The Big “O” : Obesity

obesity

noun: obesity

the state of being grossly fat or overweight.

 

Shocking when you see it written down like that, isn’t it? Yet the dictionary definition of the term “obesity” is exactly that.

“The state of being grossly fat or overweight.”

With it being National Obesity Awareness week, I thought I would cast an eye over the subject, collect my thoughts and dish it all up for you with my own opinions on the side in a 3-part series throughout the week.

You can read part 2 here and part 3 here.

My Journey

It may surprise you but I have fought with my weight for almost all of my adult life. I have weighed 15 stones at my heaviest, 11 and a half stones at my lightest and just about every weight in-between at some point in my 37 years.

So, at 15 stones my Body Mass Index (BMI calculation) classed me as obese. At the time I didn’t feel like I was obese, only that I was carrying a couple of extra pounds around the middle. And this was even though I was working in a job that was active and I went to the gym at least three times a week.

I don’t believe that this is uncommon, in fact, I would go so far as saying that the majority of people reading this post have been or are in the same boat. I still struggle with my weight and continue to gain and lose a few pounds throughout the year.

Realisation

A few days before Christmas, I along with my family went to Alton Towers and its water park, Splash Landings. Something we do pretty much every year.

Even though I’m not obese, I still find it uncomfortable to wear only my swim shorts in a public place. If I think about it rationally, no-one is looking at me and they don’t care what I look like. But in my head, that’s not the case. Everyone is judging me and I don’t like it. The inner voice is there, reminding me that I’m not “model perfect”.  But then again, who is?

As I looked around me, I saw hundreds of other people all in their bathing costumes. One thing I noticed was that the vast majority were what I would call overweight and in many cases, obese. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t judging people. I was just observing them.

This led me on to thinking about the issue of obesity, the effects on our way of life and idly about if being obese was the next stage in our evolution of human beings.

I know this isn’t the case. Evolution takes millions of years and we have started to become obese only in the last 40 years or so but the thought did briefly cross my mind.

The facts of obesity

From the NHS website, in 2015, 27% of people in the UK were obese. A rise from 15% in 1993. 1 in 3 children at age 11 were overweight, a 5th are obese and we are the fattest in Western Europe. These are certainly some shocking statistics and I’m not sure where this leaves us as these are only going to get higher and higher.

It’s clear to me that as a society we are changing far too quickly and that evolution can never keep up. And if evolution can’t keep up, then what should we expect in the near future?

As it’s National Obesity Awareness week I want to delve deeper into obesity, it’s causes, history and where we are headed in another two blog posts throughout the week.

It is my hope that by shedding some light upon the subject and taking away any taboo associated with talking about it then I can go a little way to helping solve the problem.

Keep it simple

Tris

Don’t forget to read the second part in this series here

If you are interested in the subject of obesity then please let me know in the comments below.

What have been your experiences for good or for bad? You can even send me an email if you prefer. I’d like to hear from you.

obesity stop sign

 

This was first published on Fitbox Blog in January 2018

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