It has been 4 months since my last post. In that time I have lost 15 pounds, and 9 inches. Monday I will enter the hospital for a week to have a titanium cage and a bunch of hardware put in my back to help shore up a disc that was damaged 10 years ago. The hope is that after more than a year of pain I will finally be able to return to some sort of normalcy.
In my family I always say my husband is the brains while I am the brawn. I find it very difficult to study (even subjects I love as much as fitness and health) because I’m always thinking of what projects need to be done or whether it would be better for me to be out walking the dog (luckily the dog doesn’t get to voice his opinion or I would never do anything but walk). I point this out as a prequel to why I have had a million things going through my head during the time I was studying.
I am definitely a people person. Everywhere I go I strike up conversations with total strangers and I firmly believe there is not a soul in the world that I couldn’t find something to connect with on. So between my conversations, my personal experience and information I’ve been reading, I have realized what a terrible state the world is in health wise and why now more than ever we need to really get serious about our health. Literally time is running out.
Just a sample of the terrifying stats:
66% of the US over the age of 20 is overweight (although if you look at my news page you’ll see an article from the BBC that says we are in no way alone.)
34% of those folks or 72 million people are classified as obese
More than 9 million children are also overweight or obese. By next year it is anticipated that number will be equal to 25% of all kids.
Type II diabetes, which accounts for 90-95% of all cases is firmly linked to being overweight and almost universally preventable. Once referred to as “adult onset” type II diabetes now affects children to the extent that half of all new diabetes cases diagnosed in children are type II.
There are many more such scary things like that to think about, but the thing that jumps out at me is how unbelievably preventable it all is. And how, while we are an appearance centric society, just wanting to look better isn’t getting us the results we need anymore. We might wake up time and again resolving to buckle down and get in that sexy dress or impress that special lady, but in the end all we are doing is fighting what looks to be a losing battle.
What I’ve been seeing is that the people that truly make that change permanent are frequently the ones who are forced to face down their mortality and who like this couple have been told that if they don’t change now then they won’t see their children graduate high school or walk down the isle at their wedding. Why do we let it get that far? Why do we literally have to be “scared straight”?
The thing is that somewhere in our heads we all know what to eat (or at least what not to eat) and that we need to “exercise more”. But where we are missing out is on the how. I don’t mean how do you eat better or how do you exercise specifically, but how do you maintain focus and how do we get the results we so desperately need when temptation is at every turn.
That my friends is the mind-body connection. The secret ingredient that has been most significantly studied in the realm of elite athletes, but is something we can all achieve. I know I have been forced to adopt it to get me through Marine Corps bootcamp, times of unemployment and two different 18 month periods of daily physical and often mental pain. I am different than the average person, but I am in no way unique and I know this is something we can all learn and adopt.
My promise to you is that during the next few weeks of my recovery I’m going to start in depth research into it and hopefully in another month or two I will have a huge announcement that will change not only my own life but that of all of us who are out there struggling daily.