Diary of a Madman: Obesity in America

Posted: August 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


I have decided to dedicate at least one blog per week to an issue I find both concerning and personal.  Obesity is on the rise in the United States and I consider myself to be a statistic (albeit former) of this growing epidemic.  Obesity IS a preventable disease in this country and I feel as someone who has begun the escape from the “fat prison” it is my obligation to bring awareness and share as much as I can about preventing and helping others overcome this disease.

One out of every three Americans is now considered to be obese, and during the early 21st century, America often contained the highest percentage of obese people in the world.  The highest percentage!  What!?  As one of the world superpowers, one of the most industrialized and wealthiest countries on the planet…and we somehow have allowed ourselves to be the fattest!  Not good.  Until 2013 the United States had the highest percent of obese people for large nations until Mexico surpassed us.

In 2008 (and just extrapolate that out another 6 years) approximately 17% of our nations children were considered obese, 32% of men, and 35% of women.  One third of our adult population was in crisis as near as 6 years ago.  Statistics do not show a downward trend of that and has been cited as being the cause of 100,000 – 400,000 obesity related deaths in our country.  Man, there are a lot of we can and will pass away on, but to lose your life over something that can be prevented is too much of a shame. 

There are too many stats in regards as to the cost to Americans dealing with this disease so I am not going to go into all of those.  My point here is to bring awareness.  Many of you reading this are already beginning to transform or have been leading a healthy lifestyle…not all of this applies, but we all know someone suffering from obesity, child or adult.  We all do. 

I was one of those and it took a long, long time for me to recognize the dangers to not only myself, but what it was doing to my family.  As a “Previously Fat Guy” I know how it feels to be around those fitter than me, people who could buy regular sized clothes, or were confident to get in the pool, or tuck in their shirts! (Rosie O’Donnell said once, “Confident people tuck!”). Not a fan of Rosie but those words hold true.  When you feel good about yourself you do things that represent that.  Tucking my shirt in was a big one for me.  It meant I was making progress on my fat loss journey.  It was more telling than the scale in my own opinion.  I also measured progress by the holes on my belt. 

However, many people stuck in that obese category feel trapped and most will tell you they are lonely as well.  That doesn’t even address the myriad of health issues, uncomfortable aches and pains, embarrassing situations that come along with being obese.  If you are lucky nobody pokes fun at you to your face but obese people are a target and that does not help ones self -esteem.  Trust me.   I went many years not wanting to look in a mirror because my face was fat. Try shaving with no mirror – I switched to an electric razor to solve that problem  Instead of dealing with my weight and health I switched razors…nice.

The Obesity Action Coalition does a great job trying to combat obesity through education, solutions of all types, and through programs aimed at eliminating fat biases ( http://www.obesityaction.org ) particularly among children.  If you have a chance, visit their website and educate yourself about the dangers of obesity and maybe, just maybe we will all take the time to help someone in need. 

This is a very preventable issue and I hope people can see that if I can get up and decide to make a change for the better, others can to.  Its not easy, in fact its hard, very hard.  But oh so worth it.  So I ask a few things of you here…

1. Encourage someone to start making healthy lifestyle choices…whatever they maybe…anything is a step in the right direction.

2. Educate yourself a little bit on the causes and solutions for obesity.

3. Don’t be a afraid to share your concerns with someone you know or love who is suffering.  Many obese people are intimidated to ask for help and feel trapped and are waiting for someone to give them the nudge they need to make a change.

4.  Be kind…you know what I mean.

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”








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