Why focusing on obesity is the wrong approach & how to make real changeApr 09, 2022
The news headlines tell us there is a pandemic of obesity. We hear how our health is at risk, our children’s lives are at risk. There are increasing rates of obesity-associated diagnoses: metabolic syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, joint issues…
In the medical office, we - and our children - are weighed, plotted, and given a determination if we are “normal” weight or have diagnoses of underweight, overweight or obesity to varying degrees.
We are doing it wrong.
We are focusing on the wrong thing.
We are focusing on a number - weight - and then trying to change it, avoid it, get away from it.
And that doesn’t work.
But when we focus on something that we’re trying to avoid – it bites us, often in the face.
If you’re trying to get away from something, to avoid it – the survival part of our brain kicks in, we put on the blinders and we run. Come hell or high water, I’m outta here. Imagine an animal chasing you – you run – but, you keep looking back over your shoulder. BEcause you don’t know how far you’ve gotten away - if you’ve succeeded, unless you look back at what you’re trying to get away from.
Remember when you were learning how to drive? What do you do when you lose control on ice or hydroplaning?
Focus on where you WANT to go.
When you focus on the telephone pole, doggonit, you’re going there and hitting it
(yes, I have a fire hydrant in Bethlehem, PA where I learned that lesson).
Now, imagine that you’re running, but this time no animals. It’s a low-key, muddy fun run with lots of music and hooting and hollering all around – you’re running towards the finish line.
You’re running, but you’re focused on the goal. You want to get there (there’s beer and bananas and probably some awesome pizza).
The difference is that you’re running towards something – and that creates a whole different experience.
The same thing is available to us.
Instead of fearing the health threats of obesity and fretting over a pandemic – we can focus on something else.
It’s not about finding the opposite of obesity - it’s about letting GO of the focus on weight altogether, and instead focusing on what it is that we DO WANT.
Yeah, it’s a different story and one you haven’t seen the headlines on… til now.
When we focus on what we want – connection, health, healthy relationships with our food, our bodies (not talking smack and trying to change them, restrict them and punish them), and our kids – we get to use that energy constructively.
It’s possible. 100%. I’m living proof. My family has reaped the benefits of my shift in focus. It started with me. My patients are benefiting. My clients are doing it too. And their kids are benefitting too.
The focus shifts, we create connection, lifelong healthier relationships, and we make it easy and fun. Right there: that’s Family in Focus. Now, it’s your turn. Join me.
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Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!
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