Change of Thought Important in Overcoming Obesity

This is an updated blog on the health problem, obesity, which was originally published a year ago.  Original blogs will begin again next week.  Thank you for your understanding.

Bob Harper, Biggest Loser Trainer, encourages kids to exercise and eat healthy

Bob Harper, Biggest Loser Trainer, encourages kids to exercise and eat healthy

Everywhere we look Americans are becoming alarmed about what some call “an epidemic of obesity.” Amid the research, stories, television shows and wide variety of preventive steps and treatments there lies a growing understanding of how a person’s view of him or herself can lead toward or away from obesity.

My own online perusal of this topic led me to discover what’s really weighing on the obese?  And I decided to focus on the “Let’s Move” campaign Michelle Obama has launched nationwide to raise awareness of the harmful sedentary tendencies children, adolescents and young adults practice and the reality television show, The Biggest Loser.  Obama targets the importance of eating healthy and getting exercise on a regular basis.  In 2012 she invited the contestants from the reality television show, to the White House to stress the importance of these activities for all Americans – young and old.

Campaign by Michele Obama to encourage Americans to move for better health

Campaign by Michelle Obama to encourage Americans to move for better health

Biggest Loser, if you’ve never watched it, usually  concentrates on obese adults, but this past season the show included 3  young people from middle school and high school.  Their intent is to get families to learn together how to eat properly and to exercise.   On the show adults are put through rigorous activities in the gym and around the Biggest Loser Campus and various locations around the world.  The young people were shown proper eating habits and how exercise can be incorporated into their daily school and after school activities.

To me, the most important point made by the trainers was this:  In order to maintain a body transformation, individuals must also transform their thought about themselves: How are you thinking about yourself?  What happened that has led to thinking negatively about yourself?  What can you do to improve  already ingrained habits?

Some mimic their parents’ overeating habits.  Some have been abused and made to feel worthless. Some had been injured and never recovered mentally.  Some had disappointing relationships.  The list goes on.

One young woman broke down in tears when she finally revealed she had been made to feel responsible for the drowning of her younger brother because she was the only one around at the time.  Her father had even mentioned he wished it had been her instead of her brother. She felt she didn’t deserve to live, so she was filling the void of not feeling wanted or loved by eating. She was only 3 or 4 when the incident occurred.  What a weight to carry around!  This woman went on to discover on the show she was an amazing athlete.

Contestants who had “aha” moments similar to hers have proven to be more successful at keeping and staying fit. Overeating, it seems, can be a symptom of a much deeper problem.  In many cases, it is important to get to the root of the problem and address the  burdensome thought and let it go, then the symptom (overeating) disappears.  “You’ve got to make a break. You’ve got to divorce yourself from the past and find a different way of living.  And you can never go back.”   Bob Harper, a trainer on The Biggest Loser, says.

The Bible has provided some guidance for me when dealing with self-esteem issues: “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven … and all these things shall be added unto you.”  The “things” Jesus refers to are: what to eat, what to drink and what to wear.

I remember asking myself:  “What would be heaven to me – what should I be seeking?”  and,  “If I am seeking heaven, what heavenly things should I be attracted to – what things would help me overcome this  problem?” And, I found one passage by Mary Baker Eddy, a spiritual revolutionary from the 19th century, especially helpful.  In her description of heaven she includes: “unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love.” She continues: “The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation and a priceless sense of the dear Father’s loving-kindness.”

I found the more I included these qualities in thought and practiced them in daily living, the more I felt I had all the nutriments I needed and the problems tied to my self-esteem dropped away – little by little.

Kate is interested in blogging about health, spirituality, Christian Science, science, the importance of prayer and religion.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.  She and her husband enjoy hiking, especially with Callie, a Blue Heeler, and riding motorcycles. 

Top Photo by Phil Roeder

Let’s Move photo by USDAgov from flickr.com