Sunday, 3 January 2016

A Diet is for Life #Soapbox

I don't like this caption!
Firstly, I do not like this quote. And I don't agree with it.

Well, yes, okay, there are worse things than being fat, but it doesn't mean it's okay to be obese - which I feel this statement has been generated to appease overweight people. It's giving them a justification to stick their head in the sand about their problems.

And I will state that this blog post is entirely my opinion, but I do not feel it is good for you to be fat.

This statement attacks all those who work hard on a daily basis to stay fit and healthy, too (in my opinion).

I hate it when I hear "You're so lucky, you're slim." It's not luck; it's damn well hard work and having control. You have to motivate yourself, but once you've done that exercise, you realise you feel so much better for it afterwards!

Being healthy does not come easy. You have to make life choices and work at it.

I've seen this quote (and many others like it) on Facebook, and I've turned a blind eye, even though it riles me, but one particular day I played the devil's advocate to it. And unfortunately I lost a "friend". I questioned that some maybe fat because they're lazy and greedy (two of the deadly sins missing in the list above). Maybe I should have stayed quiet but I'm a believer that we're all responsible for our own well being.

I accept we are all different shapes and sizes, and we'll go through phases in life where we may put weight on. I do not believe we all need to be supermodel slim before you jump up and down and shout at me, too!

I even except there are medical conditions to affect people's weight. However, if you suffer with one of these conditions, there are still things you can do to keep the weight off. I feel these conditions can be made into excuses.

And, not every overweight person is suffering with these medical conditions, or depression, they are overweight because they eat too much food and take a lazy outlook on their lifestyle and health. Sorry, there, I said it. But the NHS said it too, just more diplomatically:

Most people put on weight because they eat and drink more calories than they burn through everyday movement and body functions.
If you can't exercise, eat less!

In my argument, I mentioned that the NHS is in a state of crisis because of obesity, because of the health problems it causes. I was "misguided" by media apparently. However, this article by the Guardian states the NHS is in crisis. It also quotes what you're at risk at if you're heavily overweight. Sugar and Britain's obesity crisis: the key questions answered.
PHE believes that if people did both those things “within 10 years we would not only improve an individual’s quality of life but could save the NHS, based on a conservative estimate, around £500m every year”. Obesity costs the NHS an estimated £5.1bn a year.

And here's another article I read, to make sure I wasn't "misguided" by the increase in obesity.
The Guardian view on obesity: there’s no way to sugar this pill. The UK government must act
Although it has been a long time coming, no one anticipated the rise over the past 30 years in the number of children and adults who are overweight or obese. Bad diet wasn’t a predicted result of generally growing prosperity. But it comes at a cost for individuals, and ultimately for the NHS. About one in 10 preschool children is too heavy, and so are about one in five 10-year-olds and a quarter of adults. The latest statistics suggest the rate of increase may be slowing but the NHS faces a huge burden of preventable illness into the foreseeable future. Already, obesity-related illnesses, which range from Type-2 diabetes to some cancers, are calculated to be costing upwards of £5bn a year.

People may binge eat due to depression or comfort eat, and have other medical conditions which means their overweight. It does not mean that it is okay. It is not healthy! We are not helping these people by telling them that it is okay either! (Hence I do not like the above meme). We are just fuelling their problems by not being honest with them. We are allowing them to abuse themselves. We'd help a drug addict or an alcoholic in our family. Over eating is a habit that needs to broken.

It's a vicious circle for some - I get that. I really do. They're overweight, they get depressed, so they eat more food.

We do need to help these people - if they wished to be helped, of course. We need to educate families and children about healthier options, about not eating so much food, about the importance of exercise.

And as a single mum I can tell you it is not cheaper to eat ready meals, rather than cook from scratch and create healthier meals. I shake my head every time I hear healthier options are more expensive - It's just excuses! That is just laziness! I can cook a simple pasta dinner in twelve minutes!

Our lifestyles have changed in the last 50 years. Years ago there were not the cars on the road like there are today. Everyone had to walk everywhere. Nowadays, people jump in their car just to fetch a paper from their local corner shop, when they could have walked. We need to look at everything we do. We need to change our mindset.

Exercise is key! Walking is underestimated!

Depression can be combated by exercise. I love this first sentence on the NHS website about exercising: 
"If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented." 
I'm not even sure if J K Rowling would have said the quote above. Did she not make Dudley large, lazy and greedy, and pretty much a lot of the other things that have been listed in the above quotation?

So, if you're happy being overweight, that's fine, as long as you're aware of the health implications that being overweight means. Your health is at risk, and there is a good chance you won't reach old age. Don't moan about it if/when that time comes.

YOU are responsible for your health.

And as I've learnt, you can not help those that don't wish to help themselves.

I like this caption! 
If you take the attitude of "well, I've got to die of something" you're being selfish. This is lazy and greedy. Yes, the NHS is there to help the sick, and it will treat all who walk through its doors (while it still exists) from accidents to cancer patients etc. but it was not set up so that we could abuse ourselves and then they sort us out.

Admittedly, you could be healthy and kept yourself fit, and be struck with an illness. (This is why the NHS was set up, to offer free healthcare to all). However, by being healthy you do reduce the risk of these things, and even your body and mind is strong enough to fight what life throws at you.

I am a very strong believer in healthy body means a healthy mind. You don't need to be a saint, you're allowed a treat in life... but look at everything in moderation. Look at your food intake, look at your daily exercise. Eat healthily during the week, and exercise, and let your hair down at the weekends.

So many friends that have lost weight, have told me how much better they feel. And they look better too. They look younger, healthier, happier!

It's the New Year... I always remember what a friend said to me once. "It's not what you eat and drink between Christmas and New Year, it's what you eat/drink between New Year and Christmas."

Remember as you set about your New Years resolutions, a diet is for life, not for just after Christmas.

My dad said something the other day actually. I'll share it with you, too. He is a food and fitness guru. He said, "We eat to live, we don't live to eat." Think about it.

And on that note, I'm going for a run... to work off the chocolates, mince pies and sherry...