Is Obesity A Choice?

by Willie on February 16, 2017

in Daily, Fitness, Food, Weight Loss

Is Obesity A Choice-

A few months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook. I came across a post discussing if obesity and unhealthy lifestyles were a choice or from lack of action.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t comment on the actual post so I wanted to give my opinion on the subject.

My experience with obesity

From my own experience, I’m going to say it depends on your circumstances.

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I didn’t choose to be obese. It just happened. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “You know, I really want to be obese for the rest of my life.”

I really think that obesity happens to people by circumstances.

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I grew up in a middle class African American home. My parents didn’t know anything about proper nutrition. I really don’t think most parents who had kids from the years 1980-2000 knew anything about what was healthy for their kids.

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Why are we obese?

If you were born during these years, anything sugary was readily available. Fast food was everywhere. Commercials were selling cereals, snacks and fast food during our favorite shows.

We begged our parents to get us this and that. There was no way to know the results of eating these foods.

In that circumstance, lack of information was and still is a problem in regards to obesity. Kids only know what they are told.

You can tell me that the information is out there to become healthy but it’s confusing to most people.

Most people don’t know how much they should be eating. Some people don’t understand the nutritional labels on a box. Majority of the time, people confuse a serving size which isn’t completely explained.

Fast food is getting better about calories on their menus. My wife, Angela, recently wrote about calories on menus in the post, “Do calorie counts on menus matter?”

Lack of information is definitely a big component for the reason why obesity continues to rise every year.

Lack of resources

The other circumstances would definitely be lack of resources. This leads to lack of action.

Have you been to the grocery store lately?

Most people are on a budget with finances. It’s cheaper to buy processed food than fresh food. This is what most low income families gravitate towards. They are making their money stretch to get the most amount of food.

Not everyone can afford the best foods for their health. It’s sad to really express that here but it’s true.

I can completely understand why there are so many people who are obese. Foods are pumped full of chemicals to keep them on the shelves longer.

Fresh food doesn’t last long but cost more for a lot less volume.

It’s a little ridiculous when you think about it. A salad at a fast food restaurant costs more than a whole value meal.

That’s not right!

Lack of Action

There is also one more circumstance. People who know what they need to do. They have all of the information that they need. The resources to buy the best food in the grocery store are readily available.

They just don’t take action.

Not all people fall into this category but they have all the pieces to the puzzle. They just like the effort to work.

Losing weight is a long haul journey. It’s just easier to just be inactive rather than put in the work.

What can you do?

If you want to be healthy bad enough, you’ll put in the work. You’ll track every piece of food you put in your mouth. Exercise and meal planning will become a priority over anything else.

This group isn’t about being lazy. It’s about change. Change is hard but change is worth it.

Is obesity a choice? I don’t think so. Obesity is a whole slew of factors. Everyone’s factors are not always the same.

People just have to look at those factors and see what they need to change. Once you realize what’s lack, obesity could be a thing of the past.

Do you think obesity is a choice?

What can we do to combat it?

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Shortly before I wrote my last post, I Am A Binge Eater, I weighed in for the first time in a long time.

Stepping on the scale was something that I was trying to avoid. I didn’t want to know what my weight was. Honestly, I just didn’t want to feel like a complete failure.

No Struggle No Progress

When you step on the scale, it’s a truth slap to the face. It’s the realization that you’ve been lying to yourself for so long.

I definitely was lying to myself.

I went to the gym on a Monday and stepped on the scale. I wasn’t happy about the number but I was thankful to know where my new starting point is.

On January 16, I started my weight journey again. It’s been a strange 3 weeks since I’ve started losing weight again. It’s a completely different routine than what I used the first time I lost weight.

In the past, I worked out 5-6 days a week. Before, I mainly did cardio. Specifically, I walked on the treadmill for the length of a 42 minute television show.

Yes, I worked out by using tv as a “reward” to exercise. Try it because it really works.

This time, I’m working out 5-6 days a week again.

What’s different?

I’m not just doing cardio again. My cardio consists of walking. The difference is that I’m walking with inclines and also doing heart rate training with the use of a heart rate monitor. I keep my heart rate between 129-157 beats per minute to burn as many calories as possible.

I do heart rate training 2-3 times a week. I say 2-3 times a week because lately I’ve been subbing one day of heart rate training with a class called Group Fight.

Group Fight is a MMA/Kickboxing class. It’s fun and keeps me entertained during a workout.

The other workouts in my arsenal is strength training.

Strength training was the one thing that I wished that I did before. That myth of getting overly bulky was always in my head when I first started. So, I avoided the weights and just focused on cardio.

Strength training doesn’t make you bulky. It can if that’s what you are going for. I’m working to get stronger and to look a certain way.

That’s it for me.

The past three weeks have been somewhat of an up and down roller coaster for me. The first week I lost weight. I gained weight the second week. This past week, I lost weight again.

I almost gave up for a brief second when I gained weight on the second week. But I stopped myself. I asked myself, “Why am I even thinking of quitting because of a minor setback?”

Progress isn’t a straight line.

It has highs and lows. It’s never one direction the whole time. I had to tell myself that when I had that negative thought of quitting.

I know that I did everything that I was supposed to do.

I tracked my food. Exercise was always a priority during the week.

The body is a powerful machine. It resists change. You have to keep it guessing.

My progress is still moving forward. I’m staying on track. The weight will come off. Two out of three weeks has proven that to me.

I just have to remember that I’m in this weight loss journey for the long haul. As long as the scale shows a decline, I’m on the right track.

How are your weight loss efforts going?

What are you doing to continue your progress in the right direction?

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