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Friday, May 23, 2008

Why Are You Overweight?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a book by Bob Greene, The Best Life Diet. The author understands that while the principles behind losing weight are easy (you have to eat well and exercise regularly), it is more easily said than done. Thus, the book is meant to help its readers lose weight or body fat (and keep it off) by making changes in their diet in 3 phases.

But, before embarking on the first phase, Greene encourages his readers to ask themselves the three questions I posted in yesterday's entry, namely:

  • Why are you overweight?
  • Why do you want to lose weight?
  • Why have you been unable to maintain weightloss in the past?
These questions, he says, are "simply to help you find out if something needs to change so you can get on with the business of changing it" (23). Instead of paraphrasing Bob Greene's clear and accessible style, I thought it would be better to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. I sure do hope he doesn't mind being called a horse. I have placed his words in italics.

Today we will only be dealing with the first question: Why are you overweight? (Please note: I have taken the liberty to omit a few sentences or passages for the sake of saving space. Oh, and please don't mind Barbie's running commentary in brackets. She could not help herself.)

I've asked this question to many people, and here are some of the answers I've heard: "I have to eat out a lot for business," "My husband isn't supportive," "I have to keep sweets in the house for my family and I can't resist them," [HOLY COW! Barbie has heard all these before!!], "I have a desk job," "My family commitments are my priority," "The Holidays trip me up."....The predicaments may all be challenges to the weight-loss process, but they're not real reasons why someone is overweight. [Hallelujah, says Barbie!!] These responses are an attempt to take the pressure off yourself and lay the blame on someone else. If you have a surface response to this question, you're letting yourself off the hook.

What I want to hear from you instead are the authentic feelings and reactions that lead you to overeat. If you sit down on the couch with a carton of ice cream after the kids have gone to bed, it's not because your kids demand that you have ice cream in the house, but it may be because you're so worn out by the kids that you feel you have to reward yourself with something.
[I don't have kids, but I can relate to eating as a means to reward myself for a job well done. That only got me one place: to the next clothing size! Ugh!] ....Maybe it's because you feel your family doesn't appreciate you. WHY, in other words, are you eating? What is the deeper, REAL reason, not the superficial one? [I love this man! What great questions!!]

Do you sit at a desk most of the day? Lots of people have sedentary jobs and still find a way to exercise. [I love the way he's calling us out!! YEAH!!] Maybe you have trouble committing to things, exercise being just one of many activities that you start but always end up dropping. [That's why Barbie believes that transforming your body really can help you in other areas of your life. It's a total transformation, baby! Is anyone annoyed with my commentary yet?]....

In order to benefit from this process, you need to be ready to be truly honest with yourself. In doing so, you're saying, "I really want to change," and that opens the door to making that wish a reality. [Barbie agrees: you have to be willing to look at yourself and your behavior for what they truly are before you can commit to changing.]

I understand why many people are reluctant to admit their personal weaknesses. There's nothing that can make you feel as vulnerable. And once you admit you need to change something, there's the realization that you, and only you, can change it. [Hey, I was just saying that! He's copying me!] That's scary, because what if you can't? [Ohhh....] I'm here to tell you that you can. You absolutely can, no matter what it is that you wish to change. [Wow. I needed to hear this. Thanks, Bob. I'm going to take this and apply it in other areas of my life. Wise man this Bob.]

Getting over your fear of the truth and admitting what about your life needs to change is what's going to set you on the path to change and ultimately set you free. The more honest and open you are, the closer it's going to bring you to a resolution. Virtually everybody who is overweight reaches a point where they look in the mirror or step on the scale and find that they've reached a weight they can no longer abide--they don't want to have that body anymore and they set out to change it. [Barbie has goosebumps! Was he watching me in that dressing room, the day I saw my back fat?] I want you to have that same experience, not only with your weight, but in all areas of your life that are out of kilter. Decide that you're not going to take it anymore and work on changing what needs to be changed. That's what's going to lead to weight loss and, more important, YOUR best life.

Oh my goodness, Bob! I think I'm in love! Thank you for the inspiration today. I didn't think typing this out would have this effect on me.




Jim said...

I now know what my next book purchase is going to be. :-)

Thanks for doing the setup Barbie. Having pondered those 3 questions.. in-depth.. last evening ( I actually wrote down my answers) it was very interesting to see the follow up.

You know what... This really is an Awesome blog!

Keep it comin' kiddo!

Ummmmm..... I mean, Dr. Kiddo!

Coach Barbie said...

Actually, Jim, Bob recommends that you write down your answers, since our mind tends to wander.

Stay tuned for part III of this series!

I'm glad you like my blog, Jim. I like it, too. :)

Julie said...

I actually loved your inner-monologue.

Coach Barbie said...

hee hee hee. me, too!