One of our recent discussions actually led me to look into something that I saw on a Discovery or NatGeo special about genetic obesity regarding a specific Native American tribe. It seems easy to believe that we're fat because it's in our genes and that's just how life is but, at the same time, that kind of thinking can completely DESTROY any chance for motivation or self-esteem. I used to think that before I started this blog, in fact. That "fat" just ran in my family, it's who I am, who I will always be, and there's nothing that I can do about it. And then one day I had a massive brain fart and realized that's just stupid. "If 266 can do it, I can too" became my new motto.
Well then I hit my wall and old worm-pudge started to whisper in my ear again telling me my mom has always struggled with her weight, my sister has always struggled with her weight, my oldest brother is a "big guy", so maybe that's just "life". My brother mentioned above, however, is not nor has he ever been overweight so his interest has mostly been for the benefit of my mom, sister, and myself ... and because he's just an info sponge that sucks up everything he can on any subject that presents itself to him ... which is also why he's the smartest person I've ever known.
Ok so back to my point. I tried to Google this tribe that I'd heard about and I remember the show saying that they were like 80% over weight and have been the basis for multiple scientific studies and genetic testing trying to figure out what it is about these people that makes them chronically obese. In my Googlings, however, I found something even MORE interesting than what I was looking for and I actually got goosebumps when I read it. The full article can be accessed here (and I do, highly recommend reading the whole thing, it's short but powerful, in my opinion) but I want to share the part that really jumped out and grabbed my ass the most below:
"...the message is clear: the starchy foods consumed by the thin Pima of Mexico won’t be the staple in even the most irresponsible diet in the wacky but profitable diet book world. What you eat does not equal fat loss. While how much you eat is relevant, what you eat and drink is about your arteries, your heart and your long-term health. ... But the dietary adjustments don’t work (pun intended).
I want to be simple and direct here: The only way to reduce body fat and to keep it off is physical work. How much? More than you’re doing. Just get started. Stop looking for other ways to improve your overweight condition. The only way is work. Exercise—activity, movement, daily walking or running, progressive resistance training—is essential for body fat reduction."
~Brian Cole, (n.d), Personal Training Associates
I love it. Looking back over my blog between Nov. 2010 through Apr. 2011 and comparing my intake/activity to Jul. 2011 through now I see 2 major differences. 1) My caloric intake has DROPPED and 2) So has my activity (on average).
Problem? Not what I eat or how many calories (though my lower intake might be partially responsible for my lower energy levels and motivation to exercise). The problem is that I'm pussing out. Whether you like the verbiage or not there it is. On some level I told myself that if 1,500 and 3-5 miles a day = weight loss than maybe 800 and no activity would too. Bullshit.
Several recent readers of this blog tried to smack me up side the head with this very message but I'm a damned Scorpio and sometimes we have to hear things in just the right way while we are in just the right frame of mind before we open up our thick skulls and actually listen so to those readers - I'm sorry. You were right and I'm just a stubborn idiot.
And do you know the really pathetic part about this is? LIVING PROOF SLEEPS IN MY OWN DAMN BED!!! Snackers eats like a HOG most of the time. I'm not kidding. Coffee in the morning a couple of non-diet soda's throughout the day a couple of dollar menu cheeseburgers when he gets off work, whatever I'm having for supper but drowning in ranch or thousand island dressing so that he can stomach it, four or five Snack cakes and a few bags of chips and some glasses of sweet tea before bed, maybe even a fried egg sandwich is NORMAL for him. Yet he has mostly been the same weight since I've known him. He can drop 3-4 lbs in two days (he's already back down to 232 since Monday when he and I were both 236.5!!!). How? He goes to work every day and busts his ASS with physical labor for 4-6 hours a day.
I'm so blind. No wonder mom and dad called me hard headed and stubborn my whole life.