Historically, being a bigger person
was valued, being a sign of wealth, fertility and ability to survive a
famine. But in a modern Rich World with its plentiful supply of food,
these plusses are lost.
In fact, obesity (excessive
body fat) is regarded as one of the most serious health problems of the
21st century. It is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide,
with increasing rates in adults and children (Wikipedia, accessed 29 October 2017).
So, here is a simple and frugal lifestyle plan to handling weighty matters.
It worked for me.
It requires commitment and effort, as well as seeing the danger of doing nothing.
In my experience, diet was the biggest factor to improving my body.
Humans are adapted evolutionarily to a wide range of diets (different
proportions of protein, carbohydrate, fat), as we have populated
vastly different places, and nature (unlike the supermarket) has its
cycles. So be calm about proportions. Consider:-
- Added sugar is the villain. Probably the most helpful advice is reduce
foods with added sugars (junk). Evolutionarily, the animal in us senses that
sweet food is safe to eat, but in a modern world where so many foods
are made sweet, we have messed up this helpful instinct. So, minimise
foods with added sugar and fructose. Read more here, here, here.
- Fat is the innocent that has
been unjustly vilified. Fat is necessary and good for us. Every human
cell requires fat! Feeling full comes from adequate fats, not endless junk. Choose healthy fats like avocado, olive oil and
coconut butter and eat plentifully!
- Eat organic food if you
can afford it. I believe it should be a human right to access it. This
reduces your intake of drugs, hormones and pesticides which may mess
with your body's natural systems.
- Begin to make dietary adjustments slowly and surely. For example, switch to darker chocolate.
- Try eating less. Smaller plates may help.
- Learn how to prepare food and cook from
scratch. Avoid processed foods. This will take more time; you just need
to prioritise it; you could start with one day a week of it. It can
feel very satisfying and healthy.
- Eat vegetables and
fruit plentifully. Some advise avoiding fruit because of its sugar
content, but I disagree as it is not added sugar. I love smoothies made
with a Vitamix or Blendtec or similar - see GreenSmoothieGirl for inspiration.
- Water is your friend.
Cut out fizzy drinks, diet drinks, any drinks with added sugars. Tea,
especially herbal tea, is good - but keep clear of added
Movement is life. Get moving.
Humans have become far too sedentary. Where possible and safe:-
"People are sitting down at work, then sitting in the car and then
sitting down in front of the television. Your metabolic rate crashes to an
absolute minimum. It isn't natural. Humans are designed to stand up and keep
moving." (Dr John Buckley cited at BBC, posted 11 December 2015,
accessed 12 December 2015)
- Choose walking over the likes of cars, elevators, etc.
- Try and daily take a brisk walk of 30 minutes.
- Stand rather than sit,
whether in the office, public transport, or at home. Try and stand for
three hours daily (e.g. only use your laptop when standing). If you
must sit, take frequent breaks (e.g. every 30 minutes) and move! Learn
Sleep & Body Clock
Throw out your body clock and you are likely to sleep badly, which
means more chance of eating too much and gorging on junk food.
Also, things like artificial light and technology gadgets will throw out your natural rhythms. So:-
- When using gadgets in the evening, reduce exposure to blue light by using a program like f.lux or similar.
- Avoid bright light and gadgets for at least one hour before bed.
- Do not have any gadgets in the bedroom.
- Realise how important sleep is to your well-being!
- Stress: Excessive stress in your life will make you eat more, especially junk food. Can you simplify your life?
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress
disorder): Sometimes, extra weight acts as a barrier or protection
against past harsh experiences. Ideally you need to gradually face and
heal these dark experiences.
- Counselling may help. But this may be costly.
- Flower essences may
help and cost little. Rescue Remedy (also called Five Flower Remedy)
alone may achieve wonders! You can do-it-yourself, prescribing flower
remedies for yourself (e.g. see here).
- Be aware this could be a long journey, especially if, for example, you unearth serious childhood abuse.
- There may be a genetic component to being a big person. In other worlds, you may be naturally large!
- Any drug you are taking may be messing with your body's natural systems. Try and demedicalise!