What’s your responsibility for the cost of obesity?
Posted Oct 12 2009 10:02pm
By Camille McConnell, author of Stop Overeating Today!
I don’t want to play the blame game, but if health care is standardized in the US, our tax dollars will be going to pay the high medical cost of obesity: diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.
>>> What is your responsibility? What is mine?
We each will have an individual responsibility to get in better shape so we’re not taxing the nation. One person’s weight problem will become everyone’s weight problem, because we all will be footing the bill together with our tax dollars hard at work paying for prescription medications and diabetes machines. That gives a new spin to the phrase “you are what you eat”, because we will all be what everyone else eats!
It doesn’t help to point the finger at the fast food industry and say they combine salt, fat and sugars in a way that hooks our brains and gives us urges we can’t control. Because then we’re still overweight and blaming something outside ourselves that we “can’t control”, so we don’t have to point the finger inward and think about our personal responsibility to ourselves and everyone else.
>>> What’s the solution then?
What can we do about the millions of people that are hooked on eating when they need a boost, comfort, or just something to take them away from their troubles or boredom?
We all can’t be on The Biggest Loser (besides, we’re not all interested in being publicly showcased and humiliated). Paying for surgery to get a band stapled around our stomachs is costly and not guaranteed — thousands of people gain the weight back within three years of having the operation because they were still hooked on food.
I don’t want to come off as a critic, because I’m not. I want to be your biggest supporter if you have an eating and weight problem. But I want to point out the problem first, because most people with eating problems keep their eyes closed, eat what they please and live in denial. Even if taxing others doesn’t worry you, what about your own life? You’ve got yourself to worry about. Eating problems won’t go away on their own and I’m sure you are suffering for it, even if you don’t like thinking about it. Are you happy with your body? Do you like how your body looks and feels? Can you get around as easily as you’d like? Does eating leave you feeling energized or stuffed and tired? Do you deal with guilt on a daily basis?
I know what it’s like to have an eating problem. I struggled with overeating and even bulimia, gained 30 pounds, lost my self-respect and self-control, and dived into despair. What saved me was learning how to retrain my thinking around food so urges did not control me any more. I changed my relationship with food and believe me, you can do the same. It just takes desire, lots of grit and determination and a simple tool.
This summer I published a book called Stop Overeating Today! It has 33 self-help strategies that teach overeaters how I overcame my eating problem and how they can, too.
The tips are go-at-your-own-pace and encourage readers to start slowly so retention is possible. This go-to guide is thorough, covering all aspects of overeating: emotional eating, eating at restaurants, eating at home, food shopping and preparation, stress eating, overcoming guilt and more. It puts power back into your hands so you no longer can say, “I have no control.”
So, you can close your eyes and wish your eating and weight problems would disappear, or you can empower yourself with a guilt-free guide and start making small sustainable changes. It’s up to you.
If you don’t, it’s up to all of us to foot the bill.
>>> More about Camille McConnell
Camille McConnell, author of Stop Overeating Today!!, understands the complexities of overeating and emotional eating, having recovered from a three-year struggle with overeating in 2001. For this reason, Stop Overeating Today!! takes an intuitive, understanding and non-confrontational approach that reviewers have called “motivating, encouraging and powerful.” A life coach with eating disorder recovery mentoring experience, Camille McConnell has reached hundreds through her speaking, coaching and mentoring.
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