August 05 2019 0Comment

Is obesity really a choice?

I am quite fortunate in a weird way. I’ve been obese, and I have also worked with plenty of people classed as obese. Over the last few years though, there seems to have been a shift in the way obesity is thought about, which began from a campaign spearheaded by Cancer Research UK.

In case you haven’t seen it, the campaign focused around obesity being a possible cause of cancer. In my opinion (and experience) obesity is not healthy first and foremost. This fact, we cannot ignore or move away from. The problem is that some people are confusing the physical issue with the personal issue. We have witnessed this in regard to the criticism this campaign received. Some of the criticism talked about “stigmatising” obesity and even stating obesity wasn’t a choice.

This is where people get really confused in my eyes. When people say obesity isn’t a choice, what they are referring to are the consequences of being obese. People don’t want the consequences, but they do make the choices that lead to obesity. Obesity is caused by eating too much and not moving enough. The good news is that this isn’t personal, it’s physical. In fact, the best way to look at it is this, obesity is a normal reaction to an abnormal environment. If you create the wrong energy balance in your body, your body will store too much fat, and too much fat leads to obesity.

Simple as that. It’s not a complicated issue. What’s potentially complicated is the reasons why we eat too much and don’t exercise. Sometimes people have issues that sit beneath the surface, that create the belief systems that lead to self-harming behaviour. This is where things can get complicated. What you put in your mouth on a day to day basis is a choice. How much you move (if are physically able to) is your choice. If you can accept this, you can start making changes and making progress.

The thing is, what I’ve just said may have triggered you or even upset you a bit. This was not my intention. My intention is to get you to face the truth. I do this with all my clients and bootcamp members and it really helps them get results. You can’t make progress by being told what you want to hear. Now if you are reading this and you are struggling with obesity, my advice is to get help. The good news is that help is available. The NHS offers free programs and support. You can also join slimming clubs for next to nothing. You don’t even need to start exercising straight away either. The first place to start is with your diet and mindset. Get yourself eating better and eating less.

Once you start losing weight and feeling better, you will start to feel more active. You don’t need to be some super athlete and you certainly don’t need to starve yourself. It’s important to remember your choices don’t make you. At any point with the right help and support you can change your situation. There is no point blaming yourself for what has happened however, you are responsible for what happens next. Blame and responsibility are two different things. Beating yourself up for your choices isn’t going to fix anything. No one should make you feel bad for being the way you are. If you are obese, remember that your problem is physical and not personal. I have personally lost 70 pounds and kept it off, so it is possible to change your life if you are ready and willing. This isn’t easy but with the right support and help, it is possible.

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