Scientists continue their lifelong search for the “cure” for obesity, with each generation passing the torch to a new batch of dreamers. After looking everywhere else, researchers now peek into people’s genetic makeup, hoping to find and incarcerate the malevolent genes responsible for destroying people’s private property — their bodies. The mounds of research may conceivably stretch from here to the moon. Unfortunately, a review of the findings to date makes it apparent that researchers remain at the beginning of their quest to cure the obesity epidemic.
Is It Your Genes?
Do people’s genes hold a secret they refuse to give up? Based on personal and professional experience, excess body weight bears a closer link to emotions than it does to physiological predilection. Simply put, for many overweight people, the genes didn’t do it.
Drugging Your Brain
While medical problems contributed to excess weight gain for some of the clients in my weight management practice, the majority of them had the same defeatist attitude. When questioned about their lives prior to excess weight gain, they appeared to have rehearsed their stories and repeated them almost word for word. They led lives filled with stress, anxiety, feelings of insecurity, failed relationships and disappointments that negatively colored their worlds and fed their emotional reactions. Eventually, the negativity found its relief in food. Food contains potent chemicals that alter the brain’s emotional response. When people suffer physical pain, they reach for medication/drugs to ease their suffering. Food supplies the drugs for people suffering from the emotional pain of dealing with the overwhelming challenges life throws at them. This does not apply to the suffering induced by mental incapacity or illness
Take Back Control of Your Life
When people allow circumstances to control their actions, they become victims of life. Two stanzas from an old song, “Pick Yourself Up,” words by Dorothy Field, music by Jerome Kern, offer a solution most people consider too simplistic to work, but it does:
Nothing’s impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start all over again.
Don’t lose your confidence if you slip,
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.
Take control of your life. Do not blame your weight problem on circumstances or other people. Do not expect other people to solve your problems, and, more importantly, do not wait for scientists to find the solution in the inner workings of your brain. Diets do not work either. To lose excess weight, do not exceed your daily calorie allowance, and keep your body moving to burn off the excess fat. If possible, eat a healthier diet. Your body and your health will thank you for it.
Wake Forest Baptist Health, “Causes of Morbid Obesity”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Genomics and Health”
Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, “Why People Become Overweight”