As we all know, the majority of the U.S. is overweight. In fact, for the past 11 months, I myself have been on a journey of eating healthily and getting fit. At one point, I was 331 lbs and rising. Being from a family of big people, I convinced myself that my size was normal; it was just how I was born. Fortunately, actually unfortunately, I carry weight well distributed. So, no one believed that I weighed as much as I did, but the truth is I was morbidly obese.
Before this, it never dawned on me what the word morbid implies. Death. I was in my mid-twenties, just beginning to scratch the surface of life and the term morbid was attached to who I had let myself become. Then I had another epiphany. I talk about my love for clothes for a living, but those clothes don’t come in my size. From that point on I vowed to change.
I had a love-hate relationship with the gym. I love weight lifting but I hated cardio. All forms! We’re just not friends. But I had to make my enemy, at the very least, an acquaintance. With the support of my best friend and wife, I jumped on that treadmill and 11 months later, I’m down 45 lbs.
There was another piece of the weight loss puzzle that I had to consider though. Food. I had my workout schedule down, so I had to change my eating habits. I don’t like the word diet because it seems like a temporary fix. Eating healthy is a way of life. Living in the U.S., home of the fatties, we are bombarded with images of terrible, unhealthy food disguised as scrumptious delicacies. We reward our children with McDonald’s happy meals and celebrate life with Chilies’ deep-fried extravaganzas called The Triple-Dipper. Now, I know that all things can be enjoyed with moderation but you don’t get to be 331 lbs by acting moderately when it comes to food. So, I did some research and learned that, “a standard plate size in the U.S. increased from 10 inches to 12 inches in the 1990’s.” Think about that the next time you go for seconds.
Also, a study found that when people are given larger food containers and larger spoons, they consumed larger amounts of food or ate the entire portion (American Journal of Preventive Medicine). Another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that people eat around 10% more calories than in the 1970s. If the stats on physical activity did not change, that means about 200 calories a day or about 20 pounds a year. That’s enough to cause an “epidemic.”
I challenge you to do your own research! Find out what’s in the “delicious” fast food. I promise you’ll be shocked. As considerate as we are about the clothes we wear, we should be just as, if not more, considerate of what we put into our bodies. I urge you to be passionate in all that you do. Explore—new restaurants, different kinds of food. You may shock yourself and learn that you enjoy a fresh salad or vegetables. I did.