How do you lose weight? Substitute diet drinks for sugary drinks. Eat low-fat foods. Just eat less of the bad foods — it’s all about the calories. We are told, “Just have more willpower.”
These ideas are false. They are food- and diet-industry propaganda that makes and keeps us fat and sick. Lies by the food industry combined with bad government policy based on food industry lobbying are the major causes of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Now, more than 35 percent of Americans are obese, and almost 70 percent are overweight. This is not an accident but the result of careful marketing and money in politics.
We are told it is all about making better choices. If we all took more personal responsibility, we could stop this obesity and diabetes epidemic. We have been told there are no good or bad foods, that the key to weight loss is moderation. And, of course, if we all just exercised more, all of us would lose weight. These ideas hold us hostage.
We’re all programmed to like sugar, but new research shows that some people are genetically much more prone to sugar addiction than others.
As I noted in my previous blog on food addiction, science demonstrates that people can be biologically addicted to sugar and other foods in the same way people can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine. Bingeing and addictive behaviors are eerily similar in alcoholics and sugar addicts. In fact, many recovering alcoholics switch to another easily available drug: sugar.
This is it, that time of the year when we all decide to make changes … but how many of those changes are lasting? It’s so easy to have good intentions, but it’s the implementation of these intentions that separate the “start and stop” game that a lot of us love to play from actual lasting change.
As we enter into our third month of 2010, it’s a good time to stop and ask ourselves how we are doing. I declared 2010 to be the year that we say, “If not now, when?”
What did you declare you would finally do this year that you haven’t done in the past? Do you remember what you declared, or did you let it go already?
Whatever you are working on, you will not do it perfectly. The trick is not to never goof up, but not to turn goof-ups into give-ups. In order to keep motivated and not give up when you blow it, it’s important that you use what you learn from your tracking — I said I would exercise 30 minutes every day and I haven’t done it once — as information, not as the chance for self-punishment. The more you criticize, blame, shame or guilt-trip yourself, the less well you’ll do.
I have declared this year to be the year where we ask ourselves: “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” So I call this year the year we train like athletes for the “soul” Olympics.
I just read a book called “Living the Low Carb Life” by Jonny Bowden. What I really liked about it was the way it educated me about sugar and high carbohydrate foods. I have always loved these foods and have fought with myself over and over about how I shouldn’t, but I want to, oh it is ok, just once, never again …. Or, I can burn it off, or, I work out so much I am sure it won’t matter.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
New Years resolutions are upon us. Some of us no longer sit down and write them out or even give them much thought. Too many times we have been resolute on New Years Day, only to see our determination fade just weeks later.
In the blink of an eye, one more year will be behind you. In 2008 you can continue on the path you’re on, or you can make a shift. What will you choose?
You know that to make your body stronger you must challenge it. It is the same for willpower and courage. To get more courage, you must face your fears. To increase willpower, you must use the power of your will.