As you push forward in setting goals and objectives this year... here's something to consider -- California came in 22nd this year in America's Health Rankings and 5th in Obesity Rankings...but the trend is upward, as it is all over the country.
The graph below shows - as we all know - that obesity is on the rise in California and across the nation. And it's time to take a stand for our health!
The question is - what are we going to do about it? The answer is simple, but not easy.
As Daniel Duane so eloquently pointed out earlier this month in his article "Everything you know about Fitness is a Lie" -- treadmills and weight machines are making us immobile and bored.
Movies and books such as Hungry For Change, Food Inc. and In Defense of Food are exposing the facts that "low fat" diets, low calorie foods and the diet industry at large are making us fatter and increasingly unhealthy.
So if what the paid media feeds us about the next great workout fad and diet craze that will give you those flat abs is a lie..... then what?
In order to combat obesity, America needs:
1. Body Awareness Humans, as a species, have shut down our body/mind connection in the name of hard work, efficiency and convenience. If we're going to take back our health, the first step is to get back into our own skins. Notice that packaged, processed foods and hours on a treadmill make us tired and sluggish. Be aware of just how good a Yin Yoga class can feel to an immobile, desk-bound body and how much energy an organic, veggie-packed salad brings!
2. Home Cooking A few amazing, healthy restaurants notwithstanding, you are taking your life in your hands by entrusting your nutrition to companies and restaurants that make money by feeding you foods that make you want more. Learning a few, basic cooking techniques - like roasting a chicken, putting together a salad or making soup! - is what will save our nation's health. Read a blog, ask for help and make some mistakes. Health home cooking could save your life!
3. Happy, Natural Movement I choose to use kettlebells and vinyasa yoga to move because they mimic and expound on our most basic movement patterns: pick up a heavy bag or box. push a child on a swing. twist around to look at a beautiful sky or roaring ocean. You out there? Find something that makes you happy! Leo Babuta has a beautiful philosophy on fitness -- pure, childlike movement. Find something that makes you feel that good all the time.
Personally, I spent years trapped in fad diets, on the Stairmill and out of my own body. My journey to health has been such a blessing, and I truly hope that this year is an amazing step in your own process and progress. Love the learning! Love the "in-between" times! Love yourself exactly as you are... and love yourself enough to care for your body for years to come.
Happy New Year!