Suicide By Choices

Kathryn asks:

I am 45 year old, overweight, with high blood pressure and borderline diabetes.  Being a mother of 3 and working part-time, I don’t have free time for myself to exercise.  I want to be here to play with my grandchildren someday and need practical things I can do besides the usual “diet and exercise”.

Doug answers:

Kathryn, you are in major denial.  At your age, being overweight with high blood pressure and borderline diabetes is often the side effect of an unhealthy lifestyle.  You must wake up and realize that the choices you have made in the past have brought you to a life-threatening state of health today.  I will most certainly give you some practical ideas of what you can do besides “diet and exercise”, but this will be like putting a little band-aid on a severed leg.  You need to change the way you are living.

Nobody will succeed with health promotion or weight control without a healthy diet and activity each and every day.  And if you try to do it with diet alone, you will not succeed, which is bad news for all those that “hate exercise”.  Health and weight control is not owned, it is rented, and you must make daily “rent payments”.  Quit paying rent, and you lose it.  It is that simple.

Below are some day-to-day ideas that can help, but realize it could be your attitude that is your biggest enemy, which is what I will end this article with.

  • Park farther away at the store and walk.  I do this to avoid door-dings in my car but do not see many overweight people parking in the boonies with me.
  • Skip the free food samples at the grocery store.  Most people grabbing them obviously do not need them.
  • Walk your grocery cart back to the cart corral.  It is rare to see a skinny person leaving their cart stuck between two cars.  Live like a skinny person and you can be one.
  • Take the stairs.  I worked at a hospital based weight loss center and getting this population, who was paying over $100/week to lose weight, to take the stairs was like pulling teeth.
  • Observe others!  Look at what thin people are eating at restaurants, or what they put in their grocery carts, or what they do with their spare time.  Start behaving like a thin person!
  • Make new habits!  Start off by walking for 15 minutes after supper, rain or shine, and increase the duration if able.

It is often a person’s attitude that will kill them.  Short cuts and and the “easy way” is an attitude that must be changed.  The short cuts and easy way will always come back to haunt you, and when they do, your problems will be compounded.  Acquire the self-discipline to do the things that you do not want to do, when you do not want to do them.  Do this in every aspect of life, and you will succeed.

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