Freedom of Choice

In honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, I wanted to share my thoughts with you on freedom. Not freedom from bondage to food, or freedom from obesity – but freedom of choice.

In honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, I wanted to share my thoughts with you on freedom. Not freedom from bondage to food, or freedom from obesity – but freedom of choice.

After I got married in 1997, I had the freedom to choose how I wanted to live my life as a young married woman. I could have chosen to spend my weekends hiking on trails, playing tennis with friends, and swimming at the lake. I could have done those things, but I didn’t. Instead, I chose to live my life in an unhealthy manner. Every night after work you would find my sitting on the couch eating ice cream. Every weekend you would find me in ensconced in a movie theatre seat with an extra-large tub of buttered popcorn on my lap.

I had the freedom to make healthy choices, but instead I chose to gain weight.

I chose to gain 75 pounds during my first pregnancy by eating everything I wanted, without any thought to what the consequences might be. I chose to continue gaining weight for the next 6 years as I made bad choice after bad choice. For 10 years, I chose the wrong path. But it was my choice.

When I turned my life around, I made another choice. I made the choice to stop my unhealthy habits, quit eating junk food all day long, and get out of my comfort zone and exercise. I chose the right path for me.

As I began to lose my extra 150 pounds, I had choices to make. Every time I stood in front of my pantry, I had the freedom to make the right choice or the wrong choice. Every time I made the right choice, I felt myself get stronger and felt more in control of my fascination and obsession with food.

Every morning when I got my 300-pound body out of bed, I made the choice to put on my ugly exercise clothes and walk slowly down the road. I chose not to worry about what my neighbors thought, and chose to focus on what I knew would help me reach my goals and objectives.

Now, 12 years later, freedom means that the choices I make everyday keep me free from obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. Those good choices keep me free from guilt and keep me free from worrying about certain obesity-related diseases.

If you are struggling with your weight and sometimes feel like you are getting bogged down in the overwhelming number of choices there are along the weight-loss road, take heart.  Instead of getting bogged down, try and think of your choices as a way to gain freedom in your life.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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