I recently ate out at a local restaurant and was immediately overwhelmed by two observations. The first was the enormous girth of its diners. I had never seen so many bulging BMIs in one location in San Luis Obispo.
The second was the fatty food the restaurant served. Nearly every appetizer and entree was deep-fried and smothered in sauce. There were several healthy choices available, but they were well hidden amid the more caloric fare.
I’m not a dietitian. I don’t claim to be an expert on carbohydrates or grams of fat. However, I have spent decades teaching clients how to make good choices for themselves.
I don’t cast blame on the restaurant. While its food may be contributing to America’s growing waistline, it’s not forcing folks to eat its crème-filled desserts or fried lasagna. There are many ways to spend money on food. We have the ultimate vote with our forks.
Each of us is responsible for creating our own healthy lifestyle that promotes long term physical and emotional well-being. Healthy lifestyles are comprised of various components, including stress management, positive self-esteem, stable relationships, strong social networks, manageable schedules, regular exercise and wholesome eating habits.
When each component is running smoothly, we feel happy, well-rested and in control. When any one of them is out of alignment, we feel unbalanced and out of sorts. A serious problem, such as obesity, indicates that several components have gone terribly awry.
Excess weight is no different than other issues that negatively impact our well-being. Such diverse problems as alcoholism, depression, anxiety, ADHD, back pain and migraines all require sufferers to make wise decisions in their lifestyles to help manage their diagnoses. They may still need medical or psychological intervention. And lifestyle changes don’t guarantee they’ll be symptom free.
Yet the solution begins with a simple question: “What changes must I make in my life?”
Tips for making healthier choices
Identify your target. Sometimes the issue is obvious. At other times, it’s harder to name. You may even be reluctant to face it head on. Focusing your energies in the right direction means you’re closer to ultimate success.
Linda Lewis Griffith is a local marriage and family therapist. For information or to contact her, visit lindalewisgriffith.com.