In the UK, 67% of men and 57% of women are overweight or obese, and in children the statistics are on the rise too: 26% of boys and 29% of girls.
Our society seems to be growing in size, quite rapidly. This is not news, and the statistics above did not ‘just happen’, the rates of obesity have been climbing for many years… So what’s been done about it?
91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted “often” or “always.”
Ah, of course – DIETING. The thing almost everyone has tried; the glamourized solution to global weight gain. So what exactly is this fabulous mechanism that promises to put an end to ‘fat’ and helps you say hello to toned figures? Well, diets come in lots of different types, forms and sizes. There is a huge variety, including things like:
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands more out there - way too many to list. But these diets, the ones we’ve ALL tried, you would think they’d have some pretty great results. Think again. Did you know that a staggering 95% of all dieters regain their lost weight within 5 years. (2)
I’ve tried my fair share of diets in the past; only eating green apples for days, trying to eat nothing, drinking only smoothies etc., and I’ve probably lost up to 3 or 4kg doing so…. But it NEVER STAYS OFF - if you tracked my weight it would be like a rollercoaster on a graph, and even when I was at my lowest weight I always thought I needed to loose more and that I still didn’t look like the girls in my year at school or women on magazines that are super slim. The desire to weigh less was and is constant, and it really affects my everyday thoughts and self-image.
It’s quite unlikely that I have a day where I don’t call myself fat at least 10 times. No matter how many compliments I get, the way I feel about myself doesn’t change. When I do put myself on a diet or get an app on my phone telling me all the things I should do to lose weight, I may feel good for a week or so, but sometimes nothing more than a day, then it’s back to the fight between me and my body.
So, if diets don’t work – what do we do?
That is something very individual to you and your body. For me I’m only just beginning to scratch the surface of what kind of food, exercise and rhythm supports my body, and the issue I’ve been struggling with is that it’s impossible to copy others! There is no step-by-step guide of, ‘you should do this, this and this’, because what works for others may not work for you or me.
Something I’m trying is taking one step at a time, one meal at a time, one day at a time. When I’ve overeaten or felt full I’ve had a tendency to become exceptionally angry with myself; frustrated, annoyed, sad, depressed, you name it. But this is something that now I’m also committed to knuckling down on.
I have a lot of experience of pestering, pushing and prodding my body in almost every way in an effort to lose weight, but it’s about time that changes. I’ll keep you all posted – more blogs to follow, let’s see how this goes.
All of the blogs on From Our Eyes have been written by young people. They are about the kind of issues and problems teenagers face on a constant basis, as well as worldwide epidemics that not only youth, but EVERYONE experiences day to day.