I have written about how in general, obesity may not be the simple choice some make it out to be. We don’t just wake up one day and say, “gee whiz I choose to have obesity!” So are things not really in our control and are we just destined to be a certain way depending on our genetics and environment? Nope.
We DO in fact have choices in regards to weight and preventable disease. For some, these choices are easy and automatic. For others, these choices may be pretty difficult.
If you read my article Is Obesity a Choice?, you have two guys, Steve and Joe. Steve has great genetics and had an amazing upbringing that really ingrained healthy habits in early childhood. For him, making healthy choices is like walking up a normal flight of stairs or even going up an escalator.
Joe on the other hand, was not blessed with as good of genetics and his habits were pretty unhealthy as a child. On top of that, he now has obesity, which makes things more difficult since the body works against you as you try to lose weight. Your appetite goes up, your movement goes down without you even knowing, and your metabolism goes a bit slower than one would expect. For him, making healthy choices may be like going up an escalator the wrong way.
Control what you can, accept what you cannot
If you were dealt a worse hand in life and your genetics are unfavorable for weight and your parents didn’t bring you up with the healthiest of lifestyle and habits, is it time to give up and just ride the escalator of weight to doom? No!
You still DO have choices. The choices may be tough to make since your body and environment are pushing you in a certain direction, BUT you still have free will.
You’re getting home from work and you’re hungry (aren’t we all?). You have a box of cookies and you have a fruit bowl filled with apples (see the cartoon above). At that fleeting moment, you DO have a choice to eat that apple instead of those cookies despite your cravings pushing you towards the cookies. You have the choice.
You have the choice to accept that the apple will be less pleasurable than the cookies and you have the choice to then eat it instead.
What you don’t have the choice of is your cravings for those cookies. You don’t choose to have those intense cravings.
You also have the choice to not have those cookies in your house. You have the choice to surround yourself with healthful foods like fruit and vegetables.
Does the drive to eat the cookies kind of suck? Yep. But you can’t control it. Accept that you cannot control that and then control what you can (e.g. not buying the cookies in the first place).
Again you get home from work. You know you should exercise, but the couch and TV look much more pleasurable at the moment. You have the choice to choose the less pleasurable (compared with laying on the couch watching tv) workout.
Accept that it is less pleasurable to go do a workout than plop down on the couch.
If you want to learn more about these choices, sign up for my course below. In the future I will be going over how to really make sure these choices stick.