Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 8/9/2012 [Archive]

Martha's Big Adventure - Fat Love and Money

Martha's Big Adventure — Fat, Love and Money

By Martha Randolph Carr

There are only a handful of subjects that will get just about everybody's attention in the U.S.. The three biggest are how to lose weight, how to find love and how to get rich. All of them are billion dollar industries that often seem to be more snake oil than substance and are often the very definition of insanity for the average American.

They offer a variation of the same idea, repackaged, over and over again and we plunk down our hard earned dollars hoping this time the outcome will be different.

The diet industry is one of the most lucrative with an estimated 60 billion dollars in annual revenue and a growth rate of over six percent in the last 20 years. That's no wonder.

More than one third of all Americans now fall into the obese category, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC only expects that number to increase. In 2010, 12 states had populations with more than 30 percent who fell into the obese category. Compare that to just 10 years ago when no state put up such weighty numbers.

It's worth noting that the CDC is no longer talking about overweight, which is a lower range on the Body Mass Index scale but obese or at least 40 pounds overweight. This is the part of the BMI range where the chronic and preventable diseases such as diabetes, stroke or heart disease can alter someone's quality of life or even end it prematurely.

The problem has even gone global in a rather startling way. In 2007, the number of people who were obese worldwide surpassed the number of people who were starving.

For some reason when it comes to eating and weight we've possessed very little common sense ever since Twiggy, a reed-thin supermodel, first showed up in the 1960's and batted her fake eyelashes at us.

I'm not an exception to the mass delusion that's gripped all of us for a few generations and even led us to put soda machines in elementary schools while we were eliminating recess and cutting back on gym periods.

I've been writing this column for over three years now and for all three years I've talked about losing weight but without a lot of success. It started when I hit the eighth grade and discovered Seventeen Magazine. I haven't stopped thinking about food ever since.

Back then, the glossy pictures of girls who were wearing boyish jeans and had no hips while cute boys held on to them seemed to promise futures filled with glamour or at least nice houses with two car garages. All of those pictures seemed to be saying that if you want the best middle class life possible, you'd better be thin.

However, when I hit my 30's and 40's and career and parenthood made it harder to focus on food, it was too difficult to eat so little and I swung the other way till eventually I fell into the obese category. Over the years I threw a lot of money and effort at the problem, successfully losing the weight over and over again.

I know how to lose weight. But I couldn't figure out how to stay at a healthy weight.

Very few of the pop culture diet plans are really interested in helping someone maintain a healthy weight for very long.

Fortunately, it took me awhile but I have finally started to do a better job of living in the body that I have, even if it took me almost 40 years to get here. I found a group of people who are working on the same thing and asked for help. Together, we share our food plans for the day, every day and we take each other's phone calls when a cupcake or a plate of fries starts to look like a good solution.

We don't charge each other for the camaraderie and we don't give each other advice, which is a big departure from the old ideas. The results are that after just nine months at the ripe age of 52 I've lost 70 pounds and without worrying about every last pound or spending hundreds of dollars. There are still a few pounds to go and then the next hurdle is maintenance. More adventures to follow. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph with your weighty stories and I'll share them in future columns. Go to www.MarthaCarr.com to see before and after pictures. Email Martha at Martha@caglecartoons.com.

© 2012 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com. Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo.

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