“I’d Rather be Fat and Happy”

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

I just finished watching a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead; an interesting project by an Aussie guy. A first-time producer. It screened late the other night on some obscure channel here in Melbourne, so I recorded it to take a peek at a later date.

Snapshot

It’s basically a well-produced video account of a guy (the producer) who, for a range of common and uncommon health reasons, decides to lose a crap-load of weight by going on an extended juice fast (60 days) while traversing the U.S. He also connects with a bunch of interesting people along the way; from random strangers to selected medical experts. Of course there’s a little more to the story, but that’s the snapshot.

Now, I’ve never met or spoken to the guy, so I’m not here to do any kind of promo for his movie but if you are interested in weight-loss and all the associated psychological and emotional issues, it’s certainly worth getting your hands on a copy. On the totally-unknown Craig Harper movie rating scale (the one I just created), I give it four stars (out of five). While there were many interesting revelations to come out of the conversations as Joe (weight-loss juice dude) chats with a broad range of characters along his travels, there was a fascinating mindset that became apparent through many of the informal interviews.

On some level, many of the people interviewed were saying:

“I’d rather be fat and eat whatever I want than to (be forced to) eat healthy food and be miserable.”

Wow.

Imagine being ‘forced’ to eat food that will, not only drastically improve your overall health, function and energy levels (physically and mentally), but also potentially add years, or maybe even decades, to your life. Such a sacrifice.

How Did We Get Here?

So, how did we (well, some of us) arrive in this place? Where did this crazy belief come from? How is it that so many people associate healthy, fresh, whole foods with misery? Or with some kind of punishment? And I mean many people. Why are so many people terrified of fruit and vegetables? When and how did we learn this unhealthy lesson and arrive at such a life-shortening conclusion? How ironic that, despite the overwhelming evidence, people still associate junk food with happiness and a healthy diet with some kind of painful deprivation.

Here For a Good Time Not a Long Time

One seemingly-intelligent interviewee who appeared to be in his early fifties (a father of six) calmly stated that he would rather die at fifty-five while eating junk food than seek longevity through a healthier diet. He didn’t consider it to be a worthwhile option. Interestingly, the same guy had already survived one heart attack and subsequent surgery.

Double wow.

Sadly, this guy and his beliefs belong to a very large (in more ways than one) group. For many people, their problem is their thinking and the consequence is their body. While the collective mindset says that a life without high-fat, high-salt, high-suger, processed foods is somehow an inferior alternative, obesity will prevail.

And we’re meant to be the intelligent species. :(

As always, love to hear your thoughts and if you’re interested, you can take a peek at the movie trailer here.

If you liked this article, subscribe to my blog and receive my FREE eBook. Click here: I want a FREE eBook. If you’re interested in having me work with your organisation you can contact me here.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Suu February 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Until I can think of something else to write later, all I can say after reading this is – WOW, we sure have some Richard Craniums in this world.

Reply

chebbieanne February 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I know my comments may provoke annoyance but I have raised four children and have worked with mothers and families for nearly forty years so I have a little experience in this area. The first thing most parents do if the baby cries is to offer food.Baby’s first taste of solid food which in our society is usually stewed fruit is the next step. Baby tastes sweet stuff and mum is so excited that the baby can eat. Baby learns sweet equals approval from mum and you need mum’s approval to survive. Parents display anxiety with the introduction of vegies and then meat expecting baby not to like it. If the baby eats the vegie stuff they get a treat in the form of the sweet stuff to follow. As baby grows if it eats the vegies to get to the sweet stuff. Treats for growing children dont tend to be low fat low carb options. Children like sweet stuff – it tastes good and makes them feel good quickly. It is a pattern that grows as the child does. If you are good you get a treat= sweet stuff. Food becomes a reward. If you feel bad and you get a treat you feel good. It is not hard to see how we have established a pattern pretty early in life. Food in our society is less about the necessary fuel to sustain the body and more about reward, entertainment, consolation vs deprivation, control and acceptance.
Disconnecting from that mindset requires recognition, perserverence and determination three increasingly rare human behaviours.

Reply

Suu February 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Hear hear!

Reply

Sandi February 6, 2012 at 1:34 am

Great comments Chebbianne, totally agree.
Its all back to changing the habitual.GREEN is great : )

Reply

Dragon February 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Agree ! It’s a self perpetuating cycle….the challenge is educating people enough to break it.

taste buds vs intestinal fortitude

At a meta level the dependencies and power of lobby groups relating to the cycle you have described is so large that it would take an enormous amount of inertia to change it.

