Is Pleasure Behind Obesity?
I have been remiss to write about the issues of obesity and overeating at Men in Aprons, mainly because I like to focus on the positive aspects of food. The issue of obesity is a big deal in the United States right now, and it is one that is bleeding over into the rest of the world. The main reason that I have not written anything about this subject is because my opinion is probably not the most popular one. Actually, I think most people think the way I do, but not many people will say it or admit it outloud.
Obesity is a huge problem in this country, one which I see on a daily basis in a few of my coworkers. I feel sorry for them sometimes, because I know that they have health problems and probably won't be able to get very good health insurance. One of them, I suspect will die in the next 2-3 years unless a change is made.
I do a lot of cooking, a lot of writing about cooking, and pretty much am engrossed in the world of food when it comes to this web site. But I know when to stop. I know what limits must be made. As much as I'd like to, I cannot blog all day long. I cannot sit at this computer terminal and read blogs forever. I cannot sit here and obsess over ad optimization or search engine rankings. I have a family and I need to get outdoors and exercise.
I place the same kinds of limits on myself when I am eating. I know when to stop and I know what not to eat. I know what eating a 10-pack of chicken McNuggets 4 times a week will do to a body. If you haven't seen SuperSize Me, you should. It will open your eyes.
I tend to take a very Dr. Phil-ish approach to dieting, weight loss, and obesity. I believe that everyone has the power to take responsibility for their lives. You have the power to bring that twinkie to your lips; you have the power to put it down. You have the power to sit down on the couch and watch TV; you have the power to get up and go for a walk. I believe that weight loss does not happen from diets. I believe that it happens from making changes in your life. You see, by nature diets have a beginning and an end. The ends of diets usually result in depression and resentment. You toss out those South Beach Diet books, curse them and wonder what went wrong.
What you need to do is change the way you think and live. It's as simple as that.
An article recently caught my attention. It says that Pleasure may be behind Obesity. My reaction was "duh." Food tastes good. It feels good. It feels right. There's a reason why soulfood has it's name. The problem is, people get caught up in that feeling and they over eat. I won't take the goody two-shoes stance here. I've been there. I think we all have been there at some point in our lives. We just pig out on something because it tastes so good. Maybe we've been longing for those Krispy Kreme donuts and before we know it, six have disappeared from the box.
They taste good and it feels good. So yeah. Pleasure is a contributor to obesity. It's not the cause or the root of the problem, but I think it is a contributing factor, and it keeps obesity firmly rooted. Oh yes, it feels so much better to eat that third ho-ho, but it hurts like hell to do 10 extra pushups. Just think about it. If all food tasted bad, do you think there would as many fat people in this world?
A lot of cooking I do here on MIA is soulfood and very decadent food. That's my choice and I live with it because I don't over eat on what I've cooked. I make sure I limit myself at every meal, and that I eat a somewhat balanced supper everynight with my family. We don't always have all the food groups represented, but we make sure we keep the portions under control and that the food we eat is good for you and doesn't contain too much fat or sugar.
You don't have to eat salad 7 days a week to eat healthy or to lose weight. My formula for weight loss is to eat a little bit less and exercise.
Take care of yourself. You know what your body needs. You learned it in school, and you hear about it everyday on TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers. You know what you need to do, so do it. But in the end, it is ultimately up to you. Don't blame the food, the corporations, your family, your genetics. It's your responsibility.