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June 30, 2013

FLASHPOINT: American Medical Association wrong to call obesity a disease

The American Medical Association (AMA) now classifies obesity as a disease. The AMA said in a released statement that the new definition would help in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which are linked to obesity.

Obesity should not be classified as a disease. When it comes to issues of weight, unless there is a true underlying medical condition, which isn’t the case most of the time, your weight is your responsibility. Classifying obesity as a disease does nothing but add to the psychological delusion that being fat isn’t our fault.

Americans love to play the blame game. People say they’re fat because of the food manufacturers, the restaurants, portion sizes and more. It’s everyone’s fault but our own.

Americans have been programmed to believe diets don’t work because of the inability of the average person to stick to them, and their unwillingness to take responsibility for their own failure.

Make no mistake: many diets work very well and have been scientifically proven to do so.  Because an individual lacks the mental toughness to stick to a diet doesn’t make the diet any less effective. People have a difficult time accepting their own behavior so they blame their diet. That’s no different than a college graduate begging for money on the street and then blaming the school for his failure to succeed.

People battling weight have failed on so many diets they begin to believe there’s something mysteriously complex about getting thin and healthy. It’s a psychological phenomenon that holds people back from building the body they desire and deserve.

Fit people know weight loss is as simple and straightforward as making a commitment to change and being mentally tough enough to stick to their commitment. The configuration of the diets themselves can be very complex, but adhering to a diet is as elementary as having the willpower to keep your word to yourself.

People who battle their weight have no credibility with themselves because they’ve broken their own promises so many times that they no longer trust their ability to do what they say they will do. This bleeds over into every area of their lives and destroys their self-esteem. Fit people, on the other hand, make a decision and stick to their diet no matter how much they are tempted and taunted by themselves or others. They know being physically fit goes beyond looking good and being healthy. It impacts everything they do.

The masses love to make the simple seem complicated so they have an excuse for failing. The AMA ruling is just another excuse for someone to say, “it’s not my fault; I have a disease.” Fit people keep it simple and get busy getting what they want. Instead of wasting their mental energy going from diet to diet, they select a diet and focus on following it to the letter until they arrive at their ideal weight. While those battling their weight are struggling at every meal deciding whether or not to remain compliant, fit people waste no mental energy because the decision has already been made.

The bottom line: We are all responsible for what we see in the mirror and nobody forces us to eat the way we do or not engage in an active lifestyle. Is there somebody holding a gun to your head making you eat the pizza and doughnuts? It’s time for people to realize that nobody is going to save you from yourself, not the government, a doctor, or any magic pill, lotion or potion.  The hero on the white horse isn’t going to come riding in singing “here I come to save the day.”

It’s time for America to grow up emotionally and make the decision to get fit and healthy once and for all. You are the problem and you are the solution. Make the decision today to get fit and healthy. It’s your choice.

Steve Siebold is author of the book “Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People”, and a mental toughness coach who has helped thousands of people lose weight.

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