In this blog post I discuss common fat habits and look at the case study of Edmonton, whose motto may well have been “Partying Is My Hobby”! This is an extract from my new book, The Bottom Line of Fat Loss, available both as an e-book and as a print copy from Amazon.
Watching TV during a trip to New Zealand, I realised how captive we are to the influence of television commercials. I felt that I was missing out if I did not rush out and buy from the global fast food store. The more important effect these intrusions on my movie watching had was with my impressionable children, who asked about the importance of said fast food store, and why we don’t eat from there–scary the influence TV has.
Society, reality TV, social media, fashion and sports magazines also bombard us with images of bodies that we feel unrealistically pressured to conform and obtain. The media entice us with sports icons in bikinis and catchy subtitles such as “sexy six-pack in six days.” What we don’t see are the pre-Photoshopped images. We also don’t see the impossible diets or models sick from anorexia or bulimia. Please also remember that these models are on magazine covers because they are gifted, either genetically or surgically, so as to fit into the top percentile of society’s perception of perfect. There is a reason there are only a few supermodels.
This pressure has contributed to negative body images and social stigma from being overweight, which can lead to unhealthy underlying–conscious or unconscious–eating habits that can’t easily be stopped.
Common Fat Habits
Social pressure comes into play during business and sports trips, when you may feel obliged to eat foods you do not normally eat- or like- and drink larger volumes than normal, and where your schedule is so full that you have little or no time to exercise any excess away.
In social settings around food, I have learnt of the fat habits of my clients and people who have complained to me about being fat. Some of the habits below stem from parental and social programming, such as finishing the food on the plate stemming from wartime rationing, or finishing the kids’ meals because your personal values can’t stand the waste. Some may be unconscious, some conscious, and some driven by cravings and brain-chemical imbalance.
I invite you to go through the list below and check ones that you are aware of, and, if you are feeling bold, ask someone who regularly shares meals with you about them.
(Please click on the list to enlarge)
All of the items on the list are examples of self-sabotage. I discuss these items in detail in my book, and offer solutions on how to address these challenges.
￼Too Much To Lose – “Partying Is My Hobby”: Edmonton
Edmonton was an accountant by day and party-boy by night. He was the life and soul of the party. He loved to socialise and he loved to drink. He drank anything and everything and his weight grew and grew. He stopped playing rugby because the effort to get around the pitch was too much.
The dilemma Edmonton and others like him have is: What have they got to lose by adopting lifestyle habits that will get them healthy again? Will he stop being the life and soul of the party? Will he lose those friends? Will he lose his important tribal association and social affiliation? Is there anything more daring in life than being the pub’s drinking champion and social hub?
When you dislike your job and can’t find adventure in looking at numbers, one can see the draw of having an alter ego. The question of sabotage is this: By making the necessary lifestyle changes to gain health and lose fat (i.e., reducing drinking and eating pub food), might the fat loss come at a cost of loneliness and loss of social identity? For the “larger than life” characters whose body size gets too large for life, this becomes an enormous challenge that requires enormous courage to address. The motivation to change might come in the form of health crisis such as deep vein thrombosis, caused by too much jet travel and time spent sedentary. With so much change required, slow, easy-to-adapt measures are needed. When the wagon tips you off, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start plodding again–eventually (with a plan) the plod will be a jog, and then a run, and then a triathlon.
Edmonton started a concentrated exercise and clean eating plan, complete with detox and no alcohol. 3 months into his fat loss programme, he lost 9 kilos. At the 9-10kg mark, he felt better and his friends and colleagues started to notice how fresh he looked.