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Are we talking about a nation here or are we talking about the natural aging process?
I want to talk about the aging thing because that is where I am in life. I feel like I have something to contribute to this part of the equation and not so sure about the whole national FAT problem. I don’t like other terms, by the way. It is fat that causes us to be obese so why not just call it what it is? Oh, because it might hurt someone’s feelings? Well, I’m not calling anyone fat, I’m saying if you’re over weight, it’s fat that is making you that way. Medically speaking, you didn’t gain a lot of water or milk or fruit, you gained a lot of fat. Food that your body can’t process becomes fat. Simple enough. Also natural foods are processed more easily by your body and make less fat. So there is a good reason to cook at home with fresh/frozen ingredients that have not been canned with preservatives (many sugary) nor have they been treated with anything you can’t just wash off. Natural and organic foods are available at all groceries now and fresh produce is always on the shelves. Fresh meat is tastier and healthier, as is fresh fish and both are available at your grocers. The canned and processed meals in a box are not really any faster than making your own and not nearly as healthy. You control the salt, sugar and fat when you are preparing from scratch. This is all I have on the national side because I think it is the answer. Lazy shopping and no desire to prepare a meal from natural foods. Real butter is digested efficiently by your digestive system. No one knows for sure what margarine or oleo is doing to you. Why use it? Done with this part.
The aging process does by nature put weight on your body. Why, you ask? Because as bones, joints and muscles age, they become less co-operative and send pain to your brain with less activity. Walking short distances is doable, but the long romantic walks on the beach become a memory. The knees won’t do it, the feet don’t want to and if you make them, they’ll repay you with cramps and aches. Less activity means not burning as many calories as you once did.
The obvious and easiest solution is to eat less. You no longer requite 1500 calories to get yourself through the day. 1000 may be enough. A doctor should help you determine your caloric needs. I don’t actually count calories anymore. I did for a time. I found it annoying and depressing. I have worked out my own weight control system over the years and it seems to be working pretty well for me. I haven’t fluctuated in weight by more than 10 pounds since beginning this practice. I eat whatever I want. I eat at the times that my husband wants to eat or when I feel shaky or remember that I haven’t eaten. What’s that? You think I’m an idiot because I don’t know that I’m hungry? Well, I have never in my life really been hungry. I believe that I could go days, well, in my past I did do this, without eating anything. I would drink, but eat nothing. I forgot to eat. I was busy with my jobs and my kids and feeding me was not on my radar. I got very ill. It was not a good time and I don’t want to be there again. I am 5’5” and at that time in my messed up life I weighed about 95 pounds was a size 4 and looked like hell. Sunken cheeks and black circles under my eyes and bones everywhere. Not good, but I thought I looked very good, at the time. I did not. Since I do not feel hunger, for some reason I don’t know, I make myself eat at the time most people eat. It works. I do forget lunch very often, though.
Now at 62, I think I am healthier than I have been in a long time. I am at or close to my optimal weight and I am semi-active. I do what I want to do and now and then I make myself get up and just walk around the house; upstairs, downstairs, down the hall and repeat. That helps to keep me semi-limber. Meals to me are whatever I feel like making and eating and just a little less than I really think I want. I do not clean up my plate unless I feel the need to do so. I don’t eat just to eat. I eat to satisfy my desire for whatever food I am looking at and also to fuel my body. Overeating is what makes most people fat and I don’t want to be fat, so I don’t overeat. I eat until I feel satisfied and then I am done. Period.
It isn’t rocket science by any means. Eat less, move more and lose weight. That is it. I eat deserts because I love them. I eat them about once a month. I eat small amounts of the things I love and I have learned to throw away left over deserts. They will draw me back to them otherwise.
I do enjoy cooking and worrying about what I am putting into my recipes is not fun. So I quit worrying about that. I add what makes everything taste good. That means some of my dishes are very high calorie count and the far may well be over the recommended amount, so I eat less of it. There is nothing I don’t eat because it is too fattening. I just eat a smaller serving.
Just quickly hitting on the obesity in our nation’s kids ~ it is alarming! I am quite certain the answer lies in exactly what I just wrote about. COOK for the kids. Put a meal on the table made from natural ingredients. Don’t give a menu option. Prepare a meal and serve it. Sit with them to eat and insist they taste everything. The things they hate, they may leave. The things they like, they may have seconds of when everything (minus the hated item) is gone. No more than that. Continue to offer the hated item from time to time and you might be amazed that eventually because they have to taste it every time, they may develop a taste for it. Allowing them to assist in food prep has also shown to improve their desire to try new things. Most kids like to help out in the kitchen and I have found it to be very helpful in getting them to taste what they helped prepare. Seeing exactly what goes into the food is also helpful for them. The younger you start this, the better. The longer they get the deep fried fast food, the less likely you are to get them to try a nice baked piece of fish, for example. The texture won’t be right in their mouth. The look won’t be right for their eye. We all eat with our eyes first, so making food look ‘usual’ is very easy if that’s all they see.
Let’s go back to fast food being a treat and not necessarily dinner. And for sure not dinner 5 or 6 nights a week. Obesity will probably go away in short order.
EAT LESS ~ MOVE MORE = WEIGH LESS.