In the past few weeks, I’ve been on a new fitness plan and I’m more interested in articles about nutrition and fitness. A recent New York Times piece, Are Most People in Denial About Their Weight? really caught my attention because it seemed to speak directly to me.
Given the ever-increasing obesity problem in the U.S., researchers have done many studies on the topic of weight. Their findings don’t shock me. “Because our bodies change over time, the brain must constantly adjust its perception. Scientists believe that this internal calibration system can sometimes go haywire, notably for sufferers of anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphic disorder, and possibly for obese people too.”
A Duke Univeristy study found that 1 in 4 overweight or obese people don’t believe they have a problem. Dr. Gary Bennett focuses his work on preventing obesity and said, “It’s often said that the first step in improving a problem is believing that you have one. That’s particularly true for obesity.”
Have you ever been shocked by your appearance in a photo? Perhaps that has motivated your to start your own fitness and diet regimen. I finally came to the realization that my clothes weren’t shrinking, each photo couldn’t be taken from a bad angle and my thyroid condition wasn’t to blame for everything. Once I got serious about making a change, I dusted off my Insanity DVDs and began the ambitious 60-day workout challenge. Three weeks into the program I began to really enjoy the intense cardio workouts, but realized exercise wasn’t enough and started to change my eating habits.
I had always balked at the the idea of keeping a food journal because it seemed way too time consuming and unnecessary, but even taking a much more critical look at everything I ate seemed to provide a serious benefit. While making breakfast for my children, I’d often eat the remaining half bagel my youngest daughter didn’t finish and when my son ate all but the last third of his sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, I’d just finish that too as part of my cleaning up routine. Now I realize that doesn’t sound like a lot, but then consider the rest of the day. Preparing their lunches for school, I’d eat a handful of grapes as I was putting it in their lunch bags. Since several of the Oreo cookies were broken, I’d normally eat those too instead of including them in the lunches. How many calories had I consumed before 7:30 am and before I even technically ate breakfast? This morning examination was eye-opening for me. Mindless eating is a big part of my problem, but I’m no longer in denial.
Now I am eating mindfully. I’m doing a low carb diet, have cut out most sugar and I’m counting my calories. This is not exactly fun. In fact, it’s downright difficult. I know it’ll be worth it, however.
Have you ever been in denial about your weight? What motivated you to change? How did you do it? What helped you the most?