Saturday, August 1, 2009

Welcome Participants to, "The Big Fat Lie" Intuitive Eating Project

I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to what I intend to be a life-changing experience. What we are collectively about to embark upon is a new leg of the intuitive eating journey. It is my hope that the work we will be doing will not only heal us from the inside, out and transform the quality of our lives, but will have a positive impact on the lives of others. A large component of this intuitive eating project involves disputing the current obesity research. It is this research that claims that we have to learn to live with our condition of obesity and rely on the system for help in finding a solution to this ever-growing problem, not only in America, but the world over. There is a reason why the term ‘globesity’ even exists. Some call the current obesity rates a crisis. Others refer to it as an epidemic. The truth is we do have reason for concern.

I don’t tend to be a linear facts and figures type of thinker, but I believe it is important to understand just how much we have seen a rise in obesity in recent years. There comes a point where we have to take our heads out of the sand and look reality dead-on. The following current statistics are a reality-check to say the least.

- During the period from 1960-2004 the incidence of obesity increased from 13.3% to 32.1% in United States adults ranging in age from 20-74. The greatest increase of this rise has taken place since 1980.

- More than 72 million Americans are obese with 16% of those statistics representing our children.

- Over 3 million Americans fall into the morbidly obese category.

- It has been estimated that more than 80% of Americans do not engage in the minimal amount of exercise necessary to maintain health.

- More than 25% of Americans live up to their couch potato reputation and are considered completely sedentary.

- Adults between the ages of 30-40 have seen a more than 78% rise in the incidence of Type II diabetes since 1990.

- Childhood obesity rates have more than tripled over the last two decades.

- Throughout the mid-1990’s incidence of Type II diabetes rose in youth populations tenfold. This trend correlated with increasing obesity rates.

- If current trends continue it is estimated that the societal burden will be great. NHANES data suggests that 86.3% of Americans will fall into the overweight or obese category by the year 2030. Even more shocking is that nobody will be in healthy weight ranges by the year 2048 unless there is intervention to cease the progression of current trends. This will correspondingly increase health care expenses by $96.2 billion by 2030.

(Statistics compiled from multiple sources: American Heart Association, CDC,, “Childhood Obesity: The Declining Health of America’s Next Generation”, testimony by, Dr. Kaufman before United States Senate Committee on Children and Families, July 16, 2008, NHANES research data)

We have the power in our own hands to help create a new reality, not only for ourselves, but for our youth. That empowerment is reached in how we care for ourselves and the vote we cast when we use our consumer dollars at the grocery store. If as a society, we move forward within the current paradigm, we will have sold ourselves up the river becoming completely dependent on our health care system. Instead of individuals taking personal responsibility for their health and well-being, they will turn to their doctors for a pill or gastric bypass surgery to alleviate the issue. Is this a true solution?

Considering the drastic upward trend in obesity rates that has manifested since 1980 it is almost laughable that obesity researchers are pinning this current health crisis on the basis of genetic evolution. New elements have entered the picture over the past 30 years and the state of our dis-ease is not a matter of morphing genetics. There has been a radical shift in our food supply. More and more families are turning to the convenience of heavily processed and fast foods. Many of these so-called foods contain ingredients that are artificially composed. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a doctor. I don’t claim to be an expert on anything, but it seems rather logical to me that when these foods enter our bodies, our DNA simply doesn’t recognize these sources as food, at least not in the traditional sense. Sure, our bodies go through the digestion process, but how effectively? It’s interesting to note that IBS and other digestive issues are on the rise. It seems completely rational to me that our bodies function most optimally on foods found in nature. Whole foods like meats, dairy, eggs, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and produce; foods that are unadulterated and devoid of man-made ingredients; foods that have retained the full scope of their nutritional profile.

Another factor that has come into play in the current obesity crisis is that we are more sedentary than ever before in history. Our bodies were designed to be in motion. We are not meant to spend so much time sitting and lounging about; disconnecting via computer, video games, and TV. We have become so disconnected as a society that we have moved into a virtual existence. We have cyber relationships. It’s impossible to get a real person on the phone when making a business call. You are far more likely to be helped by a generic automated customer service rep.

We have even become disconnected from our bodies and the greatest culprit in this regard is the diet industry. Instead of tuning in and connecting with our bodies; eating in the manner nature intended us to; we rely on outside sources in the form of the latest diet fad to address our health issues. It is completely counter-intuitive. It is time we pioneer a new paradigm; one that has people tuning in, rather than tuning out. We need to reconnect with our bodies, each other, and the world around us.

As a participant in, “The Big Fat Lie” intuitive eating project, you will be acting as an agent of change. You, as an individual, have the opportunity to not only affect change in your own life, but the lives of others, and the world at large. The path we are collectively embarking on will shed light on many important areas. We will bring attention to the healing message of intuitive eating, a need for higher food quality and availability for all regardless of their economic status, and the importance of reconnection on all levels. We may not be scientists in our white lab coats conducting official research, but we have something of value to share through our real-life experience.

It is my intention to compile a book over the next two years of our time together for publication. It is my hope that this book can garner attention for these important areas we need to address in our society. If the message can reach enough people, perhaps we can impact the current system of things. We can empower people with this message, decreasing their reliance on the powers that be and enabling them to take their health and well-being into their own hands. If we can drum up enough support we may even encourage the ‘experts’ to do more research in the areas of intuitive eating as a means to address the current obesity crisis and to seek out improvements in food quality and availability. We can also heal ourselves in the process.

I thank you for making a two year commitment to this important work. I want to assure you that we are going to be easing into these life-enhancing changes we will be making. Our foundation is intuitive eating and this will remain intact. Each individual involved in this project will work within the framework of their comfort zone. You will set the pace and incorporate changes as you feel ready. Above all, I want participants to stay connected with their own internal source of wisdom. Let your body lead the way. This is not an all or nothing approach, but a cumulative effort. Each of us will arrive at a final balanced point individual and unique to us. There are no ‘rights’ or ‘wrongs’. There are no rules, just suggestions for how you can best enhance the final step of intuitive eating, “Honor Health – Gentle Nutrition”, in a way that meshes beautifully with your personal life. We will also be taking this same approach as we implement the exercise portion of our project. It is of the utmost importance to me that each participant feels a level of safety and comfort as they go about creating a foundation of health and wellness in their life.

Each month of the project, we will have a group focus. This focus will be posted on, “The Big Fat Lie” site within the first week of each month. The site will be our connection point. We have a chat room here and will schedule periodic chats for our group so we can touch base with one another, share our experiences, and gain needed support on the journey. Each of you will be receiving an invitation to be a writer for, “The Big Fat Lie”. Please accept the invite. It will be important for participants to check into the site at least once a month and blog about their experience with each month’s focus. Participants are welcome to blog more frequently if they like.

As you know, I will be participating in this project right alongside all of you. I look forward to the wonderful opportunities for growth, sharing, and evolvement that are awaiting all of us. I feel blessed to share this experience with you.


  1. I heard about this site on Christie's blog. Are non-members allowed to comment? Or are we just to read?

    I'm on the Through Thick and Thin forum, too (awaytolive). I'm learning so much!

  2. Chavonne, you are free to comment. I actually encourage those who are not participants in this project to feel free to make comments or ask questions as we go through this experience. That was the basis of me creating this project. I wanted it to be a source of empowerment, knowledge, and learning for others. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying your time here.

  3. Thanks, Shannon! I just reread this post and the statistics are really quite staggering. I truly believe IE is the best way to change this unhealthy trend.