I have a client named Larry who is genetically predisposed to being overweight. I have met his parents, one twin brother and two sisters. All are severely overweight except for Larry. His twin brother weighs 75 pounds more than Larry. Throughout his adult life, up until about age 40, Larry was also overweight. While everyone else in his family had resigned themselves to being overweight, Larry decided to take some action against his genetics. Realizing that it was an uphill battle and the cards were stacked against him, Larry attacked his weight issue with determination and unwavering focus. After one year, Larry lost 80 pounds by making a complete lifestyle change. He did not utilize a formal diet plan but instead learned how to prepare and eat in a healthy way for a better quality of life. And a better quality of life he does have and so do his wife and two children. All are very fit, run 5k’s, 10k’s, and half marathons regularly as well as resistance train and cycle. NO ONE IN His IMMEDIATE FAMILY IS OBESE. Larry altered his genetic conditioning and most likely his wife and children as well.
Life and family does not always give us the perfect genetics. We may have physical traits (genetics) that challenge us to grow and create healthier generations than those who have come before us. Some of us have things that are called predispositions. We are at higher risk, or “predisposed,” to struggle with certain physical, mental, and emotional conditions through genetics. For example, the people in my family have a long history of alcoholism, addiction, depression, and anger issues. I have traced back these issues with my family and found that we as a family have struggled with these problems for over 150 years. Despite this, most been productive members of society. I also have family members that are at risk for being overweight because of a “carb sensitivity.” Some of us in my family have to be careful because carbohydrates convert to fat quickly within us. It is my task (and should be yours) to recognize that I have genetic traits that may predispose me to certain things such as weight gain and carb sensitivity. I do not believe I am a victim because of this and have accepted this without judgment of myself and/or family members.
Barrier to Success
Something (or everything) is against me.
Unfortunately, many people believe that they cannot accomplish goals because they are “lacking something” or that something or someone is “against” them such as age, failures in the past, current weight, economic level, environment, family, spouse, physical limitations etc. On the other side of the coin however is the person who has accomplished the goal you are seeking and has had greater or equal “disabilities” that would inhibit the change they are seeking. They were able to accomplish the goal despite the assumption that they are at a disadvantage. Below are some examples:
- I have tried in the past to lose weight and I have never been able to lose it and keep it off. I am starting to believe that I am just supposed to be this weight.
- My husband does not support me with my health goals. It is harder for me because he brings all of the bad food into the house and tempts me.
- My [mother/coaches/teachers/classmates] criticized me a lot about my weight when I was young. I now feel that whenever people talk to me about my weight whether it be doctors, trainers, or friends I automatically feel “attacked.”
- People don’t understand how hard it is for me. Other people can lose weight and eat anything and I put on weight just looking at food. I get angry at people who are skinny and overeat and feel that it is unfair to me.
- All of my friends eat unhealthy foods and drink. It is hard to resist and everyone gives me a hard time when I try to eat healthy foods when we are out.
You do not have to surrender to the barriers that you have whether they be physically with genetics or the failures that you have experienced in the past. Beginning today, you can take control of the food that you put into your body and the amount of exercise you do. Many of us have predispositions that lead us to gaining weight easily, impulsive responses, addictions, and other unhealthy outcomes. Please choose to be as healthy as you can for yourself and those who love you! Please choose to have people in your life that will challenge you to be healthier and ultimately happier! Please give energy and thought to only how you can be successful and healthy today! Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift and why they call it the present! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines evidence based behavioral health research with 12+ years as a personal trainer to provide the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com. Good luck on your health journey!