Sunday, November 20, 2005

Stop Lying To Yourself, Start Losing Weight

On the heels of the release of Eric Oliver's controversial book Fat Politics which claims the "obesity epidemic" is just one big conspiracy theory comes this Scotsman column about the kind of world we would have if people genuinely stopped caring about being overweight or obese.

In the article entitled, "Who says being seriously overweight is a big deal?, a young Scottish man has virtually given up on even TRYING to lose weight and claims he is content with his body weight.

"This is me, this is who I've become and, to be honest, I've got more important things to worry about," one twentysomething is quoted as saying. "I don't see why people should conform to what others say. I'm big and proud of it."

You know, my heart hurts for people like this young man. Just as I explained in this previous blog post, no matter how content you think you are when you are overweight or obese, there is an innate desire sometimes deep within you to want to lose weight and get healthy.

Even the most cynical person who says they will never diet again will eventually take another chance at getting their weight under control at one point or another, especially if declining health warrants such action.

I can't help but think about my brother Kevin right now. Here is a 38-year old man who weighs close to 600 pounds, had 3 heart attacks in 1999, had a difribrulator put in his chest in 2001, had four completely clogged arteries that were surgically cleared last week, and is now on something called The Prism Diet (from what I hear is a low-carb program) along with some very light exercise. His heart is only functioning at 15 percent and his doctor said he needs to lose a lot of weight and FAST!

Given only one year to live if he doesn't make any permanent lifestyle changes, Kevin is on the brink of dying because of his obesity. For much of his life he has shunned doing anything about his weight. He was kicked out of the Army in his early 20's because of his weight and it has all been downhill ever since. He was in a very bad marriage where his ex-wife abused him mentally and drove him to eat, eat, and eat some more just to comfort himself. It really is a very sad situation that has brought him to where he is today.

Others may see Kevin's story as an extreme circumstance, but I believe he is more typical than people would want to admit. While many overweight and obese people can be happy in life and everything seems fine, there are ways that life could be so much better if their weight was brought under control.

Before I started livin' la vida low-carb and lost 180+ pounds in 2004, most people would have described me as a happy-go-lucky kinda guy. Not much bothered me and I always tried to bring a smile to the faces of the people I encountered. Life itself couldn't have been better. But that nagging feeling within me to do something about my weight never seemed to go away even when I feigned that I didn't care. Of course I cared, but what could I do? It seemed so very hopeless from my vantage point.

To the glory of God, I was able to find solace in the low-carb lifestyle and the rest is history (you can read about my story of weight loss in the book "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb"). But I could have very well been in the same boat as these Scottish youngsters who undoubtedly share an attitude that many of America's youth espouse. The "I don't care about my weight" mentality is very, very dangerous and puts our future in jeopardy of having a lifetime of health issues and quite possibly a rapid increase in premature deaths as a result of obesity.

Scottish researchers have found that educational campaigns to teach young people about the importance of eating healthy and exercising have been for naught. In fact, they found that many overweight and obese young people are not concerned at all about their weight because there are "more important things to worry about."

YIKES! Is this what the world has come to, really? I have heard of and can relate to giving up hope, especially with weight loss, but this is extremely alarming to me. There is a perception that nothing can be done to bring the weight down.

"I have stopped the unhealthy way of eating, [but] the weight has stayed on," the same young man claims in this story.

But has he really stopped eating "unhealthy?" He eats cereal (carbs!) and toast (more carbs!) for breakfast, a sandwich (carb-o-rama!) and soup (depending on what kind, it can be loaded with carbs!) for lunch, and chicken (protein--good!) with rice or potatoes (off-the-charts carbs!) for supper. And guess what his late-night snack is? You guessed it! Carb-loaded foods such as a slice of toast or a biscuit. And that's what he eats in a "normal" day.

"But there are times when I have a blowout," he admits regarding overeating on foods he shouldn't have. "I have bad days just like everyone else and I'll eat a load of rubbish. But it's not every day."

Rationalizing that he is being "good" most of the time with the kind of foods he is eating on a "normal" day may explain why this guy hasn't lost any weight. If he would just replace all of those carbohydrates he is eating currently with some better food choices such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, cheese, nuts, and more low-carb delights, then the weight would starting melting off of him so fast he wouldn't know what hit him! Why is this concept of low-carb living so difficult for people to conceptualize? I just don't get it.

Regarding the risks to his health by remaining obese, the man in this story said he doesn't "worry about [his] health," but even admits that "it would be better to lose weight."

"I'm not stupid," he exclaimed.

Nobody is accusing overweight or obese people of being stupid. Maybe they are a little bit ignorant as I once was when I weighed 410 pounds and thought there was no way I'd ever be thin so why bother tring to lose weight. But giving up on weight loss altogether is indeed foolish and should never be an option for people who genuinely need to lose weight.

