The Common Fallacy
I have always heard “You can get away with that, (being overweight or obese) when you’re young, but you’d better lose that weight before you get older, because it will hurt you then.” I had accepted that as the truth. I was inspired to do some reading on this subject yesterday and the hard science that I uncovered was stunning. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
I remember when obesity was unusual. Once in a while, we might see someone who weighed 300 pounds or more, but it was rare. While there is a large movement for acceptance of obesity as a lifestyle choice, it’s still unhealthy. Regardless of your level of confidence, obesity will still take it’s toll on you in many ways. The list of physical ill effects of carrying too much fat on your frame is endless. The term “medicalizing obesity” is absurd. It is a medical problem. You can read David’s article Medicalizing Obesity to get a better understanding of the effects of obesity on your body. Some people think that if they don’t believe something, it’s not true. That is the untruth. Truth will stand when the world’s on fire. It does not require that you believe it. It just is. If you say that you don’t believe that obesity hurts you, it doesn’t change the fact that it does. The “self-lovely” movement has destroyed the health of thousands. While it builds the self-esteem of some, it is simultaneously destroying their health. I have been obese. I chose a different path. No amount of false ego-boosting could ever build true confidence. True confidence comes from putting in the work to be the best that you can be. With the ever loosening standards of health, morality, beauty and good taste, a wave of obesity related health problems has pounded the youth of America. Health problems that once plagued only the elderly are now common among the very young. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and gall bladder and liver disease run rampant in our young adults with fatty liver disease becoming commonplace. Fatty liver disease leads to cirrhosis of the liver and death is the only outcome without a liver transplant. All too often, death is the result in people who have lived half of their lives or less. We have allowed a culture of immediate gratification, on all fronts, to kill our children and grandchildren. The idea that we should be able to live anyway that we like has carried over into the world of health with young people making statements like “I enjoy my UNHEALTHY lifestyle.” and “I don’t do healthy.” Seriously? I suppose that if you don’t “Do Healthy” then you are “Doing UNHEALTHY” whether you intend to or not. You will not be neutral. You will be either healthy or unhealthy and in almost every case that decision is made consciously with every bite that you put into your mouth.
According to a 2014 paper in The Journals of Gerontology, a STRONGER association between obesity and various serious health problems exists in the YOUNG (18-40 years) than in the old (65-75) and very old. (1) In a paper published by the U.S. government, the statement is made that “the effect of obesity on mortality is about twice as strong for persons younger than 50 years of age.” (2) While these papers do discuss the effects of obesity in various age groups, it is clear that young people are at a greater risk. We have all heard of the young person who “suddenly dropped dead”. I am guessing that while the death was sudden, the lifestyle that may have contributed to this early demise was not. Quite often, the same personality traits that contribute to an individual being overweight or obese will cause other addictive behaviors. This is a deadly combination. I know of obese young women who died from a combination of drugs and alcohol. With or without these additional addictive behaviors, the fact still remains that obesity in youth appears to be more dangerous than in middle life (40-65) or later. This flies in the face of what most people believe to be true. You are NOT healthy or safe if you are obese at any age, especially if you are in the 18-40 year range. Your youth will not protect you and may possibly increase your chances of death from obesity related medical conditions.
Ways to Win This War
In a lot of the World, especially the U.S., it seems like there is a war being waged against humans and especially the young. The enemies are: marketing, availability, peer pressure and the all too common fat acceptance movement. You have to chose whether you will win or lose this war. Winning means a lifetime of good health and longevity, full of activity and energy. Losing means sickness, immobility and death. The decision is yours alone. The war will be decided by the daily choices that you make about nutrition. Exercise is wonderful. I spend many hours working out every week, but as David says, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.”
1-Stop drinking your calories in sugar-laden sweetened beverages.
2-Quit eating added sugar altogether. You can read https://davidsway.blog/2020/03/28/junkies-addicted-to-that-sugar/ for some of David’s wisdom on this subject.
3- Get Active! With your doctor’s permission and advice, find a way to get some exercise. You will burn a few extra calories, increase your lean muscle mass and speed up your progress with exercise suited to your needs.
4-Make your calories count! Avoid foods devoid of nutrition. Choose whole foods and avoid processed foods that don’t stave hunger off very long.
5-Count your calories! You can go to the Calorie Counter Pro to determine how many calories that you need to lose, or gain, 1-2 pounds per week or to maintain your current weight.
6-Avoid fad diets. You can read How Long Will It Take to Lose Weight? for information about the problems with fast weight loss.
7-DON’T SKIP MEALS!!! You will get ravenous and eat everything in sight and feel justified doing it…BAD IDEA!
8-Stay Hydrated. Read David’s article How Much Water Do I Need? for good tips on the importance of hydration.
9-Reduce Stress. At David’s Way we teach “Make Your World Small”-(David Yochim) Stress can change your hormone levels and cause hunger and cravings. It increases cortisol production which promotes belly fat. Find a way to stress less.
10-Set realistic goals. When we first begin a weight loss program, we always want to “get there” in a hurry. The main reason for that is so we can go back to our old ways of eating, and living, which will cause the weight to come right back. Set your goal to be a lifetime of healthy choices that will get you to your optimum goal of being the best that you can be for the rest of your life. If you begin to practice good self-care now, that may be a very long time.