Do you struggle with your obese clients and patients? — Are you struggling with obesity?
Do they seem to stay obese, whatever advice you give them?
Would you like to have somewhere to refer them where
they can Live Free From Obesity, forever?
Dear Health-care practitioner,
In the USA the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) reckons that in 2008, obesity was costing the US economy $147 BILLION!
Obesity costs the UK economy £2 billion a year, according to Liam Donaldson, as reported in the BMJ, and that was in 2003 [BMJ 2003;327:1308.5]. The costs of just managing diabetes are enormous if you are going to follow the Quality Outcomes Framework 2009/2010, let alone the costs of the medications.
And how many of your obese patients actually comply with your recommendations? How many of them actually reduce their BMI to within recommended levels, and keep it there for the rest of their lives?
And if you are reading this and you’re either not a health-care practitioner but are obese and despairing of cracking this serious health problem, or you are a health-care practitioner but are obese yourself, then how helpful, how useful have you found the recommendations for dealing with obesity that you are given? How often do the guidelines and recommendations really help?
How would it be if there were a programme where obese people could:
- Achieve a healthy body weight,
- Retrain themselves to eat healthily, and
- Keep it up for the rest of their lives?
My name is James Hardiman, and in May 2009 I was 322 lbs (that’s 23 stones for the Brits reading this, and 146 kg for everyone else). I had been diagnosed with Type II diabetes 15 months earlier which I kept under control by medication. I monitored my blood sugar with a little machine that fired needles into my thumb to get blood. My blood pressure was unhealthy (180/110), and my cholesterol wasn’t too good, either. I was 61 years old, and I couldn’t walk a mile without everything hurting.
When our dog, George, needed walking, I’d drive Susan, my lovely wife, and George to one end of their favourite woods, and then I’d drive to the other end, and sit in the car waiting (or should that be “weighting”) for them.
Now that seems pretty lazy, doesn’t it? But consider this. Have you flown anywhere recently, and packed a suitcase, and wondered whether it was within the weight limit?
Just picture that suitcase, and just remember how heavy it was. If you were close to the weight limit, then that suitcase weighed 50lbs or 23kg.
How far could you walk carrying two of those suitcases?
Because that’s how heavy I was. At least two maximum-sized suitcases overweight. Actually, to be brutally honest I was two suitcases and a pretty big overnight bag overweight. So no wonder I couldn’t walk very far! Especially up any sort of hill.
If I had been life-insurance company, I wouldn’t have issued myself with a policy.
Then something happened that started to change everything. I met a woman who we hadn’t seen for about three months. She looked stunning! I hadn’t really ever thought of her as overweight; certainly not obese. Maybe just a bit chubby. But she had obviously lost a load of weight, and about 10 years in age, too. Later she told me how much she had weighed, and I realised she had been obese!
I asked her what happened, and she said she’d given up eating. My jaw dropped.
“How does that work?”
She said that she reckoned that she was addicted to food, and that, of all “substance abuse addictions” food is the most difficult. After all, it may be tough, but you can give up alcohol, nicotine, crack cocaine, weed, or whatever else you’re hooked on. But you have to eat to live.
And you didn’t grow up from as early as you can remember with your mum saying, “come on darling, just another puff, finish your cigarette for mummy, think of all those poor third-world children who don’t have enough cigarettes each day”.
(At least, I hope you didn’t!)
A little voice, deep inside my head, shyly admitted to itself that it had been wondering if I was addicted to food.
Our friend had found a weight-loss programme that provided nutrition (really excellent nutrition) but meant that you didn’t eat food. Which was tough, but she said she found abstinence much easier than cutting down.
It sounded difficult, but it made sense. And “difficult” seemed preferable to “dead”. The idea appealed to me, so I researched it on the internet, I applied, got accepted, tried it, lost 100 lbs (7 stones, 45kg).
In seven months.
If you’d like to know what Dr David Haslam, Chair of the National Obesity Forum, has to say about this system, check out the video, here.
- It transformed my body but it didn’t transform my life.
- It cured my diabetes (in four days, flat!)
- It cured my high blood pressure, my cholesterol, the diabetic neuropathy in my feet.
After a month on the new nutrition plan I discovered what I now call the world’s second most fun, and first most effective form of exercise, Nordic Walking. Both Susan and I became trained NW instructors, we set up our own company (Walking for Happiness), and have taught Walking for Happiness across the world.
Using Walking for Happiness I went from dedicated couch-potato to where I was able to walk 47 miles in three days (even my dog, George, couldn’t keep up).
The problem was that when life threw me a situation that I found difficult to cope with, I turned to the source of comfort I used all my life, and rapidly headed back towards square one!
So I have spent the last two years researching and working on the missing piece of the puzzle. I now say that to fully attend to every aspect of living free from obesity, we need to attend to the M.E.N. in our lives! That’s:
- Mind (Connection)
To learn about the nutrition aspects of Live Free From Obesity, check out this forum post of mine. And to learn more about Walking For Happiness, watch the videos: what GPS thought of Walking For Happiness, What walkers thought of it, and my own story.
So why do I want 36 obese people?
… because the “Mind” part of Live Free From Obesity trains groups of people to support one another to become what I call “Golden People” (and Golden People can achieve health easily) in a process I call “Together We Can“. And I need the first group (what I call my “Beta Test Group”), both to teach, and to join! I need the group! I believe that if we are obese then we are almost definitely addicted to food, or, at least, addicted to eating too much of the wrong sort of food. I also believe that addiction is, at the very core, the body’s and the mind’s way of trying to get something that it needs by looking in the wrong place. We have all heard of comfort eating. Eating too much, especially of the “comfort” (that is, high calorie) foods, doesn’t really bring comfort. But in a Together We Can group we learn how to build connections to one another in what I call a “clean” way. We learn processes for clearing out old hurts, and we learn ways of building “earned secure attachment“. Thus, while we are going through the process of losing the weight, and getting fitter, we are also learning to derive our comfort and our self-esteem from healthy sources, not from candy bars.
We are about to run our first ever Together We Can group in Central Florida, USA: I need (at least) 36 Obese People to join it! If you have patients or clients who you think could benefit (and especially if you think that you could benefit), please sign up below.
To be kept up to date on information for Health-Care Professionals (such as special introductory talks — we’re aiming to run our first in WInter Park, Florida in Dec 2012–where to get stocks of leaflets, etc), please click here to sign up (you can unsubscribe at any time), or fill out your details below. If you’d like a copy of the free book, just click this link.
Many thanks for your attention, and I look forward to hearing from you.