The Wellness Challenge
Submitted by Susan Garbett
March 11, 1999
The "Climb the Teton" Challenge is indeed challenging me. Previous plans to work exercise into my schedule have failed almost immediately. While my exercise goals are still not reached each week, I am at least motivated to do some exercise and not let my team down. I hope all of you have found this approach motivating as well.
My reading this week included some articles on obesity and reminded me of the important part of our diet plays in our general health. Did you know that the number of over-weight Americans has risen 8% in the last 10 years? This progress is opposite to the national health goal for the year 2000 of reducing adult obesity by 20 %. Many within the media emphasize exercise, low-fat diets and healthy lifestyles. Indeed, fat consumption within the United States has decreased slightly, however, overall caloric intake has not. The irony, as stated by Dr. N. Lee Smith, is that "thinness is popular and obesity stigmatized, but fatty foods are pushed."
Now that I am reaching the age when weight is harder to control, these statistics alarm me. There are many medical hazards to obesity. These include, but are not limited to: diabetes, high cholesterol and associated heart disease, high blood pressure, compromised breathing ability, gall bladder disease, degenerative arthritis, some cancers and depression. Inspite of this date, it is difficult to lose wight. I am trying to change my mind-set to view maintaining my weight at the current level as a victory. In other words, if I can't lose weight at least I will not gain more. Large weight loss goals are very discouraging and extremely hard to achieve and maintain. To accomplish weight maintenance, we must know how much we weigh and check the level frequently. Small course corrections are much easier to achieve than major lifestyle changes. Healthy diet choices, exercise, and support from family and friends are important parts of a weight control plan.
As we try to maintain a healthy weight, keep in mind the following statement. "It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting." Positive feelings develop when we are successful at achieving even small goals. Let's keep our goals reasonable and reach the summit together!