While it’s a bit off topic I think it’s similar in magnitude to changing people’s opinions about gay rights or gender equality. Think how long it took to get some degree of reasonable dialogue and change on those topics! I hope as a species we are intelligent enough to collectively recognise that there is a better way to promote health and wellbeing…and that it is a lifelong commitment. Perhaps this is the start…pay it forward :)

Reply

Cardinal Cyn February 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

excellent comment, chebbieanne. thanks so much. i guess the next question is: how to disconnect from that mindset that sees food as a reward, entertainment, consolation, control, acceptance, etc??

Reply

chebbieanne February 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

For me what worked was redefining food in my mind as fuel. I stopped looking at say a chocolate biscuit for example as a yummy or desirable thing to eat and asked myself whats in that for me. I look at or think about something I might want to eat and ask myself does it have enough of the fuel I need right now as in carbs or protein or fats. If for instance I want to eat pasta I will tell myself that yes thats fine but it is best eaten in the early part of the day and the next best opportunity to eat it may be tommorrow but thats OK. I am not denying me anything but I am managing the best time for me to eat it. Rewards and entertainment might be seeing a movie, having a massage or walking along the beach. I like food and eat what I need more so than what I see depending on what my body needs. Seems to be working well to date.

Reply

Suu February 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I can remember being told that if I was good I’d be rewarded with some sort of food too.
I couldn’t afford it when I had my kids but my grandchildren are being spoiled by being more than rewarded – they’re plied with crap food because their parents (yes, I’m admitting that my own sons are doing it) are too lazy to cook. My DIL went so far as to say that she missed out on chocolate and pizza while growing up and she’s not going to let that happen to her children. My granddaughter is 13 and weighs 79.8kg! My 2 year old grandson has muffins for breakfast and cake for lunch because “that’s all he’ll eat”. Funny that he eats real food here. I asked my son what catagory cake or chocolate is in, in the nutrition scale (carb? protein? vegetable?) and I was told his kids will grow out of it.
They saw me lose 50kg in 2004 by eating fresh food and walking so they know that it can be done without a regimental diet.
For me it was the emotional eating and rewarding myself for ‘good behaviour’ that got me to 110kg.
To begin turning it around before I carked it I knew that I had to forgive a few people from my past so I didn’t use emotional scars as an excuse, rid the house of anything not in my best interest (you can’t eat what’s not there), change what/where/when I ate, and beg my family for support.
Carking it because I was fat and happy? That is the biggest copout I’ve ever heard. I have fought to stay alive and I’m trying my best to be around to see my grandgrots grow up (and hopefully not any further outwards).
I won’t go on because it gets my dander up when I read stories like the one you’ve written about, Craig.

Reply

Anonymous February 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Fat & unhappy :( don’t eat junk food but can’t stop nibbling

Reply

Suu February 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Does anyone here eat choc/cake/biscuits/cheesecake/pizza, or whatever their personal bugbear is, because they think they’ll exercise it off or that because they lost 2kg in a week instead of 1kg they can get away with not eating healthily for the next week or maybe think that for 6 days you’ll be ‘good’ and then have a binge day?
I had a light globe moment of gigantic proportions that I’ve started to think I can get away with it because I’ve lost it before so I can easily do it again. (I’m 9kg over goal) Knowing this gives me a big kick up the rear to start thinking about success in a different way and start thinking differently.

Reply

Elad February 6, 2012 at 12:30 am

Interesting!…Im amazed at the amount of kids (& adults) that dont eat vegetables. How time’s have changed…
I grew up with home cooked meals & we always had to eat our veges, especially the green ones….We were sent outside with watermelon or grapes (& to see who could spit the pips the furthest)…Take-away (fish & chips wrapped in newspaper), chocolate & soft drinks were an occasional thing. Maccas KFC etc weren’t around…Am I showing my age yet :) …We had Phys Ed every morning at school and learnt about the food groups in primary school under the subject of ‘Health’……….Alcohol & late night burger joints eventually got the better of me for too many years. Now my drink of choice is water, I love my veges & salads, I like most fruits and I MADE my kids eat all their veges. They are young adults now and crave their vege fixes. I agree with much of what Suu says. ( Yes I have been guilty of doing the same thing) Lazy? .Convenience?..After all, its so much easier to drive through somewhere, pick up dinner, feed the family, then throw the ‘dishes’ in the bin.

Reply

Pip February 6, 2012 at 12:31 am

I can’t see myself ever having children…….but for some weird reason if it ever happens I always told myself that I will go as long as absolutely possible before introducing them to junk, processed food or excess sugar. And no food rewards! Healthy fresh non processed food tastes good!

