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Being Reasonable

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I caught the end of Pounding Away At America's Obesity Epidemic on NPR's Fresh Air. Dave Davies was interviewing psychologist Kelly Brownell, who is featured in A new HBO documentary series, The Weight of the Nation, and directs the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.

Here's what I took away from the 20 minutes or so I was listening.

"The diets that tend to work the best over the long term are when people make reasonable changes that they can live with. So instead of going on some special diet, eat what you know are healthy foods, in reasonable amounts, try to get as much physical activity as you can and just stick to it over the long term." - Kelly Brownell

That's really what it's all about and I can never hear this message enough. I've done the crash diets, the low carbs, low calorie, meal skipping diets and sure, they work, but only for the short term. But when you learn how to eat healthy and you combine that with being active you can't lose. That's how you lose weight and maintain that loss for the long term.

The second nugget I took away was when Brownell said this (I'm paraphrasing):

The treatment of obesity is such a difficult enterprise because people have such a hard time staying on a "diet" for the long term and that is why it's so important to prevent obesity.

Isn't that the truth?! We all know how hard it is to lose weight. Brownell talked a lot about preventing obesity with things like sales tax on high sugar foods, outlawing sodas at schools, requirements that fast food chains can't be within a certain perimeter at schools. And he said there's research that shows that when kids eat healthy at school it continues on at home. Just think how much easier it would have been to learn the correct way to eat from the beginning of our lives.

I think a huge part of the reason that I've lost weight and kept it off is because I'm active. It helps so much, in so many ways - sure the physical benefit of weight loss is great, but it's the mental and social benefits that are worth mentioning as well. This past Saturday I went to the third annual Y for All Zumba event at my local YMCA. This year's theme was Zumba 500. We raised around $1,000 for YMCA Camperships. Here are a few photos from the two hour Zumba party!


Emily and me
My fabulous Zumba instructors!
Zumba 500

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