This poor fellow keeps rationalizing away his reasons for not dealing with his obesity, though, which leads me to believe he is not being serious about losing weight as he claims.

"Life is far too short," he surmises. "We're all going at one point or another, so why waste time worrying about things like dieting? Life passes you by so quickly and you never know how long you have anyway, so I make sure I live life to the full."

What a copout! Well, we're all gonna die someday, so why don't I make my life shorter by choosing to eat, drink, and be merry for the remaining days I have on Earth! Say what? What kind of twisted thinking does it take to come to a conclusion about life like THAT?

Have you ever reached the point in your life where you just threw your hands up in the air and said the heck with it? No more worrying about my weight or my health because I'm going to pass at some point! That is indeed a scary state of mind to be in.

And this guy says he has tried every diet in the book, including the Atkins diet, along with personalized gym training without losing any measurable amount of weight. But read very carefully about why he thinks he doesn't need to worry about his weight because you may see yourself in this description.

"I'll admit that I don't sit and eat a salad, as I don't find it tasty, but I do eat healthier now than I did when I was at school - still, it doesn't seem to make any difference," he states. "So, I've come to accept myself. Everyone in this life is different, and although I don't fit into what's classified as the norm for weight, I'm not going to let it bother me. Folk may think I'm lazy because of my weight, but I know I go out there and do stuff. I am active."

Did you see yourself if you are overweight or obese? Have you convince yourself that you "eat healthier" than you used to, but still don't lose any weight? Or do you describe yourself as "active" even though you are overweight or obese?

Interestingly, I used these EXACT SAME rationalizations for not dealing with my weight before I got it under control last year. You make up silly excuses like this to make yourself feel better about being fat. I hate to be so blunt, but that is what you are doing when you make statements like this.

Towards the end of the article, the obese man alludes to the fact that there is a subtle form of discrimination he feels within his heart takes place when you are obese that "isn't great." But he believes his personality overcomes the negative feelings that come from being such a large man.

"Because I'm such an outgoing and bubbly person, it hasn't affected me," the man asserts. "Plus, because I'm bigger, people always remember my name. I always stand out."

Yeah, they'll remember you as that funny fat guy. Sometimes I'll get some stares from some of the kids at my church who I worked with a few years ago and they'll say things like, "Mr. Jimmy, you look different now that you're skinny." Same man, same personality, but changed physical body. I am not the same on the outside, although the man I have always been on the inside is allowed to shine through even more. The confidence that weight loss brings out in you is incomprehensible to describe.

One last-ditch attempt to explain away his obesity comes at the end of the column where the obese man proclaimed, "I accept myself entirely" and "everyone should."

That's a nice Pollyanna-ish attitude about life. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way and will NEVER work that way. As long as there are overweight and obese people in the world, there will be those who choose to laugh and riducule them for being that way. Is it fair? Absolutely NOT! But it is what it is.

As someone who overcame a lifetime of weight-related problems and has been able to keep the weight off for good for nearly a year, I pray my story of success and triumph will inspire you to become the thin man or woman that is screaming from within you to come out. While you may be happy now in your 250, 300, 400 or 500-pound body, just think of how much HAPPIER you will be when you will be free to move, breathe, and live as you have never done before.

I never would have thought I could feel as good as I do in my life right now. If I knew what a dramatic difference losing weight and keeping it off would have on me physically, emotionally and spiritually 10, 15, or 20 years ago, then I would have started livin' la vida low-carb a long time ago. Don't let the years pass you by before you get serious about dealing with your weight. Stop lying to yourself about your weight problem and grab that bull by the horns starting TODAY!

Only YOU can decide that you need to lose weight and make it happen for yourself. Take off the blinders and listen to me when I tell you that losing weight will be the best thing you will ever do to take back control of your life. It is not impossible and my story proves it can be done. No more excuses, end the rationalization and JUST DO IT! I believe in you. GO FOR IT!


Blogger Sherrill Quinn said...

How inspiring. I am on Day Two of my new life, and I'm determined to stick to it. After spending 20 years building a career in corporate America, I am beginning a new career as an author and, as introverted as I am, I need the boost to my confidence that having a thinner appearance will bring. I refuse to hide inside my fat any longer.

Continued success to you!

11/21/2005 1:23 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...


11/26/2005 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Weight Loss Program said...

I agree having a poor attitude toward your weight/health can be life threatening, look at kevin for example... and i say that in the nicest way possible it has been some time now is he still with us? how is kevin?

great content by the way thanks

6/27/2009 11:31 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Please visit my updated blog at and look along the left-hand side of my blog. THANKS!

6/28/2009 4:04 PM  

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