Reply

Dj February 6, 2012 at 2:06 am

On Thanksgiving 2011, one of my sons and his wife discussed this video. Our family viewed this video and have incorporated many of the ideas into our daily life.

We all bought heavy duty blenders or juicers. My sons were raised drinking fruit and yogurt “smoothies”. Back then (over 30 years ago) they were not commonly made and did not have a name. Now, we have incorporated vegetables. None of us have a weight concern BUT we have a desire to be healthy. We make 1 -2 drinks daily.

We realized that we could not eat 5-6 daily servings of fruits AND veggies; however, we can blend or juice the daily recommended amount.

FYI: PHIL’S RECIPE

http://www.runningonjuice.com/2011/07/29/phil-staples-juice-review/

6 kale leaves
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
2 apples
1/2 lemon
lump of ginger

Reply

SuzanneH February 6, 2012 at 2:58 am

“How ironic that, despite the overwhelming evidence, people still associate junk food with happiness and a healthy diet with some kind of painful deprivation.”

It’s the same mindset that the person has who can’t give up smoking or drinking. The mindset of an addict. It isn’t that these people associate fruits and vegetables with misery it’s that they think their life would be miserable WITHOUT their junk food. The smoker knows that smoking can kill. The alcoholic knows that drinking too much can kill. Same with overeating and being obese. Yet to an addict a life w/o that addiction just does not seem worth it no matter the dangers.

Many many people associate good feelings with food. Like some of the postings above many many people are rewarded throughout their life with food. Festive times are celebrated with food and mostly too much of it. We are drugged with food and yes, sometimes to “shut someone up” they are given food.

Food is a drug to many people, myself included. And giving up that drug is very very difficult especially when that drug everywhere.

Reply

Dragon February 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

It’s also possible that we are disconnected from the decision making process – ie. its a habit as opposed to an addiction.

One simple example is “we always have fish and chips on Friday”. The catholics will understand :)

How many people invest as much energy and effort into searching for, understanding, buying and preparing what they eat as compared to …say…. finding a good coffee, picking what tv shows to watch, buying a new pair of shoes, doing their hair (not me – hardly any left), playing computer games…..

The more we are “in the moment” the better chance we have of evaluating the decisions – Do I need to eat this cake? based on how we respond should drive how we treat the habit / addiction…

The scary thing is I know a few people who are just not in the moment and think eating the well known takeaway foods (and feeding it to their kids) is the norm…which is precisely the type of person the show is talking about.

So is it incumbent on the more enlightened members of society to educate these people directly / indirectly? Normally mediocrity reigns supreme so why would this case be any different….

Reply

Byron B February 6, 2012 at 3:57 am

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead is a good movie. I saw it a few months ago. At least for US Amazon Prime members it is a free streaming movie. While I disagree with the man who said he was happy to eat fast and live short, I have some respect for his honesty of choice. The method of weight loss and life change in the movie is a valuable detail; the value of the movie is about choice and change, or not changing.

I had allergic reactions to all sorts of foods till I was 7 years old. Dairy and wheat are the 2 I recall, but there were others. Mom was thrilled to find any food I could eat that wasn’t then either promptly returned to the world or left me, and her, a miserable creature. I ate a lot of what I could eat because eating twice as much as I need surely makes up for the lack of variety! A doctor told me a few years back that my Swedish ancestry has my biology and psychology primed to eat everything available, pack it on, and I won’t starve through the cold long winter. Now I live within 5 minutes of food 365/24/7.

I’ve used those excuses to excess which comes back to the subject, while not nearly dead by the movie standard, I’m fat and sick. And just as the movie says, I can choose to be this way, or choose to be healthier. I know this is true because above all the parables, movies, self help books on the shelf, and great prose here from Craig (Thank you, you are awesome!) I have made both choices. More like cycle through them monthly, weekly, daily and hourly, and they work exactly as executed. And I’ll keep at it till I learn the lesson once and for all.

As for intelligent species, We are at our most beautiful at our best and our worst.

Reply

Anonymous February 6, 2012 at 4:17 am

How interesting this is!! I would honestly feel I had been unfortunate to have to eat fried crap every day!!!

Reply

Gayle February 6, 2012 at 6:23 am

Okay, I have pressed delete so many times because I just cant get this quite right.
Basically what people need to start doing is listening to what their body tells them about how they are really feeling. The head just wants that sugar rush, the fat fix…but its always only a temporary feel good thing. Digestion of that said food then makes the body protest. Eating fresh healthy food every day is just so much more of a rush when you think about how great you feel ALL the time.

