Scared Straight

With most of my fav tv shows on hiatus for the holidays I turned to Netflix for some viewing enjoyment.  Now many of you know how much I like mindless entertainment.  Too much to be sure.  But as I was browsing the cue I found a documentary that looked interesting and one begat another and so on.  So here’s the list of what I watched over my winter break.

  • The Barkley Marathons
  • Finding Traction
  • From Fat to Finish Line
  • Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
  • Sugar-Coated
  • Hungry For Change

Running, nutrition and the dangers of sugar and processed food.  Fun stuff.

The Barkely Marathons and Finding Traction are about running; ultra and super extreme running.  Waaaay outside of my comfort zone but I enjoy watching people push themselves (from the comfort of my living room as I folded laundry).

From Fat to Finish Line was about a dozen folks running the Ragnar Florida Keys race.  The Ragnar is a 200ish-mile relay race with teams of 12 split into 2 vans of 6.  I’ve run a few and written about them before.  This story highlighted these people because they all had significant weight losses and took up running during their journey.  Truly inspiring stuff.

All of these movies shared the truly transformational effect that running has on people and more importantly how people can accomplish their goals.  Amazing.

I believe in the power of healthy eating and the importance for good health.  And I consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable about nutrition, as well as the problem of excess sugar and processed food in a typical diet.  Or at least I thought I did before watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Sugar-Coated and Hungry for Change. Well.  Mind.  Blown.

In a nutshell (because I could not do any of them justice in trying to adequately describe them), we are in big trouble.  We, the American people, eat crap, drink crap and are overweight.  Now don’t get all crazy on me.  I know there are very healthy communities and very healthy people withing those communities.

But the majority of adults over age 20 in the US are overweight.  And it’s not just adults.  Check out these stats below.

  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over with obesity: 37.9% (2013-2014)
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over with overweight, including obesity: 70.7% (2013-2014)

Source: Health, United States, 2015, table 53 [PDF – 9.8 MB]

  • Percent of adolescents age 12-19 years with obesity: 20.6% (2013-2014)
  • Percent of children age 6-11 years with obesity: 17.4% (2013-2014)
  • Percent of children age 2-5 years with obesity: 9.4% (2013-2014)

Source: Health, United States, 2015, table 53 [PDF – 9.8 MB]

So many people think that exercise is a huge factor in weight loss.  And don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to tell you that exercise is VITAL for a healthy life.  But the reality is that if you don’t change your diet, you cannot change your body.  And I’m not talking just about thin thighs or a six-pack.  I’m talking about your metabolic system, your organ health, your overall health.  See our body is a perfectly functioning machine. Before we muck it up with a Big Gulp and fries.

And while a few of the movies promote vegetarian lifestyles as well as juice fasts, etc.  I think that if we committed to eating at least 6-8 servings of (mostly) vegetables and fruits and cut out all or even just half of the processed foods and sugary drinks consumed we would be in much better shape.  Literally and figuratively.

Food for thought, right?

Now go run!

Keli 🙂









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