Is It Chemicals, Not Calories?

woman holding tape measure around stomach bw
Yay, America! We’re the fattest!
credit: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Ok. I’m going to just say it. I’m probably going to offend a few people, but that’s not my intention. Here goes: We’re FAT. In fact, we’re super fat, and it’s not okay.

Over the past 50 or so years, obesity – that ever popular killer – has risen from 13% of the US population, up to 35%. That’s massive. That is a MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS. Good old America has some of the highest rates of obesity in the entire world. Yay for the land of plenty (note heavy sarcasm here). Medical costs associated with obesity were estimated to be around $147 Billion in 2008. And those stats are just for people who qualify as obese. There are plenty more people who are technically “overweight”.

How did we end up this way? Our instinct is to search for a smoking gun…the one thing that caused us to become overweight. How many times have you heard this: “If I just ___________, I’ll be able to lose weight!” That blank could be “eat less”, “exercise more”, “watch my calories” “manage my stress”. But when it comes to our health, there very rarely is a smoking gun – it’s not often that one single thing is the cause of any health condition. It’s all part of a cascade of events that sets things in motion allowing our health to weaken. So what cascade caused us to claim the title of fattest country in the world???

During the past half a century, three big things happened that shifted the way we live, each one of them playing a role in our expanding waistlines.

1.) Industrial Revolution Reinvents The Work Day
Okay, so this one goes back further than 50 years – but you catch my drift. Over time, our workday became less physical and more automated. We became desk sitters (she writes while sitting at her desk). We have more “things to do” and less time to play. Less time to play (i.e., sports) equals less physical activity, coupled with aforementioned desksitting equals a bigger

2.) Industrialization Of Food
Cue 4,859,289,018,993 (totally made up number) extra, and often empty calories that our bodies don’t know what to do with. And we love industrial food because our longer workdays, busy lives, and money spending means we don’t have time for real food anymore. We are lulled by convenience. Fast forward 40-50 years, and you can walk into a bookstore, hardware store, or drug store and buy food (remember the days when you couldn’t even bring food or drinks into a bookstore!?). If you live in a city, you likely can’t walk half a block without there being immediate access to something to eat. And this super processed food leaves your body in a state of total havoc – it can’t figure out how to digest, process, assimilate, break down,
utilize most of what we’re eating.

3.) Chemicals In Commerce
Over the past 50 years, over 84,000 synthetic chemicals have been introduced in the US. That’s a lot. ALMOST NONE OF THESE HAVE BEEN TESTED FOR SAFETY. There are hundreds of chemicals that you encounter every single day. Turns out that a bunch of these chemicals have their role in making and keeping us fat. Yikes.

Most people feel like they’ve got a pretty clear understanding of Big Thing One and Big Thing Two, but the vast majority of people aren’t aware of Big Thing Three – Chemicals.

As health coaches, you’re on the front line of this epidemic of overweight and obesity. Regardless of what type of client you work with – whether it’s someone who’s looking to balance their thyroid, to manage their stress, to tackle emotional eating, or to get pregnant – losing weight will surely come up. In talking to probably a hundred health coaches, I don’t think I’ve met one who didn’t have clients coming to them wanting to lose weight. It may not be their primary reason for seeking you out, but it’s there. The “Well…it would be nice. Not a huge deal, it’s more important that I balance my thyroid, but if I lose a few pounds in the process, I’d be sooo happy!” types.

So, you’ll help them with Big Thing One (physical activity) and Big Thing Two (eating amazing, healing, health-supportive whole foods) and you’ll likely help them with other things like self-care, spirituality, connection, relationships, etc., all good and juicy stuff.

But you can’t turn your back on Big Thing Three (chemicals). An entire class of chemicals is now being implicated in the incidence of overweight and obesity.

Join me on Tuesday, February 12th at 5pm PST / 8pm EST for Chemicals Not Calories: Uncovering Obesogens: How Toxins Are Making & Keeping Us Fat. This is a totally free training call to bring you up to speed and uncover this class of chemicals and how they are contributing to our struggle with weight gain and losing weight. If you’re a health coach with clients, or someone who plans on seeing clients ever, you really do need to hear this. The call is free, and it’s going to be awesome. If you can’t make the call live, you can still register, and I’ll send you the audio recording afterwards.

Register here:

See you there!

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