Reply

Katherine Gordy Levine February 6, 2012 at 6:25 am

Both Freud and the Behaviorists agree on one thing. The pleasure rules and when pleasure is threatened, denial often grows stronger. None of the people in the film will be happy when death actually knocks at their door.

Will probalbly be linking to this in my blog.

Reply

Sherryl February 6, 2012 at 7:18 am

Aha, I was punished for not eating healthy food, mainly vegetables! Cauliflower was my nemesis.
The guy in this movie that Joe Cross helps makes me want to cry – we have a friend just like this. Hugely overweight with terrible heart and health problems, and he constantly denies that his weight is either part (Or most) of the problem. God knows what his doctors really tell him, because he insists that they have said his weight is not a problem. I’m guessing he’s lying. Sadly, we are just waiting to hear that he has died, and angry that he won’t do anything to help himself.
That’s what I call utter denial. But what you said about choice – that somewhere inside him he’d rather eat and be like this than diet – I understand that, but why? Surely there is a deeper reason?

Reply

Somalicat February 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

Carrot-growers don’t have the same advertising budgets as McDonalds, Burger King, Godfathers Pizza, KFC, etc. Have to fight the brainwashing done by big-corporate processed “food” providers. Perhaps Soylent Green is in our very near future?

Reply

Dora d explorer February 6, 2012 at 8:17 am

Thank you for bringing Joe into my world on a Monday morning. It’s my day off & i had already started the process of avoiding my gym session.excusse to much to fit in appointment s all day. And then Joe see words the only way to change the world is to change your self. I’ve changed into gym gear ready to sweat. What was i avoiding!? Wow id have to wash & blow dry my hair for my next appointment. Thanks again for the perspective.

Reply

Leah February 6, 2012 at 8:21 am

“Happy Birthday little ones, lets have a party to celebrate your life with some cake & lollies”, “Merry Christmas little ones, here’s some lollies and a day to overeat”, “Happy Easter little ones, Easter Bunny brought chocolate for breakfast”

Reply

PeggyH February 6, 2012 at 8:26 am

How timely. My husband and I watched Fat, Dead & Nearly Sick twice over the weekend and I couldn’t stop raving about it to friends at a dinner party on Saturday night. I’ve been juicing on and off for many years now (fruit and vegies) and the film reiterates everything I have experienced at a smaller level. Not only are the benefits evident, the juices taste amazing. Every time I drink it I say to myself ‘Nectar of the Gods’. I have the Breville juicer that Joe/Phil (from the film have) and swear by it. Go get one guys and start changing your health and eating habits today. Great too for people who don’t like to cook a lot.

Reply

Mazz (Mildura VIC) February 6, 2012 at 8:47 am

I love my sweets… no I crave them… and as soon as I start feeling stressed or run-down – the cravings are unbearable….

now the surprising news – my kids will throw a tantrum (not so good) in the supermarket (embarrasment) because I won’t buy this item if its more expensive than usual (like any other parents) but what you will be pleased with is that the offending item is….. STRAWBERRIES… not lollies, not toys, not chippies or pizza… but strawberries… and at one time banana’s… and another time it was pears… so you get the idea….

and my kids don’t get their protein (fish, chicken, etc) with dinner until they have eaten all their vegetables (they haven’t worked out that they still get it in the end)

First Baby Foods – were home made vegetable mash…

we had to do an elimination diet because my youngest son has dairy & egg allergies, and my eldest son’s behaviour was all over the place and his school work was being affected… BEST THING EVER – look up Sue Dengate: Fed up with Food Additives…

now our avoidance items are Artificial crap they put in the foods to make them 1) tastier / sweeter 2) last longer and 3) go further… no thanks…!!!

ice-cream – occassionally (when we can find one without natural colour 160b – also known as annato)
lollie bags from parties – some of it – the rest goes in the cupboard until they become stale and get thrown out
icypoles – nope CRUNCHAS (look them up they’re Lencia Orange Juice frozen)

its a long slow process – but my kids have 6 different vegies on their plates at dinner times…. carrots, beans, broccoli and cauliflour are the everday ones, then there is potatoes ( most days) and anything else that’s in season… and yes I have even cooked them Brussel Sprouts….

