Who Is This Guy? - The Blog

Welcome to our blog about food addiction, obesity, gastric bypass surgery and of course, Who Is This Guy? ... the book

Trying to Understand Obesity Disease

 

Trying to Understand Obesity

 

Obesity is now a worldwide health epidemic.  It is estimated that over one third of the population of the United States is obese.  Globally, more deaths are linked to obesity than are linked to malnutrition and starvation.  According to the World Health Organization, over 1.4 billion adults are overweight with over 200 million men and 300 million women classified as obese.  In my opinion, there are many reasons for this drastic rise in obesity, and I’ll share some of them with you now.

 

The lifestyle that most overweight people lead today is extremely sedentary.  We live in a world where so much can be done without leaving the comfort of our living room chair.  We can watch television, play video games, or use our laptop computer, smart phone or tablet.  With access to millions of websites, we can shop for clothes, gifts, groceries or renew our prescriptions.  Even a college degree is possible without leaving our chair or getting out of our pajamas.  We can also turn off our lights and lock our doors with the touch of a button.

 

You don’t have to look too far to find yet another reason for the rise in obesity.  The “fast food” establishments found on almost every corner are such a convenience in the busy lifestyles we lead.  They are a quick and inexpensive meal on the run, for sure, but at what price to our health?  Clearly, a trip to the supermarket for a supply of healthy foods will cost you more than the unhealthy variety, and that’s unfortunate.  Nevertheless, you can still have a healthy diet by making sure your trip to the supermarket is well-planned and cost efficient.  The choice is yours, and speaking from experience, I can tell you that the wrong choices have dire consequences.  Fast food and poor food choices played a significant part in my obesity.

 

In my next blog I will address the medical and psychological issues associated with obesity.  In the meantime, let me know what your struggles are and how you address them.      

 

 

 

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Getting back on track....It can be done.

If you're like me the holidays are a continuous battle. From Thanksgiving to New Years Day we are being tempted with unhealthy foods.  Candy, pie, cake, cookies, bread, gravy, potatoes, stuffing....I could go on and on. These are foods I normally wouldn't touch because I know that they will trigger my cravings.  Cravings are caused by the simple carbohydrates found in those foods. Simple carbohydrates are the quickest source of energy, but are very rapidly digested and won't satisfy your appetite for very long.

My solution to the holiday binge is to begin eating totally "clean" once the holidays are over. I increase my good fats and up my protein intake. I continue my normal exercise routine, drink plenty of water to be sure I am staying hydrated throughout the day, and cut out all simple carbs. Whereas simple carbs are bad for you because they induce cravings, complex carbs are very important to a balanced diet.  Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber, thus satisfying and healthy. Complex carbs are usually found in whole plant foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. I eat plenty of vegetables, including sweet potatoes, and eliminate all simple carbs from my diet.  Within three or four days of eating "clean", the cravings are gone.  If I do slip and eat those "craving-producing foods, here's a tip that works for me and you might want to try; I distract myself until they are gone by keeping busy.  I clean my garage, go to the gym, take a walk or fold some laundry, and by the time I am done I no longer have that craving.  You need to be sure and do something that will keep your mind active. Sitting on the sofa and watching television or reading a book doesn't work for me.  Another way to curb cravings is to have a healthy snack like carrots, celery, cucumbers or other raw veggies. These will fill you up so you don't feel hungry anymore which, in turn, will lessen the odds of going for the "junk" foods.

So as difficult as the holiday season is, I have learned how to get through it the best I can and then make sure I start eating properly to get back on track once the holidays are over. That is what works for me.   The holidays are difficult to deal with, but if you stay positive and get back to the program in the new year, you'll be right back on track.  Don't give up.  It CAN be done!  I'd be interested in knowing how you handle the temptations of eating around the holidays and how you get back on track.  Please share your experiences.

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Update on The Book

We have almost finished writing the book that I have mentioned in previous blogs and the book proposal will be out to prospective agents soon.

To give you a brief overview, the book is about my life story in the first person.  A story of a nearly five hundred pound man with poor eating habits from childhood and a roller coaster ride, at times, of uncontrollable eating through adulthood.  It includes successes and failures at trying to manage my life and you will see how this out of control behavior extended to and affected other areas of my life.

The book consists of alternating chapters with my co-author, gastric bypass surgeon, Dr. R. Armour Force, a renowned specialist in bariatric surgery with over thirty years experience.  Dr. Forse’s chapters provide the medical point of view as it relates to the challenges of a person with overeating disorders.

The book is about more than just obesity.  Obesity is often a symptom of problems much deeper.  The fact is that all people with overeating disorders have underlying issues.  It is also a book about commitment.  The book points out that a total commitment to changing your life by changing your eating habits, including exercise as part of your day and addressing your underlying issues provides long term success.

Stay tuned for more information on the publishing date which we hope will be by mid to late summer.

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I am Back

I know it’s been a while since my last blog.  I have been busy at work and at the same time struggling with my eating habits and the weight gain that followed after the holidays.  I did okay until the beginning of November and then I struggled mightily until about three weeks ago.

It has been a constant struggle and I have put on weight, but the good news is that I seem to be back on track now and slowly taking off the extra weight I’ve gained.  No excuses, but I have not been able to exercise as often and as intensely due to back problems and a problem with my wrist, knee and shoulder.   I know that is part of the reason for the weight gain.  I was not burning off the calories.  Also, I was not eating clean and consequently, the weight was slowly creeping up.

For now, I am once again back on the program and I have a good feeling that I will keep going in the right direction.  Three perfect weeks behind me and I’m still in the zone.  I have started researching and experimenting with foods that could help to reduce inflammation in the joints which may help me with some of the discomfort I am having in my shoulder, back and knee.

I’ll share the information I find on what foods are working to reduce inflammation in my next blog.  Meantime, I’m happy with my progress and my continued focus. I feel so much better physically and mentally.

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Know the Difference Between Hunger and Cravings

Hunger is certain to make you want to eat.  Hunger is a state where your body and brain are depleted of nutrients and your system is asking your body to resupply them.  Many people rarely get to the point of feeling hungry because they are driven to eat by what is going on in their lives and not by the actual feeling of hunger. For example, emotional eating is common in people that suffer from eating disorders because they are using food to make them feel better.  For many years I used binge eating to make myself feel better when I was stressed.  It is my opinion that many of us are driven to eat unhealthy foods because of the food and beverage manufacturers.  Processed food and sugary drinks are known to cause cravings.  The processed food makers and sugary beverage makers can accomplish these cravings with its one main ingredient, sugar.

I believe that people should take responsibility for their own actions.  I also believe that when predators like the processed food  and sugary beverage manufacturers are allowed to target advertise to children, they are no better than the makers of cigarettes, who, before they were forced to limit how they could advertise, flooded the market from teenagers to adults pushing their nicotine-laden products. They know that their products are likely to create lifelong problems for their consumers yet in the interest of sales, they continue to develop new products which hook unsuspecting users.

My struggle with sugar continues.  I have not had a sugary beverage in almost 13 years.  Not so with sugary foods such as candy and cakes. I work hard at it all the time and I have become educated and aware of the triggers.  What about you? How do you feel about my views on sugar?

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