Diabetes and most heart conditions, along with a host of other serious diseases, are real and a persistent threat for the obese. Most killer aliments of people past 50 are aggravated if not created by being fat. This is further exacerbated today by cloaking our parallel symptoms of high blood pressure, gout, stomach acidity, headaches, depression, etc. with medication.
From my perspective, integration of exercise and appropriate nutritional management, including reduced caloric intake, is essential. Eating less and better, while participating in fat-burning physical exercise, is the mantra of these times for most of us in the consumer societies.
Trouble is... Many obese people are both reluctant to and embarrassed by physical activity. They may feel awkward, if not ashamed, by the difficulty in which they move or look when active. They also may simply not enjoy the sweaty blood rushed aesthetic so enjoyed by athletes.
Also two driving forces merge to exploit the dietary vulnerability of fatties. Food industries promote to our weaknesses, while we develop various addictive love relationships with the foods we eat. Most modern eaters have numerous oral habits and chemical dependencies. Salt, sugar (as well as many modern synthetic alternatives), caffeine, chocolate (fat, sugar, texture, and aroma, along with serotonin and dopamine), nicotine, meat and dairy (the fatty hormone-laden bane of animal activists), alcohol, carbohydrates (the white bread/rice/pasta dependency we call fast-food energy perks), etc. Visit any convenience store for a more complete list of popular poison pleasures.
Inevitably though, the responsibility falls back on all of us to stay healthy or to get back there as soon as possible. Certainly a vegetarian, preferably a vegan, diet would insure less toxicity in the system and much much less fat, A raw vegan diet, by its very restrictive nature, would further eliminate the vices of processed foods. This would automatically restrict the salt, sugar, and preservatives found in most pre-packaged and restaurant foods. Unfortunately few of us are willing to go cold and seasonless, even for the sake of survival.
Yet moving closer to a natural all living diet can only help to regulate blood pressure, eliminate the causes of gout and diabetes, and place less strain on our metabolism. The dangers inherent in cheese addiction, cream obsession, and in all meat products can be avoided. Assuming one has the will power or ethical convictions to change old habits.
Fat man choices in 2007 are will power (not a well honed power tool for many of us), medication (a miracle in waiting with dubious side effects), surrender to a dietary regime, a blitzkrieg physical training power plan, or a combination of all these strategies. The garage is filled with tools, it is just a matter of taking the time and investing the energy to make things work.
On the other side of this is the shadows of despair and the feeling of futility. If only it were easier, but it isn't. To win at dieting, I will need persistence, sacrifice, and resistance to sin. Not unlike the rigor of spiritual righteousness, and so very much unlike me.