Reply

Mazz (Mildura VIC) February 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

PS… my morning Vegetable Juice Recipe is:

1 Apple (or Pear) – this is my sweetener
1 small Zucchini
1 full stalk of Celery – yes leaves and all
1 large handful Baby Spinach Leaves
1 Medium or 2 small carrots
small slice of Ginger
and optional 1/2 Large or 1 small Beetroot

sometimes I have added:
Mint, Garlic, Basil, other fruit (but only 1 type/serve at a time), cucumber (not my favourite food fresh or juiced), capsicum etc etc… but the above is my favourite – and if I don’t use alot of ginger my kids will drink it too… but they just prefer apple & carrot

Breakfast:
I cook up about 200gm of Brown Rice once a week and when its cooled down I add:
Coconut, Pepita’s, Pine Nuts, Almonds, Raisins or Sultana’s or Dried Apricots, Flax Seed, Sesame Seeds, and any other nuts/seeds – but again only a small amount of fruit for sweetness.

I take out a few large scoops into a Microwave bowl add about a tablespoon or two of water and microwave for 45-90 secs, then mix in about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of yoghurt…. this is my MUESLI mix!! and I am addicted to both of my morning foods now… the day is yucky without them!!

Reply

Marie Parr February 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

I would say that the people that ay “i’d rather be fat and happy than…..” are people that are addicted to sugary foods. The addiction is simular to nicotine addicition and it’s the same when smokers say” I smoke cause I want to. It’s my choice” – I’m sorry but NO It’s not your choice, You are not choosing when to have a smoke, the nicotine monster is telling you when it’s time to have a smoke. The thought of not having any more sugary treats as chocolate, cake, donuts etc.is to most people a devastating thought, simply cause they are addicted to sugar. Anyway… that’s my two cents worth of nothing ;-)

Reply

M@ February 6, 2012 at 8:59 am

Been ther. Felt that. Have the T-shirt.*
Took a long time to come to the realisation that you can eat healthy and really enjoy your food – too much addiction to high-carb/fat/sugar hits… and it was an addiction.

I had to go cold-turkey on it all for quite a while (like when I gave up smoking) in order to move on – and the withdrawl symptoms were a beeatch for a while.

I think that’s why many people can’t break the cycle of bad eating. The first few days/weeks make them feel so awful that they go back to the easy/comfortable path having never got through to the other side.

* – actually, there’s nothing actually ‘on’ the t-shirt – it’s just XXXL.

Reply

Chris February 6, 2012 at 8:59 am

I just read a boook called “Have you got the guts” and have been trying to pretty much eat fruit and veges for the past couple of weeks and have felt much better for it. I had a blow out on Saturday night and ate way to much chocolate, all Sunday and this morning I have had a “chocolate hangover” literally. The short term satisfaction, (actually it wasn’t even that nice I just kept going anyway) is not worth feeling under par for 2 days after!
Good point that chebbieanne makes though, I will keep that in mind with my little ones – maybe I’ll start with some fruit and then finish with the veges as the treat!

Reply

Ra February 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

If I might make a slightly different interpretation of the “I’d rather be fat and eat whatever I want than to (be forced to) eat healthy food and be miserable.” comment.

The issue may not be about eating healthy versus unhealthy food at all…. it might be about “being forced” versus “the right to choose for oneself”. The food is just a tool to battle out this emotional issue of a feeling of no control – of being dictated to by a world (friends, family, your local health fitness guru – said with love Craig) about what one should or should not do.

Perhaps it’s not about the food… perhaps it’s about the anguish of a sense of absolutely no control over ones life …. the outcome being “well at least I will eat what I damn well please”

From that perspective, the responses make perfect sense…. and give us a guide on the potential solutions.

Just a different perspective.

Reply

Mazz (Mildura VIC) February 6, 2012 at 11:29 am

consideration in progress….

Reply

Renae February 6, 2012 at 9:46 am

I bought and watched this movie about a month ago and did a 6 day juice fast and felt great. Have since passed it on to friends and family who have also started juicing.

Reply

Kirralee February 6, 2012 at 10:19 am

I’m a nurse and I’m amazed how many visitors bring in chocolate or biscuits or chips or lollies for patients that have had heart attacks or are diabetic or are obese! The response I get when I question the need for it… they deserve it they almost died or they are having a tough time
They are in hospital! When mothers have babies they are rewarded with chocolate…. Our perception of what food is horrible! We use it for everything else rather than just for fuel. I am guilty of it but I am also more conscious of it and find myself improving my own relationship with food… Its simply fuel nothing else! Hospitals don’t help most have vending machines most contain chocolate and chips with the occasional healthy option of Tuna and crackers but garunteeed the chocolate is the first to be empty I’m the machine. It’s sad.

