It’s no secret that Americans have huge issues with weight. It’s been news for at least 10 years. The truth is we don’t eat food of quality. In many cases we do quantity over quality. Our sodas have ballooned in size since the 1990’s. Portion sizes are much larger than they used to be. There are any number of things that can point to the reasons why America is largely obese.
Being a geek, there’s an added dimension to this. Most things that geeks are into make one rather sedentary. Thanks to an article in Kotaku, it really brought the point home. Most geeky endeavors don’t allow for much movement, and I admit that that’s been part of my problem.
Now, I feel fairly conversant with geeks. I’ve dated a few, different geeky types. Most geeky endeavors are enjoyed from the comfort of a comfy seat. Reading, video games watching anime/movies/TV shows… All of these are very sedentary things.
And then there’s the food.
This is where we get into part of the problem. When you’re playing a game you don’t want to have to peel yourself away from what it is you’re doing. So, you go for ease as opposed to what’s really good for you. So, enter highly processed foods and fast food. The bigger problem is that most American foods seem to be getting more and more engineered. While I’m a huge label reader, it’s hard to avoid food that doesn’t have some long scientific words.
Even worse is the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup. It is in everything. Things that you think should have no sugar has it in it. I’m sure if they could figure out how to engineer fruits and vegetables to have it they would. I’m not going to say it’s almost frustrating… It is frustrating. No one needs that much sugar in their diet.
I could go on and on about all the problems with food itself. The truth is, it’s not just food quality that’s the problem. It’s never going to be the only problem.
There’s how sedentary we’ve become as well. It’s because we love things like video games or watching TV and movies that we wind up eating more than we need to. Those pesky things called calories are a big part of the problem. We need food to keep moving. Yet, most of us don’t actually think of how much we’re eating. It’s easy to eat more than you need without thinking. This is where I have been the most guilty. And going out to eat will give you a huge plate of food. Getting a soda will give you a medium that I remember being a large when I was younger.
I love food. I love food that tastes good. If I start eating food that tastes good I have a hard time stopping myself. There’s a certain amount of psychology behind it. It’s amazing to think about how much psychology goes into food and eating.
Yes, a certain amount of it is biology. We need food to move and keep going. We need food for our brain to work. When we deprive ourselves of food we effectively shut down our bodies. So, there’s no two ways about it.
This is something that I know.
I have a very warped relationship with food. I like food. I like eating food. I like eating food that tastes good.
I also hate food. I hate that I need food. I hate that it puts weight on me.
So, how to find a happy medium?
I’ve done the one thing that I thought I would never do. I am a label reader. I read labels on everything. I look at how many calories are in a serving and what a serving size is. I also look for what is in the food. I try to get the least processed foods that I can afford. I also look for things like how much fat is in the food. I try to keep my calorie consumption to about 1500 calories (500 calories under what a woman my age needs to eat). When I go out to restaurants, I don’t eat everything on the plate. I eat slowly so my brain can register how much I’m eating. That way I don’t way too much.
And then there’s being sedentary. Something that I admit to being a problem. I have a tendency to like being more sedentary. I would rather play games all day. I’m working on remedying that. I’ve been working on biking more often. I live in an area that’s a godsend for weight loss. There are a lot of hills in this area… and the hills are steep. In some cases almost too steep to bike up. I’m getting in more hill biking. Even while I was biking about 20 miles a day/3 days a week, I didn’t get the aerobic challenge that I am now. Even areas that are considered flat are still hillier than the trail I used to bike.
I’m at the beginning of this journey. I admit that. I’ll have to keep this up and see where this takes me.
The article I spoke of above is here: http://kotaku.com/5919621/how-a-375+pound-lazy-gamer-lost-80-pounds-in-six-months