Change is here to stay. I was talking with someone the other day about their grandmother. Do you know she’s 101 years old! Can you imagine all that she’s seen? She was in the Great Depression, and now look at our economy. She was there before the Wright Brothers, and now look at jet travel. She was there when telephones and television began. Now we have satellite TV and TIVO, and almost everyone has a cell phone.
I’ll bet she’s also seen us change. Most everyone she used to know worked very hard, every day—just to make it. Back then, you did or you didn’t eat! Look at some old pictures. How many fat people do you see? Sure, some might be a little fleshy, but now? Just go to the mall and look around. Obesity is becoming generational. Experts are starting to call it an epidemic, and we’ve even begun exporting it to other countries!
Last night, my wife and I watched a show on dieting and obesity. Fourteen year olds are developing Type II diabetes! Twelve year olds are getting high blood pressure! At the same time, school systems around the country are cutting back physical education—and kids are spending much of their free time in front of a computer, or video game. And our jobs? Most of us don’t move much anymore, either.
What we’re eating isn’t much better. We’ve gone from a garden grown to fast food society. We want it sweet and salty, and we want it now, thank you. Some people never even see a fruit or vegetable. It’s chips, fries, pop, and burgers on pasty white buns with little nutrition—just empty calories that wreak havoc on our systems, with obesity looming at the other end. Clearly, something has to change.
The first step is to acknowledge the trouble we’re in. Denial only makes us fatter. Most people add a pound or two a year without even trying. It’s easy. An extra 35 calories a day means you’ve put on a pound of fat in 100 days—that’s 3 1/2 pounds a year! It’s no wonder we’re having problems.
For 2006, why not cut back a little? Start eating a little less—especially the starches. Quit eating white breads and junk foods, with empty calories, and go for whole grain breads and fruits for snacks instead. Take the 6” instead of the 12” sub. Order chicken salads instead of hamburgers and fries if you have to do fast food. Those little choices will start adding up—in a smaller waistline!
Another thing is to get moving. Any movement is better than nothing, and a focused, daily exercise program is even better. We eat every day—what makes us think we don’t have to be active every day?
Things can change for you in 2006, but the hardest part is just getting started. You can get what you want, but you have to do something! Like stepping out the door to go exercise. Or ordering something healthier next time you’re in the drive thru. Make a decision to start making better choices—grandma’s watching!