Reply

Lu February 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

Fantastic effort Mazz! You are amazing. I’ve read Sue Dengate’s book too – great background. And sooo agree with everyone’s comments re addiction dictating poor choices. It’s so good that people are not blaming the victims but the addiction as it is clearly not just physical but psychological making bad choices.

I HATE to throw this one out there but surely it’s not just the proliferation of take away foods and burgeoning marketing budgets, it’s major modern lifestyle changes at force. The ONLY way that I can put a proper home-cooked meal on the table at six in the evening is that I have a supportive partner and run a home-based business. If I had to be collecting kids from child-care at six after having had to leave the house at 7.30-8am to get there in the first place, there is NO way that I could pull it off! As it is we are lucky enough to have our own veggie patch and to be able to source many of our other products locally. My kids mostly know where their food comes from and expect whole, natural, healthy, yummy foods. Last year on a road trip we had to keep stopping at the big M place and they were so pissed off! I think we need to teach people how to eat healthy in the same way that we need to teach people financial literacy. So no food blow-outs and no crazy consumerism!

Reply

Karyn February 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I have been a lurker since september 2009 and always love reading your articles. I am ‘totally addicted’ to sweets, lollies, chocolate whatever I can get my hands on at nightime. I eat extremely healthy during the day and drink alot of water and my drink of choice is actually hot water. Last december I broke my back at the gym and am coming along slowly but am unable to do much, after visiting the neurosurgeon last friday he said to start walking and slowly build that up. I need to wear the brace for another 6 weeks. I am extra worried and getting a bit down about the fact that I dont want to put on extra weight while I am trying to get better but I find I cant keep my hands off anything sweet at night…..I was addicted to smoking 2-3 cigarettes in private for many many years…help anyone please !! Also can anyone give advise on what/when recovery of broken Lumbar 2 compression fracture ? Thanks heaps

Reply

Sandy Fishwick February 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I stayed up to watch the program Fat Sick & Nearly Dead on GEM 1/2/12 started at 9.30 and finish just before midnight, late one for me, but I found it fascinating. I was Intrigued by people responses to the questions that the guy asked, even when they knew that what they were consumering was causing health problems and some were on so many tablets. I found the program to be inspirational

Reply

Rob February 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Feed your kids veggies. If they don’t eat them they go hungry. If they cry, talk to them but don’t give in. Oh, and yes, i have 2 healthy HAPPY veggie eating children. Also, lead by example! If you don’t want your kids to drink, smoke, swear, eat junk food etc you can’t do it either. Saying it is ok to do something because you’re a grown up is a piss poor excuse, toughen up on yourself and you won’t have to toughen up on your kids.

Reply

katie February 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

At work there is a “lose weight” program happening, now there’s a stress for most people just in the title. How about “lifestyle changing” month instead. It’s a good start though.

Funniest comment so far at the weekly weigh in -
“Great, I lost 1 kilo of fat and gained 3 kilos in muscle”
Apparently the beer and chips just had to be eaten over the holiday season with visitors. Don’t think he had heard of self control.

Reply

Suu February 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Rob – great post. Would love to see and hear about more parents (and grandparents) teaching values. Parenting seems to be a lost art.

Reply

Beach bear February 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Am i the only weirdo who actually think that healthy food is sensationally DELICIOUS???? And i actually CRAVE vegetables and healthy foods all the time. I cant even stand the smell of junk food and the other poisonous crap that these people think is a heavenly way to exist.

Yep i have convinced myself i am weird cause i asked around at work today and everyone thought i was from a different planet with my preferred food choices of fruit, vegies and lean protein over their maccas and fried pub lunches……well i am happy to be weird then!!!

Reply

Julie S February 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Unfortunately the advertising for junk food always shows, slim, attractive, healthy looking young people having a great time, living life to the full. Thank goodness for shows such as The Biggest Loser which show the REAL result of a lifestyle of junk food and inactivity. I am a full time working single parent and 6 out of 7 nights I make a home cooked meal – only 1 is takeaway. I also take my lunch to work each day. It does requires commitment, discipline, planning, and time but is well worth it, not only for the health benefits but for the hip pocket too.

Reply

Annie Mac February 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

You are definitely not the only weirdo Beach We have our box of organic fruit and veg delivered every week and just love the flavor of them. There is nothing better than a beautiful fresh salad full of great colours and a yummy protein. Followed bu some in season berries. We have becomed so conditioned that junk food is what we should like when my children were in primary school they thought I was the worst mum in the world because they had water or milk and all healthy foods everyone else McDonald’s for tea every night. They are all in their own homes now and it is wonderful to see that they are all brown rice organic veg and fruit when they can afford it fish. As someone else said in reflection of my own children that early life is so important.

