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Obesity is not my fault

Every year I promise myself that well before the arrival of my next birthday in mid-July, that I, chubby Kev would be slimmer and fitter. I would be half the man I was twelve months before, but twice as healthy, and a very MUCH SLENDER version of myself today. I have always believed in thinking BIG, So for my first target, I aimed for a weight loss of 140 pounds, just ten stone, and just 54.55% of my present weight!

It is 100% doable and a very worthwhile goal?

So, why has it never happened?

That’s a good question and it would be easy to provide you with a total BS excuse and answer, but I’ll remain truthful.

Although I start out with very positive intentions, advancement and forward motion are generally as elusive as a Dodo. For some reason, I allow the repugnant weight loss thought to be reposited in the dark recesses and forgotten dungeons of my memory. This is my subconscious mind attempting to help me because it knows that deep down I don’t like diets and want to think about them as little as possible.

There you have the simple reason that weight loss never happens, and generally never gets started, I have become my own worst enemy. As I write, there are still six remaining weeks before my birthday, and I have the very real potential to lose a stone or more before that date. However, the chances of me doing so are about as likely as ex-US President Donald Trump telling the truth or accepting the fact he lost the election. I’m excellent in the art of self-delusion for the sake of a full and satisfied belly. So, rather than becoming adventurous and beginning the weight loss process now, and getting a head-start on a new healthy lifestyle, which I believe would be the correct and intelligent thing to do. I kid myself I would be better served and far happier waiting until my birthday passes, before emptying both the pantry and my stomach and then starting again. I certainly would feel MUCH happier delaying the pain and discipline required in making it happen, and there you have the problem! Indolence!

Putting off till tomorrow what I should do today!

I’m an expert at finding excuses to putting off getting started, or once I have started, letting my goodwill fade into obscurity. The only time I successfully lost a substantial volume of weight was a few months ago when I contracted Covid nineteen, and then I looked emaciated, but since then I put it all back on plus I expect a few additional pounds.

What’s my birthday got to do with it anyway?

When it comes right down to it what does any date other than my target deadline, goal or objective have to do with losing weight? The simple revealing answer is NOTHING! It’s simply another time-wasting excuse which I delude myself is part of the solution, IT’S NOT!

Am I serious?

I would like to say a resounding yes, but now, and after a lifetime of so many false starts and five-star excuses I’m fairly certain I’m not. In some respects, losing weight can be compared to giving up smoking. How? When someone tells you that there going to give up smoking starting next Monday, or in the New Year etc., it’s a fairly safe bet they won’t. By complete contrast, if they state they giving up now and then immediately screw up and throw away their remaining supply of cigarettes, you should be impressed. You can be certain that you’ve just met someone with the true potential to quit smoking forever, and then take their life in the direction of their choosing.

Giving up smoking and losing weight is difficult.

If it wasn’t we’d be living in a world of slim and slender non-smokers.

I have an acquaintance who before retirement was a successful hypnotist, and he often used to put on stop smoking clinics in the towns where his evening shows were being staged, they were very popular. Unsurprisingly, a few years ago when so many more people smoked, or could still afford to smoke. His popular clinics often generated far higher income than his evening presentations. Being a smart guy he quickly worked out that the more he charged, the better his results, and more likely his Hypno-intervention was to work, and his patients were to stop smoking.

You can imagine him saying, “You should appreciate that I’m charging you so much because it’s for your own good!” I don’t think many people would understand that strategy. Strangely, although he helped hundreds of people to give up smoking on a weekly basis, he has never been able to give up smoking himself.

Let’s face it, anyone who really has the desire and determination to do so could with focus easily give up smoking or lose weight, and if they were particularly masochistic could even do both at the same time. There is NOTHING to do, you simply STOP smoking or eating and learn to master a little pain why your new habits become established and the new status quo in your life.

The problem being plan B requires discipline and gives pain and emotional need. I have often thought there is a fortune waiting to be made for anyone who could provide comfortable ten-week blocks of voluntary solitary confinement with antiquate but minimum provisions. Just imagine, you could almost guarantee volunteers would lose weight and leave non-smokers.

No will power solutions.

The reason my friend did so well with the clinics he offered, was that hypnosis doesn’t require effort, other than opening you wallet or purse. It’s infinitely easier and more attractive than the effort and pain of going nicotine cold turkey. When it come to dieting the same principles apply, and the thought and idea of going to bed fat, swallowing a pill and then waking up slim and good looking is far more desirable than any diet, determination or denial.

I need more willpower.

In the same way that a truly determined individual would screw up their cigarettes and stop smoking immediately. To lose weight, I need to do something similar and either throw out or at least hide in a dark locked cupboard all the food which are not good for me. The problem is I’m surrounded by temptation and slim and fit individuals. My wife is slender and statuesque as a catwalk model, although she eats like four pigs and is constantly chewing something. My children are just as bad and are extremely fit athletes. With three sweet tooths in the family I know I don’t have to search too far to find something nice and comforting in one of the cupboards, and this knowledge constantly resurfaces at times of weakness. So it’s down to me, and perhaps taking that solitary confinements option.

Perhaps I need a running partner?

Running, that’s a laugh? Right now, and after enjoying the delights of the covid nineteen virus, I have to walk with a stick or risk falling over! I have given it some consideration, and having someone on the same weight loss journey as me to encourage each other would be a one-way street. It would certainly be good for them, but do nothing at all for me. In most things in life, I am a self-starter and extremely disciplined. Part of my income has been generated mentored others for years in a variety of disciplines including weight loss, and I have watched them get fantastic results. However, in this area, and up until now, I have been a complete failure with a weak will. I am someone who eats too much and moves too little.

