The Forces of Evil

We get up in the morning and we’re ready for action. We’re gung ho. We’re enthusiastic. We imagine the day.


But then it seems like maybe we got busy or maybe we didn’t get a chance to eat what we planned or maybe we just felt hungry. Maybe we were anxious and we were half way done eating something before we even noticed we were eating it or maybe someone offered something and it’s natural to have a bite or….fill in your own. We’ve all been there.

So it could have to do with time. It could have to do with temptation. It could have to be just our own mental process.

I got up this morning and I thought well, should I exercise or get ready for work? And incredibly I chose exercise. There are all these choices to be made. And, we are in a world that is not weight friendly.

I thought it would be interesting to take today and really look at the water we’re swimming in here.  I think it’s an important conversation. I feel like a lot of what I do is taking this stuff that is unconscious or automatic or assumed and bringing it up to the surface where we can actually have some access to it and hopefully some power.  Giving it that attention for a day will make us aware of something that we’ve just been brushing by. I’m sure there are many things that we just accept or we just move past, and yet they probably do have an impact on our abilities to do what we want and to have it be easy. It will be interesting to see what we find out. 

We are awash in books, research, programs, foods, supplements, gyms, and trainers, explaining in eloquent detail what we need and what we (WE) should do about it (and why).

This article is about the gap between these 2 realities.  More specifically, it is about why there is a gap and how we can start to close it.

It’s not a level playing field.   

We live in a society, a culture where we generally believe that we have personal responsibility and that ultimately, the only things we can control, are our actions and our reactions.  This is ultimately true and it’s powerful.  What I’ve noticed is that the food industry has noticed, too (as have the drug industry, cosmetic industry, politics and economics. Don’t get me started)

Mike Adams, an outspoken healthcare advocate says, “today more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choices, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiency and a lack of physical exercise”.

So here we are, taking personal responsibility for our health, our weight and our well being.  We’re actually pretty good at it.  But why, exactly, do so many people struggle with their weight?  Why are 70% of the people in this great nation overweight or obese?  Why is there so much information available linking overeating and carrying extra weight to an extravagant list of illnesses and ailments, not to mention low self esteem, lower pay, less opportunity in all sorts of areas and less fun, and yet we still find it near impossible to find the personal resources to overcome it?  And with so much brilliant info and research on the best ways to eat and care for ourselves and how to correct our problems, how do you account for this discrepancy?

First I want to dispel what I call the Willpower Trap.  What this says is that if you believe that it just takes willpower to manage your weight and you don’t seem to have enough, then you’re doomed.  You can keep trying harder, but it never seems to be enough.

There’s just not much conversation going on that looks at the real world challenges that we are up against. The biggest surprise to me is the amount of resignation I see. If fact, I’m amazed that people are not angrier. That may actually be the bigger problem.

What I’d like to do today is look at some of the real contributors and how this came to pass.

In the beginning, food supplies were scarce and erratic. We were programmed to eat all the sugar, fat, and salt we came across until it was all gone.

In the not so distant past, people traveled for days for feasts that might have been held every one or even 3 years.  Everyone would gather and eat for days, then walk home, often several days journey. The preparation alone was an exhaustive event.  Eat as much as you like.

But the food industry  has taken our basic biological urges and used them masterfully to their advantage.  It has devoted itself to making food irresistible. They do not intend to feed and nourish us, only to encourage us to eat and buy as much as possible and to have a memorable meal. 

How do they do it?

They never rest.  Not only is it not a level playing field, it’s not a static one.

The challenge is that we want to feel good and they want to help us.  You “did the right thing” and they gave you a memorable meal.  Everyone’s happy. And then we are frustrated and wonder why we can’t lose weight.

And here’s another thing to notice…something that may unwittingly trip you up. There is great research that shows that people are more likely to be heavy if the people in their family or their close friends are overweight. There is often a group Permission that influences what’s served or available, as well as people who encourage you to eat more (I made it just for you, it’s your favorite, just a little, just this once). 

How can you turn this information into effective action?

Be wary of:

Review this checklist before you shop, cook, prepare, entertain or eat out.

Pick one event, activity, or meal and plan for it.  What is the situation?  What challenges do you see?  What information would help you choose the best plan for you?  Plan for this coming week and plot a strategy.

  1. What do you see as challenges?
  2. How will you respond?
  3. Imagine it all working out for the best.

Take control of your health and your happiness. Take back control of your weight loss journey.

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