To Cure Your Obesity, Become Your Own Nutritionist! by Dr. Rothkopf
Part 1 of a Series
Waking up as the new you
By Michael M. Rothkopf, MD, FACP, FACN © 2012
CONGRATULATIONS! You have taken a big step to getting healthy and preventing illness by committing to battle obesity. It will not be easy. It will be frustrating. It will be hard work. But it definitely can be done.
I am a physician specialist in nutrition and obesity. I am certified by both the American College of Nutrition and The Obesity Society. I have helped thousands of patients lose weight successfully and I can help you fix this problem yourself. This blog is designed to guide you through the confusion, misinformation and negativity associated with the weight loss process.
You supply the three fundamentals of :
motivation, commitment and consistency
and I will teach you:
science of nutrition, psychology of eating and the proper way to exercise.
I am going to build you up to endure the challenges. I am going to give you the knowledge you need to commit to the hard choices and stay consistently on track. I will give you the tools you will need for success and help you avoid the traps that lead to failure. Are you ready? Lets go!
Part 2 of a Series
Transitions and Transformations
Of all the things that make up your life, food intake is one that you actually have the most control of. I mean, you can’t choose what kind of air to breathe. We are all basically breathing air that contains 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen and 1% argon, carbon dioxide and others. Air may smell different in some places, but it’s virtually the same content all over the world. You can’t choose you blood type either. That was decided based on genetics which will never change. The cells of your body are basically identical to the ones you had ten years ago and will be the same ten years from now (hopefully). You can change you facial appearance, but only within certain limits. You can study hard and learn things which will make you smarter, but your innate intelligence won’t really change. You can control your bowel and bladder, but eventually, you most follow their bidding.
So of all your bodily functions, the one that you most control over is eating. You choose the kinds of foods, the flavors, the mixture of nutrients, the consistency, the amount of fluid, the rate of consumption, all of it. And you can control this more than you control your job, your home, your friends, your family, your lovers, your pets, your income, or even your clothes. After all, you can only wear the clothes that fit you. But you can eat anything you want, whether it suits you or not. And all this choice, this selectivity, is a big part of your individuality. It’s a major component of how you think of yourself. It’s an important way that you expressed your uniqueness. The hard part is that you look at your pattern of eating as a fixture. You identify with it. The foods you eat bring you pleasure and satisfaction. What foods you like. What foods you dislike. How quickly you eat. Whether you drink water with meals. What makes you satisfied. How physically active you are. Whether or not you use food as a stress responder or a coping skill for emotions. These subjects define who you are. But deep down you know something is wrong about how you are eating and what I want you to realize is that the new you can chose not to need those foods anymore. You can change your perception of food, you habitual patterns and your sense of taste.
People often look at me when I say that and tell me that they can’t change. But I don’t believe this is the case. In fact the opposite is closer to the truth. After all human beings are the most changeable and adaptable creatures on the planet. That’s what has made us so successful as a species. We are capable of surviving in any habitat. Humans live on all continents of the earth including Antarctica. We have proven that we can survive on land, on wate,r in the air, under the sea and even in space. We have done this by learning to adapt and change. The same can certainly be said about our diet. In fact, human beings have the most varied diet of any animal on the planet. We can eat meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, fish, fowl and practically anything that any other animal can consume. The only glaring exception that I can think of is cellulose.
So if we are that adaptable and our intestinal system is that capable, we must be able to change our food preferences without too much difficulty. History bears this out. During times of struggle such as war and famine, people change their eating patterns dramatically. We all know stories of people who endured hardship or were in an emergency where regular food was not available. They still found a way to make do. Now you may say that these were extreme circumstances. Maybe they were even life-threatening conditions, like imprisonment or being stranded. OK, I accept that. But my point is that with enough motivation we are capable of changing our patterns dramatically.
So maybe what you need to do is to look at your current situation as a threat to your health and your lifespan. If that is true, then your struggle with obesity can also be looked upon as a struggle for survival. This is what I mean by motivation. Someone who is obese can be thought of as having a lifespan at least 11 years shorter than the same age same gender individual without obesity. Someone who is obese as at high risk of developing life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart attack and stroke. These threats are real and these conditions will kill you. The sooner you come to face this reality sooner you’ll be able to motivate yourself to change. With the proper motivation you will be able to transition to a new you. Eventually you will transform yourself. And the new you will think differently about how you eat and the way you exercise. It may look like a high mountain to climb but it is definitely achievable. Once you get there you look back and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Once you achieve it you look back at the way that you were eating and your lack of exercise before and wonder what the old you was thinking.
The next steps involve the hard work of changing yourself, of changing your behavior, changing your patterns, breaking old habits and getting healthier. All of that has to take place while you’re engaged in the real world that you live in- at the breakfast table, at the dinner table, at lunch, when you go out with friends and family, when you are at a social event. That’s real life, OK? That’s why you have to think about transitions and transformations. You have to contribute. You have to change yourself completely. I’m asking you to switch out those non-functional parts of yourself. And you should use your motivation as a reminder why.
It’s hard to change old habits. And this is why so many people fail weight loss so often. Not because the diets, exercise programs or behavior modifications were wrong. But because they were superficial. They only changed the very surface of the problem. The real underlying problem was still there and when people got tired of the superficial treatment, it resurfaced. To be successful with weight loss you have to make a commitment to change yourself. This is your mantra: “I have to transform my diet, exercise and eating behavior to save my life“.