May 4, 2009
Posted: 08:05 PM ET
Bob Greene is a guest on tonight's Larry King Live. He is Oprah Winfrey's trainer and creator of the Live Your Best Life plan. His commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive.
As far as weight loss goes, there's a misunderstanding in that people want to make it about the foods you eat, and how much. While that's important, it's only about a third of the process.
Controlling your diet is what most people want to do, because it's the easiest thing to do. When people are asked, do you want to change eating habits or exercise, people choose eating. It would help if we became a more mobile society. We've become very stagnant. We sit at work, we sit at home, we don't move enough.
But the most important thing for those struggling with weight is they need to change how they live their life, outside of more exercise and changing their eating habits. Are you in a bad relationship, not happy with you career, have you lost your job, or is there some other factor involved? Eating to provide comfort is not right, and that's what really needs to change, but it is the hardest thing to change.
This doesn't just point to someone with emotional problems, or low self esteem. Self esteem is responsible in many cases, but it's better to compare being overweight to an alcoholic, or someone on drugs. Food becomes a coping mechanism, just like alcohol or drugs. Abuse victims often become obese. They need to act out, and food is often the easiest and least harmful way to do that.
Oprah's recent weight gain was not a self esteem problem. She's achieved a great deal. Her abuse has been well documented, and hard to overcome, but she has overcome it. Her current gain is a combination of factors. For 15 years she was consistent. When she gains weight, there's usually some devestating event that occurs at that time. Most recently she was diagnosed with an erratic thyroid, which caused irregular heartrates. Not knowing her medical condition, she was told to stop excercising, and the medications were disrupting her motivation and ability to exercise. Now she's off the medications, returning to exercise, and the weight is coming off. She's getting there. She looks much better, and more importantly, her motivation level has increased - she works out about every day and the results are becomming apparent.
Oprah is representative of what happens in many people. I can bet there's an aspect of their life they're not managing. The reason people gain weight back is often because they never solve the root problem of the weight gain. Weight is the symptom, not the problem. Food is the easiest substance to abuse - it's almost encouraged in our society. Most people that lose weight, and maintain the loss, keep it off because they've made more changes in their life than eating better and exercising.
If you don't address the root causes of your weight gain, long term success is not likely.
I'd like to also talk to you about a cause I feel very strongly about.
My family has a history of osteoarthritis. My grandmother has a serious case, my father has it as well. I work with many clients that suffer from it.
So I'm very excited to offer a free video about eating and exercise for those with osteoarthritis. It's available at movecampaign.com. It's very rewarding for me to offer this, especially for free.
The video talks about nutrition, exercises, and how it's important to talk to your physician and work with them on various types of medications that could work. It teaches you how to manage your arthritis and live a productive life.
People with osteoarthritis tend to avoid exercise, but actually exercise is good, you just need to do the right ones. Cardio exercises are especially beneficial because they increase blood flow to the joint, which promotes healing and helps lubricate the joints.
I hope you'll take advantage of this video and that it helps you live your best life.
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