Weight. The Biggest Distraction of All
We all know that a true measure of our health is much more than the number on the scale. If you are convinced that good health may be your best friend, you are practicing many lifestyle activities, as each of them will influence your overall health. These Five Pillars, as I call them, include nutrition, sleep, stress management, physical activity and social interaction. Think of each of them as a slice of Swiss cheese. If you vary the position of each slice, you will cover up any holes in the process as you stack them up. You don’t have to be perfect in any of them, just the best you can be. My integrative nutrition training taught me to think this way when it comes to health, because each of these pillars is its own form of nourishment. They all matter, and sometimes I’m better at one than the other.
Which ones are solid for you, and which need some attention?
Weight. The Biggest Distraction of All
I wrote about the rapid emergence and marketing of obesity drugs some months ago and stated my concern over both the drugs and the method. Weight loss drugs can be tracked back generations. Their effects have harmed many people, and most of all, did not cure the weight problem. Why? Because it doesn’t address the cause of excess weight; it only strives to shame the person for being overweight and then remove the weight while the person is taking the drug. But it comes back when we use this method, doesn’t it? All the new fancy drugs for the ‘disease of obesity’ show the weight comes back when the medications stop. We know with most problems that, unless you remove the cause, you do not remove the problem.
Excess weight is not the primary problem; rather it is the result of poor eating habits, which are highly individual. For one person, it may be a diet of low quality highly processed foods that trigger hunger. For another, it may be a lifestyle of eating on the run, with no idea of how much one is eating. Still another person may be a night eater or a stress eater. If one is sleep-deprived, it’s easy to go for extra food for energy.
As a health coach my focus is two-fold: one, teaching you about nourishing foods, what to buy and how to cook it so it’s simple: and two, how to adjust your lifestyle or calm your emotions so you have a steadier, more balanced approach to eating. With 25 years of work in this field I’ve never seen a successful program that doesn’t include these two aspects.
See How Obesity Drugs are Marketed
I encourage you to listen very carefully at what the promoters of these new drugs are saying. Remember, there is a profit incentive here. As noted in the Wall Street Journal, obesity drugs are called the biggest blockbuster ever for the pharmaceuticals.
I’ve noticed the apparent pressure on the media to report favorably on these drugs; back in January Time magazine noted the many weaknesses and side effects of the drugs and I described them here in my blog. Interestingly, in the past two weeks two separate Time journalists spoke about the appeal of these drugs. Here are the first and the second of these articles. How is it Time’s position 6 months ago has changed so radically?
What Should You Do?
When it comes to health, the best person to answer that question is you. We all need to be aware that certain segments of our economy rely on our feeling that we’re not measuring up and something outside ourselves - a medication, a skin cream, a fancy car, or home or wardrobe will make us matter more. In the pharmaceutical industry, money is made sometimes with life-saving drugs, but also through drugs meant to be quick fixes that often compound the original problem. In my opinion, the obesity drugs are an opportunistic way to make a lot of money by popularizing the idea that weight, not nutrition, is the problem.
The pharmaceuticals rolling out the obesity drugs don’t talk about food; they only talk about weight. Marketing campaigns will have you believe all your weight problems will be thing a thing of the past. How can they possibly be without a lifestyle change?
Get honest with yourself. Do your eating habits need to change? Do you feel your current eating habits are responsible for any weight issues you might have? If so, do you know what a healthier way of eating looks like and are you motivated to make some changes? Did you know when you are eating healthy for the most part, you can relax and enjoy indulgences (my 90/10 formula)? Healthy eating is not about suffering and depriving yourself.
What would it be like for you if you slowly changed your habits and gradually dropped excess weight if that’s something you need to do? Did you know when you do this and maintain a healthy lifestyle you will no longer be looking at the scale as a measure of your success. We come in all shapes and sizes; honor who you are.
“The weight will take care of itself when you take care of you”