Uncontrolled weight gain saddles a multifaceted group of people. Closer inspection reveals myriad individuals with lives, thoughts and feelings that do not register with many of us.
Meet Judy Lee of Albert, Canada. She has come to the United States again seeking a way to reduce her current weight of 275 pounds, which makes her feel almost ready to live her life as a recluse.
When you sit down by Lee, you feel the despair and see the tears well up in her eyes. You see a person who seems to have lost all hope. It may put you in an uncomfortable state of mind, but curiosity usually wins out and you find yourself asking, "What's wrong?"
Just imagine being sexually abused at age four by the man who is supposed to love and protect you from all harm. As Lee got older, the situation got worse, with her drunken father adding the pain of verbal abuse to the scenario. Still, she trusted him.
Lee's life path up to that point seemed to be on a collision course with an all-out disaster. Any opportunity to experience a normal, healthy childhood had been ripped from her so early that it led to major emotional and mental traumas that lingered into adulthood.
At nine years old, a school personnel staff member told her that she was fat. Weighing 145 pounds, she felt lost within a school filled with slender and attractive boys and girls. Alone, she endured the taunts and jokes of the other children.
When the unbearable school days ended, Lee would make her way back home, where the verbal abuse often would be waiting, further stripping her of self-esteem.
We have all heard the words, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." Not true when those words are focused on you.
Today, Lee spends her days keeping herself away from the public, attempting to avoid those who speak badly of her and to her. She tries to steer clear of those who can inflict pain without saying a word – their looks of disgust cuting like knives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34.4 percent of Americans are obese. The obesity rate of our Canadian neighbors is 24.1 percent, and Canada already has universal healthcare. So even though health care is provided, it is not enough. We must decide to do those things that are required to have optimal health.
We must be open in our journey to learn more about nutrition and the impact it has on our lives. The majority of individuals rely on myths, thinking they're immune from sickness and that it can't happen to them. While the details of your situation may vary from those that affect Lee, you, too, might have some type of mental or emotional blockage that affects you for some time. If so, it can have a devastating affect on your mind, body and spirit.
I'm happy to report that even though Lee was subjected to 40 years of abuse from her now-deceased father, she is finally relieved of some of those dark emotional clouds that caused her to not love herself. She Judy has begun to take the steps necessary to move towards healing and good health.
Maybe you're just like Judy and you have prayed at the altar and confided in a few trusted friends. But have you sought professional help for those mental and emotional issues?
Finally, remember this: Along the road to better health, we have to believe in ourselves and realize that the journey we are on is going to have peaks and valleys. The key is to stay focus and assured of victory.