I’m experiencing a range of emotions right now as I’ve just watched the latest episode of “Our America with Lisa Ling” on the OWN network. The episode covered a story close to my heart, obesity and went deeper than I’ve ever experienced (as is Lisa’s style) and delved into childhood obesity.
The first half of the show was heart-wrenching, a four-year old boy over 100 pounds and a 12-year old girl over 325 pounds. How could this be? How did we allow our children’s lives to get so out of hand? There are no easy answers or quick solutions, but the good news is that there ARE solutions.
I don’t have to quote statistics to you, obese, severely overweight and morbidly obese people are all around us. They seem to be everywhere, at every corner and if you don’t suffer from obesity yourself, you may just wonder WHY? HOW? And what are we going to do about it?
Watching the episode made me sad and I was on the verge of tears …until there was a glimmer of hope.
The same 12 year old told her mom that she was sick of being overweight and decided to do something. What you may ask? Brianna did what so many people fail to do, she chose to live. She decided that she wouldn’t allow her weight to hold her back and keep her hostage anymore. She started exercising and helping her mom to change the way the whole family ate. She has now lost a whole pants size (from the show credits, hopefully its more now). Her goal is to lose 100 pounds, to start.
BRAVO! Brianna, you are my SHERO! If this little girl, a mere child, can decide to do something about her weight, when she doesn’t control a lot of what happens in her life, what’s stopping you?
The Pound Punchers
There was another story of hope about a group of firefighters who call themselves the “Pound Punchers.” They live in rural West Virginia and don’t have sidewalks or access to a gym, but they managed to get some equipment donated (which they use regularly) and walk everyday. They have lost over 700 pounds as a group. Their goal is to lose 1000 pounds. I am certain they will make it.
What Can You Do?
OK, so you’re not 12 and don’t live in a rural area, but you still have the option to choose to live. Living is doing and being involved in your own life. You can do this. Do you think it was easy for Brianna or those firefighters to even attempt to lose the weight? NO!! But they did and here are the steps you can take to be successful also.
1. Make Up your Mind to Do It
Even if you don’t know what you should do or how to do it, the simple act of making up your mind to realize your goal puts you in a brand new mindspace. Because deep down inside, you are saying to yourself that you really will accomplish this goal and that puts you on the road to success.
2. Get Help from the Pros
You won’t be successful if you don’t know what to do, so find someone who knows what they are talking about, like a personal trainer, health coach or weight loss coach. Put them to work for you. If you can’t afford a coach, head to the Internet or get to the magazine stand and start searching.
3. Create a Support Team
You really, honestly can’t do this alone and there’s no need to. Tell our family, friends and loved ones all about your goal and enlist their help to stay on track. If someone doesn’t want to play on “Team U” don’t worry, it may not be a good fit for the, look for help in other places; your job, church or community.
4. Create a Plan
Nothing happens until you make it happen. Planning out what you want to do and how you plan to carry it out is crucial for you to actually achieve your goal. Get your calendar, a quiet space and a pen and get to it.
5. Set a Date and Get Started
You can’t start tomorrow because tomorrow never comes. Set an actual, real date of when you will start. Look forward to that date, the same as you would your wedding or class reunion. Don’t look at it as something you dread, why would you want to continue and be successful at something you dread? Believe in your mind that this is something good even great. Its something you want to do and will bring you great joy.