I just polished off a plate of potluck delight at a company Thanksgiving meal. Did I eat more than I typically eat at a noon meal? Yes. Did everyone else eat more than they typically eat at a noon meal? Yes.
The topic of our mealtime conversation was the food we were enjoying and where we were going to be and what dishes we would prepare for the next big holiday meal(s.)
For the remainder of the month of December, for many of us, it will be no holds barred at mealtime. There will be cakes and pies, cookies and candies, nuts and snack mixes eaten between meals and throughout the day. I, personally, will bring out dishes and pans, kitchen gadgets and ingredients that are only used during this time when almost everyone gets a free pass to over-indulge in food and beverage.
But, alas, before you know it, January 1 will roll around, the celebration will be over, and the dieting will begin.
There are books on dieting, more diet centers than I can shake a stick at, and diet foods even have a special section in most grocery stores. Many people are convinced that to lose weight, they should eat only foods labeled as low-fat, low-calorie, fat-free or simply healthy.
Americans spend a boat-load of cash on diets, yet the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tells us that more than a third of adults in this country are carrying around at least an extra 35 pounds, qualifying them as obese.
The good news is that obesity rates are leveling off instead of increasing. The bad news is that we, collectively as a nation, are fat. When this unpleasant nugget of truth was revealed to the American masses, the finger-pointing ensued. People want someone or something to blame for this obesity epidemic.
I know a lot of people – including myself – who could certainly stand to shed a few pounds. I also know that the only way to make that happen is to stop the finger-pointing and take some personal responsibility. The vast majority of those carrying around excess weight are this way because we aren’t getting enough exercise and fail to practice moderation in our diets.
We are not obese because fast food restaurants serve up “super-sized” meals or because the standard size for soft drinks is no longer a 6 or even 12 oz. bottle. We are not fat because of transfats or saturated fats or sodium or corn-fed beef or because Congress hasn’t passed the right legislation to make obesity go away.
The only way a diet book or diet program or diet pill is going to work effectively is if you and I and all the other people who need to lose a few pounds burn more calories than we take in. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a think tank in Washington D.C. to figure that one out.
Take a look in the mirror and you’ll see who is responsible for your obesity problem.