Reply

Beach bear February 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Awesome thanks for that Annie Mac! Your kids are so lucky to have you, especially considering the terrible statistics of overweight children that we now have in this country. Maybe one day enough of us can convince the others that healthy doesnt mean bland or boring :)

Reply

Mickey Oddwin February 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm

It’s all about being active I’d say. It cannot be physically possible to gain weight while burning more calories than you eat. I’d put exercise before diet every time, then eat healthily enough to not get fat on the inside. If you look into it, there are certain foods that help cancel the negative effects of others.

Reply

Michael February 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm

To Julie the biggest loser is entertainment not realistic ways to lose weight.

Reply

Chrissey February 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

If you live on the Gold Coast, he will be appearing at woolworths at stock land shopping centre at burleigh on (I think it’s) this Thursday.

Reply

Sandy Fishwick February 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

I am thankful to my Mum who always made dinner every night and we took lunch to school every day. The only time sweet things were in the house was when it was your birthday. Even then mum made the cake from scratch and not from a packet. Today I still make my dinner and take my lunch to work. I have never eaten McDonald’s (don’t consider McDonalds food). Were I grew up there was no takeaway and I am glad because I have no desire to eat it. I am thankful to my Mum and Dad for setting a good example.

Reply

sarahsarah February 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

Watched a thing on TV the other night with Deepak Chopra and he was saying the reason so many peopl try to change but don’t make it is because of the desire for instant gratufication…he was saying when you choose between health in 20 years or the plate of dessert in front of you right now, the instant gratification comes from the dessert. I think its this kind of thing that lots of people (myself included) are guilty of and this is where the ‘discomfort or miserable feelings’ originate and get linked in our minds mistakenly with becoming or being healthy. Just food for thought…

Reply

Cardinal Cyn February 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm

loved the DVD, fat sick & nearly dead. inspirational stuff. also noted that attitude of ‘too hard & i’m happy as i am thanks’. coupled with that thinking seemed to be rather a lot of defensiveness, i thought.

Reply

Missbkcol February 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I do love my veggies and fruit and enjoy freshley prepared, aromatic, home cooked meals. There is absolutely no subsitute for it.

I also want to live a healthy, productive life and be able to continue to enjoy my good health and greatly improved mobility as my life moves onto different stages.

But, I do have to be honest and say that there are still times I crave a semi load of chocolate, Tim Tams, or a Nutella session. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I have days where it’s a battle with my thoughts of “give me a sugar hit now”, or “I don’t need that, it won’t nourish my body”, to “Oh come on, you can spend more time in the gym to work it off”.

I don’t come from a background of junk food eaters, or anything like that and yet there are times, I almost feel my car go into “auto pilot” mode wanting to make it’s way to the McDonalds drive through beckoning me to have just one cheeseburger! Arrrggghh! It can be scary stuff at times and not always easy to train my thoughts onto other, positive thoughts about food. It’s something I have to work at every single day. Even two years into my lifestyle change.

I’ve dropped 20 kgs during this change and I still have more to lose. Don’t want to go back to day one, or being the weight that I was, cause that really sucked major time for various reasons.

I can only speak for myself. For me it’s about taking things one day at time and learning how to get a better handle on the ‘mind frick’ and justification that goes on at times by telling myself it’s ok to load up on junk food and that it’s really no big deal, when it really is a ‘HUGE’ deal.

I know how we eat is up to us as individuals and that everyone has their own ‘story’ to tell, but I also think that the media machine doesn’t help matters. As much as there is plenty of great information out there about why we should eat healty and what types of foods are good for us and why we should exercise, there is also plenty of advertising, and it seems to be increasing about processed, fast, convenience foods that bombard our every waking moment. From TV, to magazines, billboards and on and on the list goes. Even sports people and celebrities promote junk food. It sends out a really nice strong message to kids and people in general that it’s ok to eat crap food.

Ok, I’ll get off of my soapbox now. Enough said! ;-)

Reply

Shirley February 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I do love fruit and vegies. I also love cake, chocolate, ice cream, pizza, biscuits, slices, smoothies, cheese, crackers, creamy pastas and curries, any kind of dessert….

We live in a culture of excess and instant gratification. Many of us have become addicted to food. It goes far far deeper than “knowing” what we should eat and do. We as a society will never reverse this. Sad, but true.

