OVERWEIGHT: THE FOURTH SYMPTOM THAT STANDS BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR DREAM LIFESTYLE

Changing your nutrition will give you the energy to be a world-beater. You may have been making the wrong nutritional decisions for decades, but changing your relationship with food, and your weight, will show you that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. It’s about discipline and demanding more of yourself – and getting it.

Although there are exceptions, the vast majority of unhealthy executives are overweight. Many of these are more than overweight: they are obese.

Years of poor nutritional decisions and a lack of exercise have left the executive unable to control his or her weight. According to the International Journal of Epidemiology, if left unaddressed this can dramatically shorten their lives:

  • <5 years of obesity increases the risk of mortality by 50%
  • 5-15 years of obesity doubles the risk of mortality
  • 25+ years of obesity increases the risk of mortality by 250%

As if this weren’t enough, there is the embarrassment that goes along with weight gain as well. For too many unhealthy executives, the shame that comes with the struggle to control their weight keeps them on the sidelines of life.

Though the overweight are frequently the butt of cruel jokes, the social distress caused by excess bodyweight is no laughing matter. They often find refuge in work, which only sends them further down the weight gain spiral.

The warning signs are unmistakable.

Photos are avoided, and the executive learns how to hide under layers of baggy clothing. The increase in weight comes to the attention of the GP who advises the executive to lose weight.

However, without a plan or a person to turn to for help, excuses pile on top of excuses. The GP is told, “I don’t have time to exercise or go on a diet”, and it’s left at that. Family members and loved ones become worried. They encourage the executive to do something about their weight.

The executive gathers the courage to sign up to the gym, tries Lite n’ Easy, cuts alcohol, or perhaps all three. The Monday results are promising, but stress, pain and fatigue catch up with them and they give in to the pressure—they give up. The weight they lost during the week comes back on, and by Sunday night they are heavier than before.

For those who have struggled with their weight, this often becomes a cycle without end.

Short bursts of motivation, initially promising results, a stumbling block, and old habits take over again. Soon it’s too late to reverse the tide without help. The executive goes from being overweight to obese or from borderline obese to morbidly obese.

The extra weight causes a secondary illness, like type II diabetes, high cholesterol or unbearable chronic pain. Worst of all, with each failed attempt to do something about their weight, the prospect of a pain-free and healthy life seems to retreat over the horizon.

Not only are stress, pain and a lack of energy constant burdens, the executive also feels that things will never get better.