Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The future freaks me out

"Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.”
~ Author, Robert H. Schuller

Singer Jennifer Hudson lost weight with Weight Watchers. 
Photo from TheHealthyTeacher.com

Anyone who's ever tried to lose weight knows it can involve a lot of getting on board, falling overboard, climbing back on and starting over again.  It's no wonder the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 100,000 people die annually as a result of obesity, and it is estimated that 65 percent of American adults older than 20 are overweight or obese. 

I've tried it all - Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Diet Pills, Skipping Meals, Calorie Counting.  With temporary fixes, I saw weight loss but none of it lasted.  I only lost to gain back the pounds I lost plus 10 more.  Personally, I know that the only way to lose and keep it off is to be consistent in whatever method you try.  Always staying active, always eating sensibly, always climbing back on board when falling off said wagon. 

Of course knowing what to do and actually doing are two different things, especially since most folks my age grew up in the age of "Eat Crap and You'll Feel Better" mass marketing.  Bad day?  Indulge in ice cream.  Money tight?  Eat like a king with this affordable fried chicken dinner.  Want to make everyday a Friday?  Head to the nearest Thank God It's Tasty joint and get a full day and half worth of calories in burgers and fries.  Hungry?  Why wait.  Follow your impulse and eat a chocolate covered calorie buster.

Since the decade I was born, the number of overweight children has doubled.  Since the '90s the rate of obesity among adults has grown by more than 75 percent.  A weight gain of 11 to 18 pounds doubles a person's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

Even with all the warnings, it's so easy to put health on the backburner.  So easy to backslide to McDonald's.  Eat a burger.  Side of fries.  Dip the fries in ranch.  Swallow it down with a Shamrock Shake. However, no matter how many times I backslide, seeing body transformations always inspire me to get it back into gear.  Whether I'm watching everyday obese folks on A&E's Heavy transform from pitiful sedentary blobs who can barely walk to 5K-running athletes, or celebrities like Valerie Burtinelli or Jennifer Hudson stick to a lifestyle change, I'm inspired.

Back in 2009, Cyn snapped this photo of J. Hud performing
 on the streets of Chicago at Oprah's 24th Season Kickoff party.
Before Weight Watchers, 5'9" Jennifer Hudson wore a Size 16.  It's now reported that she wears a Size 6.  AMAZING.  Valerie Burtinelli, also transformed with Jenny Craig.  Regardless of how anyone loses weight, the main takeaway is a tidbit of hope that I too will be able to have my "before" and "after" to show people and say, "Look at me.  Can you believe I used to look like this?  No really.  That was me."
TV star Valerie Bertinelli's amazing weight loss
Photo from DietsInReview.com

Weight loss is no overnight success, but as I used to remind myself when I struggled to complete a five-year college program in four years, es mejor viajar con esperanza que llegar -   it's better to travel with hope than to arrive.

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