Besides the fact that being overweight is one of the leading causes of deaths around the globe, obesity also has a great negative effect on confidence, productivity and overall well-being. Regardless of the efforts of national health agencies and nutrition experts worldwide, people are getting fatter and fatter. Up to a third of the population in many developed countries are obese while more than a half are overweight. But what’s even more frightening than this is the fact that people have started treating obesity as a disease even in cases when it’s simply an effect of an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
In 2013, the American Medical Association’s decision to classify obesity as a disease was generally met with admiration by the public, even though there were a few outraged voices as well. Technically, obesity is a disease in the sense that it decreases life expectancy and impairs the normal functioning of the individual, but in reality, this classification has allowed thousands of obese people to victimize themselves, providing them with an excuse for the state of their bodies. And it’s way too easy to get comfortable with the label of a victim, because this releases you from personal responsibility and self-reliance, which are vital to making progress.
“There are some people who are vigorously active, but this number is offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive,” says Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama. He and his team of researchers conducted a study on obesity and found that the average obese woman gets the equivalent of about one hour of exercise per year, while the average obese man gets about 3.6 hours of exercise per year.
Yes, it’s true that we all have different metabolic rates and some of us store fat pretty easily and have difficulty shaking it off, while others burn fat very quickly and efficiently. And it’s also true that our genetics influence our body composition and ability to maintain a healthy weight. Life is unfair; it has always been and always will be. But negating your own responsibility for what happens with your body will never make things better – avoiding confrontation with the mistakes you’ve done only makes it easier to avoid change.
So instead of hiding behind medical classifications and genetic excuses, we’d be all better off by accepting reality as it is. And the reality is that gaining weight is our own fault and it happens by eating too much and moving too little, as simple as that. Taking personal responsibility is the first great step to successful fat loss. If you’re ready to lose the excess weight and improve your health, your approach to it should be equally simple: Less excuses, less calories, more exercise!