which usually affects children because of a defunct pancreas, and has nothing to do with lifestyle, food or lack of exercise.)
These women, who hardly ever moved still wanted syrup all over their food and butter mashed into it to make a sauce. They tucked into fried foods and went to as-much-as-you-can-eat buffets because they couldn't be bothered to cook. They chose deep-fried everthing and still wanted salt to smother their greasy food even though they knew it harmed them.
Aren't we wierd? We KNOW that being fat is unhealthy but often we live with it for years and years until we become ill or until we appreciate that only we can make the necessary changes to avoid all the health-related complications of being obese. Our comfort zones become our ruts..and didn't some wit remark that a rut is just a shallow grave? Those women lived to eat, rather than ate so they could live. They had no real quality of life, but adored their food.
Anyway, I watched that programme last night and this morning first thing I was on my bike...doing two 20 minute sessions, pedalling hard so that I was slightly out of breath. I have to be more aware and pro-active than that though. One session of exercise because I was frightened into thinking about what I could become just isn't enough. I need to carry the impact that programme made with me every single day.
Sadly, that frightening impact fades and we have to find some other way to motivate ourselves into doing the right thing, all day long, and the day after that and the day after that - from now on. Every single day. Living healthily shouldn't end while we draw breath...and that is something I have to remember. My lifestyle has to change completely, not just for now and not just for days when I embrace weight-loss enthusiastically.. but forever.
For every single day you live you have to think about loving that body of yours and treating it properly. I started today well...I have to continue in the same way, doing it for me and my future. I am sick of seeing my puffy ankles and my rolls of belly fat. If you haven't had a good day so far, get up and change it now. It's never too late to work on yourself. Today can be rescued and it can end well. (I do of course have to say this to myself all the time.)