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Issue #46

Contents

  • Redefine the Problem -- So That it Has a Solution

  • Get the Support You Need - Including the Healthy Lifestyles Chat on Tuesdays at 9:15 p.m. E.S.T.

Note: You can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. No need to type in your email. I will unsubscribe you automatically.

Redefine the Problem -- So That it Has a Solution

We constantly hear about the “obesity epidemic”, “obesity crisis”, and “obesity problem”.  I believe that as long as we define obesity as the problem, we are reducing the possibility of a solution.  We need to re-define the problem so that it CAN be solved.  We need a definition that allows anyone, of any size, to succeed in the short term and in the long term. 

As a lifestyle coach, psychotherapist, and personal fitness trainer, I work with people of all sizes, especially large size.  In the years since I started in 1980, I have had the pleasure of watching hundreds of people make substantial changes in their lives.  I have seen people improve many measures of their health: lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, improving blood glucose levels, increasing exercise stamina, and improving functioning in daily activities.  I have also seen many people lose weight as a side effect of their healthy living actions. 

Unfortunately, I have also seen the harmful results of a focus on the “weight problem” or the “obesity problem”.  With this focus, large people are seen as the walking embodiment of “the problem”.  They feel wrong, bad, and even villainous.

So, it seems like we must solve the problem of obesity, yet in trying to solve this problem, additional difficulties are actually being generated.  I would like to look at another health issue to demonstrate how this might happen. 

The behavior
or action

The associated characteristic

The associated
health issues

smoking

yellow teeth

Lung cancer, emphysema

 

What would happen if we tried to reduce the incidence of lung cancer and emphysema by focusing on the characteristic of yellow teeth instead of focusing on the behavior of smoking?  What if we launched a “War on Yellow Teeth” to prevent lung cancer and emphysema?  What if we defined the problem as yellow teeth?  People who had yellow teeth would worry about their health and be made to feel bad about their yellow teeth.  They would be told how their yellow teeth were costing billions in health care and insurance premiums.  Many smokers would be targeted in this war as needing intervention.  They would be given teeth whitening potions and creams, programs to whiten teeth, even surgical removal of the offending yellow teeth.  After all, missing teeth and the resulting health problems are not as dangerous as lung cancer or emphysema. 

What about those smokers who do not happen to have yellow teeth even though they smoke?  Since their teeth are white, they would not be defined as having a problem.  They would be ignored by the “War on Yellow Teeth” because they do not possess the characteristic that has been defined as the problem.  They would not get support or education on reducing lung cancer and emphysema.

What about those people who did not smoke and just have yellow teeth due to genetics, medication, or other reasons?   They would be targeted.  As they worked to whiten their teeth, they would face frustration because they could not get their teeth white enough.  They may damage their teeth with more and more extensive efforts to whiten them.  And all along, they would be encouraged to continue.  They would be pressured, and chided, and even have recommendations to have their offending teeth surgically removed in order to save them from the awful impending lung cancer and emphysema.

Now, let’s get back to the “problem of obesity” and consider it in a similar way.

The behavior
or action

The associated characteristic

The associated
health issues

Poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle

Large body size,
obesity or high BMI

High blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, metabolic syndrome, other cardiovascular risks, increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

 

We are experiencing similar results in the “War on Obesity” as would occur in the above scenario about yellow teeth.  In both cases, by targeting the characteristic instead of the behaviors and actions, we prevent a solution from being found.  The resulting policies hurt the people with and without the unhealthy behaviors.  The assumption that the associated characteristic causes the health issues skews research design and results in conflicting scientific conclusions.

We need to re-define of the problem in a way that promotes a solution for adults and children, of all sizes. 

I think that the real problem is:  We need healthy eating and fitness activity for everybody of every size. 

I propose that we end the “War on Obesity”, and begin a “Campaign for Healthy Eating and Fitness for Everybody of Every Size”.

 

This new definition of the problem has a solution built right in.  This solution is based on the ACTIONS of the individual, rather than on the characteristic of body size.  Notice the inclusive nature of this new definition of the problem and solution.  If someone had poor dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle, they would get support and encouragement to improve their lifestyle, Independent of their weight.  Likewise, if someone is participating in the actions of healthy eating and fitness, they would get support and encouragement to continue their healthy lifestyle.  Nobody is stigmatized.  Nobody is ignored who needs help.  Everybody can be successful.  Whether someone is small or large, the moment they participate in the actions of healthy living, they are in the process of succeeding.  One success motivates another.  


Get the Support You Need - Including the Healthy Lifestyles Chat on Tuesdays at 9:15 p.m. E.S.T.

If you want to feel better about your body and improve your health, do something good for yourself because you deserve it!.  Make peace with food, build your healthy lifestyle, and learn to appreciate your body.

Join us each Tuesday at 9:15p.m. E.S.T., we will have a FREE Healthy Living Chat. 
Please email me if you plan to join us.  This will help me set up the chat better.

Here are SPECIAL DISCOUNT PACKAGES where I have combined my book, workout, and motivational CD so you can get everything you need to launch your "Self-Care Extraordinare".  Choose a sitting or standing workout package:

Package 1: Self-Care Extraordinaire for YOU!
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Package 1: Self-Care Extraordinaire for YOU! <br>...with Standing Aerobics

Special Discounted Price: $69.00!
( Regular Price: $89.98)

Includes:

Don't Weight: Eat Healthy and Get Moving NOW! (paperback signed by the author)

Voice of Bliss (motivation and relaxation CD) and

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Note:  All workouts are also available on VHS video.

Package 2: Self-Care Extraordinaire for YOU!
...with Sitting Aerobics

 

Package 2: Self-Care Extraordinaire for YOU! <br> ...with Sitting Aerobics

Special Discounted Price: $69.00!
( Regular Price: $89.98)

Includes:

Don't Weight: Eat Healthy and Get Moving NOW! (paperback signed by the author)

Voice of Bliss (motivation and relaxation CD) and

Sitting Aerobics, Hi and Lo Intensity (DVD)

 

Note:  All workouts are also available on VHS video.

Workouts available as low as $19.95!

 

Take Care,
Kelly Bliss
Toll Free 877-KellyBliss (877-535-5925)


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