If I was serious about losing weight. I have it all worked out and I would eat just one healthy and nutritious meal a day, and drink only water, then I would lose weight week after week, perhaps this is my prelude to doing just that.

Ultimately, it’s all my fault.

Yours also if you are still bigger than you desire. However, the question needs asking who taught us these bad habits in the first place? I believe in my case there are two culprits who are equally responsible. The first was my lovely mother, but not just my mother, most mothers only have the well-being of their children at the heart.

Although many people find this hard to believe, I have memories from when I was a baby. I once described one of them to my mom, it was the inside of the room in which I slept that was rather unusual and when I told my mother she asked me more questions about the colours and the people I saw and was fascinated. Apparently, I described the inside of my bedroom and my nanny of that time and apparently I was no older than four months before we left that house forever.

I remember well also feeding on my mother’s breast, and particularly the smell and the feeling of comfort that it invoked. I have even stronger and exceptionally clear memories of being seated in my highchair and my mother attempting to feed me.

“You were a difficult small child to feed,” she used to constantly remind me. What I quite well remember was that I was not hungry, although she thought I should eat! So she tricked me by making me smile, and as soon as my mouth opened she shoved in a big spoonful of food, moms are crafty like that. Being strong-willed and that I didn’t want to eat it, I decided to spit it back out again, but now it had become a battle, and my mom dexterously wiped the excess from the side of my mouth and repeated the whole process again by continuing to stick the excess slurp back into my mouth repeatedly until it was eventually swallowed or dissolved.

Having watched my wife repeat the same process with my son I can say with confidence she fed him way more than he wanted to eat, and continue to do so way past him being full. As for my daughter, well she was another story. Getting her to eat was never a problem. Stopping her was the bit we found most difficult, she would happily consume anything within arms reach that wasn’t securely screwed down. Yes, I think we can safely agree that most mothers teach their children to overeat, and by the time we become adolescence we have formed the habit of consuming far more food than as children we need, rather than allowing us to stop eating when we’re full or satisfied.

However, being taught to eat too much didn’t stop when I was a baby and carried on to the point where I left home. My mother’s favourite eating trick, especially if friends had been invited was to return any food I wasted or failed to consume from the last meal, warmed up for me to eat BEFORE she would give me today’s food. She could be quite a bully as she was raised during wartime when there was a huge shortage of food, and I know on many occasions that she went hungry and constantly lived on less food than was healthy. This was was something she rarely failed to remind me of, and make me feel guilty about encouraging me to eat everything she gave me.

By the time I left home, I had the ability to eat huge portions and would eat daily the equivalent of a small herd of goats and I began to grow fat. The seeds of my future shape had been deeply sewn and I would continue to eat long after my belly was full. I constantly stretched its capacity potential a little further as this was the habit I had been taught.

What about fat wild animals?

It’s an interesting question, because how often do we see animals in the wild which are fat, obese or even slightly overweight? I’m sure that there are exceptions, but the fact is it’s hardly ever. Most forage for food most of the day, but they stop eating when they have had sufficient to survive. So what is it which makes them and human mothers different? Why is it that human mothers insist on overfeeding their children and without even knowing it, often shorten their lifespan by years. If they only knew or realised they had been instrumental in killing their children with kindness and the installation of bad habits.

Our governments have to share equal guilt!

While I lived at home, I was constantly being taught to overeat, but my lovely caring mother cooked and prepared mainly from basis ingredients from our garden, and our diet was generally extremely healthy. However, the types of food which was becoming available in the supermarkets, and what we would eat and have access to in the future had far more to do with our governments. I’m sure it had everything to do with the corporate taxes which they generated. These granted giant food manufacturers and corporations to get away with feeding us poorly with food choices that caused problems and diseases, and years later had been proved to be exceptionally unhealthy.

Foods were created for profit and convenience.

When I first left home and started shopping for myself I was immediately confronted with a huge range of cheap, chemically rich, sugar and fat loaded easy to prepare meals. For a bachelor catering for myself for the first time, shopping became easy and extremely quick and convenient. To say I was spoiled for choice with e-numbers and artificial shelf life additives to which I would soon become addicted and begin suffering from would be an understatement. Why did they not tell us the dangers of obesity and addiction before it was too late, and how unprocessed foods were a far healthier alternative. Nothing was said and they left our new unhealthy habits to develop and then as healthy choices became fewer, they would stick up the prices.

Developing Third World countries!

I have seen firsthand what this new fast food trend can do to a nation. Thirty years ago I spent much time living in the Philippines. Then fat and chubby individuals (although there were exceptions) were rare. Obese people other than Westerners were unheard of. I quite regularly had ladies walk up to me and either Pat or rub my tummy and always say the same thing to the extreme amusement of everyone around them. I thought for a while I was being made a joke of until a passing nun witnessed my surprise and informed me they were rubbing and patting my protruding pouch for luck. What they said was even more amusing.

“It’s a sign of progress!” They would say.

Twenty-five years later I hardly recognise the population as the same people I lived amongst. The giant food corporations and fast-food franchises quickly moved in and the traditional Philippine diet changed dramatically, this was referred to as progress. Now slim and slender Filipinos seem to be outnumbered by the ones who were well-padded, plump, fat and yes, many who have become obese. Now diabetes and other fat-related diseases, and the health of the population have declined dramatically.

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