In my research towards finding the real me underneath the layers of my dysfunctional coping mechanisms, I discovered there is a direct correlation between depression and obesity. In March of 2010 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, a meta-analysis of 17 community-based cross-sectional studies among adults revealed a “Positive overall association between depression and obesity.” What follows after are more nickel words and explanations of how you can trust the numbers than you can shake a stick at, but the overall gist is what we have known all along. Your mind and body are connected and if the mind isn’t healthy the body won’t be, and vice-versa. Now you would think that this information would be readily available to the public at large and the media, medical community, and your grandmother would be taking up the cause. I mean obesity inAmericais only at epidemic proportions right? Fifty Eight million of us are overweight (nineteen percent), 40 million obese (Thirteen percent), and three million are morbidly obese. (one percent) What does this mean? It means that more than a third of our population has a 55% increased risk of developing depression and of those who do develop depression; (if we aren’t already) have a 58% increased risk of becoming overweight over time. Let’s see if you can recognize the pattern in my own personal journal notes.
Journal Notes Recurring Theme
December 4, 2000: “I have said this to myself at least 100 times and I have decided to say it for the last time ever in my life. This is the absolute last year that I will be overweight and out of shape! I am 29 years old and I weigh 308 pounds. I am six feet tall and I am dying. I’m dying physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and it’s all because I hate who I am.”
January 1, 2002: “I am determined to do a couple of things this year. 1) I am going to build my best body ever. I have let myself go and I know good and full well that it is going to take more than 12 weeks to get there but you have to start somewhere an I figure a 12 week program is as good a place as any. So I have decided to make this new chapter in my life plot and sub plot. The main story line here is that after all these years of neglect and medical problems. (Diabetes, Pernicious Anemia, Lupus Anti-coagulant, asthma, etc.) I am going to get back in shape and be sexy again so that I can 2) take the world of opera by storm!
June 5 2002: It has been almost a week since I started my new training program. I hadn’t been able to feel my feet for a while and now I can feel them just fine and I don’t have that nagging tingling or numb sensation anymore. That is a hell of an accomplishment for a 300 plus pound man with diabetes, lupus, and a b12 deficiency.”
September 7, 2002: Serena and Venus Williams just played in the finals of the US Open. Serena clearly dominated her older sister capping a 3 grand slam run. She has won the French,Wimbledon, and US Opens. They are exquisitely beautiful, talented, intelligent, and successful. I have found my inspiration for doing what I was born to do. I was given a great gift a great talent. I was born to be a great tenor. I have told this story so may times that it has lost its significance to me. I have to learn to let go of the bitterness, pain, and sorrow of my forced failures so that they are no longer able to affect any response from me.”
The Bitter Senses
The bitter taste of justice unserved
The bitter sting of being kicked to the curb
The bitter smell of unavenged blood
The bitter sound of laughter from heaven above
My journals go on like that for years chronicling my health issues, unhappiness with my weight, and depression over my abusive childhood. It is a vicious painful cycle that has literally crippled the entire nation, yet the only solutions available to us are in pharmaceutical, pseudo-pharmaceutical and sweat and starve forms. You’ve seen the infomercials. Someone with a hot body shows up while you’re sitting there at 2am licking the last half hour’s cheesy poof dust off your fingers and cramming a home-made mayonnaise, fried egg, Swiss and cheddar cheese hoagie down your gullet. You see the rippling muscles, hear the sob story about how just 4 short months ago they were you, but now thanks to the break through ingredients in belly be gone they dropped 5 dress sizes 4 pants sizes and are now dating Kobe Bryant’s second cousin twice removed. Only then you notice your chest is getting tight and your body’s sore from just the thought of spending the next 90 days popping pills and beating your body like it stole something. This portion of the fight is psychological and you can not win the battle with out first taking this fight head on and winning it decisively. So the first thing go have to do is…