More than 1/3 of American adults are obese (34.9%), and roughly 2/3 of American Adults are overweight or obese. 15.5% of American teenagers are obese, and 30.4% of American teenagers are overweight or obese. As of 2012, 18% of kids ages 6-11 were obese, and more than 1/3 of kids and adolescents were overweight and obese.
Do you see a pattern here? We are definitely not getting healthier, at least in a big enough way to make a dent in these statistics. “In the last three decades, not one country has achieved success in reducing obesity rates,” according to Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and a founder of the Global Burden of Disease approach.
Have you ever heard of people writing their own personal obituaries even while they are still alive? Sounds morbid I know, but it has a point.
It’s easy to think your life has no meaning, or you haven’t done anything noteworthy, but is this really true? Writing your own obituary gives you a chance to reflect on your life and remember the highlights. How do you want to be remembered?
Maybe obituary is not the right word. Let’s call it a Celebration of Life writing exercise. Now is the time to write your own personal triumph story. Highlight the good stuff! Here are a few guidelines to get you started:
In 1977, Rick Hoyt, who was born with cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic told his dad he wanted to participate in a 5 mile charity run to honor a schoolmate who had been paralyzed in an accident. Rick really wanted to do something for him, and what he wanted to do was run. Obviously, he couldn’t run, but his dad could – and he could do it pushing Rick along the way. Rick wanted his schoolmate to know, life goes on, even if you’re paralyzed. Rick and his dad have gone on to participate in 1,108 endurance events, as of April 2014.
Rick’s schoolmate inspired Rick to action, and Rick inspired his dad to action. At age 36, Rick’s dad, Dick took up running and hasn’t looked back. This is the small, yet enormous effect we can all have on each other. One story – One person – Can change your whole life.
Kayla Montgomery is one of the fastest young distance runners in the country. She also has Multiple Sclerosis. Because of this disease, she can’t feel the pain in her legs while she runs long distances. She’s unable to control the finish when she breaks the motion. Her legs become numb, and as she crosses the finish line, she needs someone to catch her fall. That someone is her coach.
Coach Patrick Cromwell waits for her at the finish to literally catch her in his arms. Then, they begin an ice treatment, so she can regain sensation in her legs.
“Birds of a feather flock together.” Ever noticed how life is easier when you’re around people who share common interests or are working toward similar goals? There is a reason for this. Utilizing social support is one of the best ways to deal with and cope with stress. That is if you have access to the right people. Sometimes we all just need a little help from our friends.
The good news is research even backs this up as it relates to weight loss. In a study exploring the benefits of utilizing friends and social support during the weight loss process, Wing and Jeffrey (1999) recruited participants either alone or with three friends or family members and assigned them to a standard behavioral treatment with social support strategies.
Participants who were recruited with friends had greater weight losses at the end of the four month treatment and ten month follow-up.