I believe that human beings are designed to be physically active and that not doing so creates energy imbalances within the body that ultimately contribute to obesity and other health problems. As evidence, over 500,000 people die each year from diseases linked to physical inactivity and obesity. Furthermore, rates of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer have all tripled over the past 30 years corresponding to decreasing levels of daily physical activity and increasing rates of obesity.
?As I get older I see that running has changed for me. What used to be about burning calories is now more about burning up what is false. Lies I used to tell myself about who I was and what I could do, friendships that cannot withstand hills or miles, the approval I no longer need to seek, and solidarity that cannot bear silence. I run to burn up what I don't need and ignite what I do.
Sometimes people will hear you and be able to change their behavior, but often their behavior has more to do with their own need for approval than with your need for support. No matter what their response, you need to be firm and hold your ground. At the end of the day, your health is your responsibility.
Advising the average person to not concern herself with calories but instead to pay attention to hunger triggers and eating foods rick in nutrients--well, it's a wonderful concept. I also love the thought of unicorns jumping over cotton candy rainbows. I'm even considering taking up basketball to see if it makes me taller. Come on already! Suggesting that someone who struggles with his weight does not need to think about calories is as risky as suggesting you not look at price tags the next time you're in the market for a car.