I read a letter to the editor of the Post and Courier on November 9th titled 'Fighting Obesity'. While I agree with the gentleman on a number of his points I must jump in on several very important items.
I agree that professionals (doctors, dieticians, etc.) have a difficult time confronting their 'fat' patients with the brutal truth. It ain't easy, I sure did not want to be confronted with that information. I agree that our Obesity is a MAJOR part of our present and future health care crisis. I was on numerous medications and a CPAP machine. I agree that Obesity is a pandemic. I have been that patient, part of the health care problem, and a member of the Obesity Pandemic. I could have been the poster boy!
Here is where I differ with the letter. Exercise is a major piece of, what was so eloquently put, "getting rid of blubber." Moving more burns more calories and helps keep us inbounds with our weight. I did not lose 150 pounds by changing my diet alone. I worked on diet and exercise to get me to where I needed to be. I am on Day 983 of my journey and at 55 years of age, I am in the best shape and health of my life. I am off of 7 different drugs that I HAD to take several years ago. Moving More (exercise and activity) has been a great tool for taking care of ME.
Another statement was made , "Just because you feel hungry doesn't mean you have to eat," should be the prominently displayed shibboleth in every health care worker's office and waiting room. While many may think this, it is not really true. Hunger had very little to do with my eating habits and has little to do with what I see others going through. Stress, bad habits, lack of focus on ME, and other issues crept in, but hunger was not really a trigger for eating. Studies have been done that show eating is triggered more by environmental cues than actual hunger. If I had only eaten when I was actually hungry, I would never have reached 360 pounds.
Obesity is a national epidemic with millions of individual stories. Each of us needs to look in the mirror and decide to take ownership of our weight issues. Each of us should think about how we can help turn the tide of this Obesity Pandemic in our community, state, and nation. If you are struggling with Obesity, change for YOU not because I wrote this letter. If you are not personally struggling with Obesity, be there for someone that is working to make that positive change in their life.
I now volunteer with Eat Smart Move More South Carolina and Eat Smart Move More Charleston Tri-County. I strongly believe that healthy habits in DIET and EXERCISE are the answer to what ails us individually and as a nation.
TheFatGuy, Mike Campbell