Reply

sweetpea February 8, 2012 at 5:18 am

If I said I was going to round up all the fat people on the planet and put them in prison, you would accuse me of kidnapping or slavery or both, you would probably ring amnesty international and shit… a whole array of people would be protesting with placards. Free fat people.. Cruelty to fat people…( Taking our lessons from Nelson Mandela .or Adolf) Having grown up with all my significant others being obese, and listening to endless excuses, and jibes, and having my mother try to push food down my throat (because I wasn’t fat) ..of course they were into self loathing and wanted anyone else to feel as crap as they did. Taught me life long lessons. Say no. Think for yourself. Don’t kid yourself and you do humanity a favour.
I’ve already told this story ad infinitum. An addict is an addict. The addictive cycle is punishing. That’s all I ever saw. Of course in one of those stages my rellos would say “I’m fat but I’m happy” and they were lying of course. They were so despondant at times I of course went the other way. I learnt more about being healthy…well making choices for myself, and never letting anyone tell you otherwise. Never had peer pressure, never believed the crap ads,
and went my merry way. Fast forward fifty something years…still the same. it’s not the food or the “fat” its the shitty mindset… and my fat relatives wanted accomplices, support systems, if fact if I had
allowed them, they wanted to make me in their own image, because
that would have made them feel better. They also were cruel at times..in my teenage years. Still resisted. How? I fed the dog …so it wouldn’t be obese too, I made my own meals. Commonsense?
I don’t want to put fat people in prison. They have done that themselves…consciously or unconsciously. Alcoholics have Al-anon, and gamblers anonymous have gamblers support for families of gamblers. Perhaps there should be Fat support groups for the relatives of fat people? Particularly kids that are subjected to this day after day….I mean it. My fat rellos…out of control…were hell bent on breaking my will to eat healthily. True story. I was a smart kid. They still struggle today and that mindset has invaded other parts of their lives of course. Shit self image for one.
I don’t need to put them in prison or enslave them. They put themselves in a prison of their own making. They decorate it, make it pretty, and keep telling everyone, they are happy.

Ka-ching, MacDonalds and the rest just cash in this psychology. We are talking billions of course. If all the fat people in the world stopped listening to all the bullshit and trusted themselves and loved themselves enough to make changes for their children…(lets not forget the dog) they would transform the world. and put a lot of charlatans out of business.

PS Remember when Oprah Winfrey lost all that weight… when she was skinny? She lost the connection with her audience.
As long as she was fat…they were happy…. its an epidemic.

So if fat people have the keys(which they do) how come they don’t let themselves out of prison? Oops…never mentioned a lettuce leaf once.

When we run out of scapegoats?

Forget the diet shakes-

Grab yourself an old shirt. (I asked my mum to do this she lost 15 kilos) Write all the shitty excuses you have, the crap you told people,yourself, or your rellos including I am happy that I am fat…pin all your shit excuses on your scape (coat). Wear it. Look at yourself in the mirror. Then hang it up …in your kitchen….

What is your truth?

Peace.
Let yourself out of prison. (you will give your children a gift)

Reply

Leslie E February 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Just watched the documentary. Very inspirational and motivational! Thanks for sharing :)

Reply

Alice February 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

“While the collective mindset says that a life without high-fat, high-salt, high-suger, processed foods is somehow an inferior alternative, obesity will prevail.”

Totally. And it’s the same with other things, too, for example alcohol consumption. Living without alcohol? “But I want to have fun once in a while!” (how much fun is it to wake up with a headache?)

Reply

Dragon February 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Now I’ve been told to go and buy a juicer….

Reply

Eve September 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I’d rather die at 55 than lengthen my life. Why? Because life is painful.

Reply

Anonymous September 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Life often is painful but often it is great. Sometimes we let the painful overshadow the good bits. We can so easily lose our appreciation that every day is an opportunity to find the enjoyment in life. I have often heard the phrase you wrote but rarely have I heard that I would rather die at 55 knowing that I had lived every minute to the fullest extent that I can. Life is not about length, but it is about content.
I learned the hard way that never is life more valued or wanted than when you are about to lose it – not through choice so much as through bad choices. It is at that point you fight so hard to stay alive that you realise that pain is a small price to pay for living. Life is not about being fat or being happy it is about living.
Being fat, thin, happy, sad, afraid,rich,poor,fit or sick are just experiences that form part of living but they are not living just extremes in the life experience. In the middle of all that stuff is life, your life, think carefully before writing it off because it is the most valuable thing you will ever have.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: