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It's a Battle You have to Win

Fighting Your Own Personal Obesity Epidemic

By Jack Speer

I always carried 25 to 30 extra pounds for years until I understood it wasn't going to work for me anymore.  I understand how it feels to want to lose weight, but not be able to.

Over a third of Americans are obese or overweight and are getting fatter every year.  It's not likely that the nation will win the battle against obesity any time soon. 

But you, personally, reading this article, are among that small percentage who will and must win.  You're too smart not to and there's too much riding on it. 

Carol and I were at a concert the other night at one of those magnificent Austin music venues where some of the best talent in the country comes to perform.

The leader singer was young lady with an extraordinary voice who performed the jazz songs of the 1940's.  I could close my eyes and picture that glamorous era with tuxes<.  Unfortunately when I opened my eyes and the young lady turned sideways I saw someone with a gorgeous voice in a tight dress, at least 40 pounds over weight.  She was beautiful to hear and very painful to watch.

Some people do well as full-figured Americans.  Jackie Gleason was great and so is Jay Leno.  They are the exceptions.  Overweight people have a harder time getting hired and promoted.  When you're younger it matters less, but 5 to 10 years in the workforce and you have less energy to excel.

Your problems in the workforce caused by being overweight will become the least of your problems.  Obesity is at the root of the majority of modern health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.  Being overweight doesn't just kill you.  It kills your mobility and your joy of living. 

Calories Make us Fat--Forget the Weird Theories

Although you're told every day by the media that it's your stress and your genes that make you fat it's not true in most cases.

Forget exotic theories and diet plans.  A recent Harvard study confirmed what conventional wisdom has always said.  It's the calories, Sweety.  If you eat more calories than you burn, you'll get fat.

What is a Calorie?

I'm going to give you a way to look at calories that will work for you.   A calorie is a unit of energy that your body uses to maintain your bodily processes and give you the energy to move about.

Let's think about a calorie like a gallon of gas that powers your car.  One calorie equals one gallon of gas.  My car has a 15 gallon tank and I get about 25 miles for each gallon I put in the tank.  That means that my car can take me about 375 miles before filling up or finding myself at the side of the road thumbing a ride to the gas station.

My body also has a "tank," like a car, with a definite amount I can use to fill it.  Remember in the case of my body I'm using calories instead of gasoline.  The average male "fuel tank" has a capacity of 2500 calories a day and women's capacity is about 2000 calories.  The amount of calories--"gasoline" for you body--depends on age.  Your need declines through time. 

Here comes the funny part of this analogy.  Say I developed a compulsion to fill up my car with gasoline.  Imagine that instead of going once a week, I started pumping gas into my car every couple of hours.  I'd have gas all over the concrete around the pumps, the store attendant would be screaming at me, the police would arrest me and they would have me psychologically evaluated.

In many ways overfilling the tank in my body is just as insane. If the tank in the car were expandable like my stomach, the tank to the car would quickly become bigger than the car itself.  Food addiction is killing a whole generation of Americans.  The obesity epidemic now seems normal and standard.  We've forgotten what it's like to see crowds of body proportionate people.

There is so much more to nutrition I'd like to share with you and I will in coming articles.  Losing weight and getting in shape requires a lot of support, and I would be one person willing to support you.  Send me an email at or give me a call at 512-417-9428.  I'd love to visit with you.

See the previous issue with the article by John Drozdal on Millennialism and Jack Speer's article on Twitter.


I personally know how difficult maintaining weight is.  I was always the fat kid in the class and carried 25 to 30 extra pounds most of my professional life.

Here are some facts about weight.

1. It's a dangerous subject to discuss, almost as sensitive as sex.  People don't want to hear it discussed in polite company

2.  It's the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  Career, relationships, future health and the future health of your children depend on weight control.

3.  The odds are against your losing weight.  Restaurants with huge portions and enormous calorie counts are the number one culprit.

4. You can't lose weight through exercise alone although it can be a huge factor.  80% of weight control is controlling what we eat.

5.  Diets that take you off of normal eating patterns most often fail. You can literally eat anything you normally eat.   You must eat being aware of your total intake of calories.  That's it!

6.  Surgery appears to have helped some people, but you still must learn to eat or you'll gain it all back again.

7.  Losing your weight may be one of the most transformational experiences of your life.

If you need help, email or write me:, 512-417-9428. 



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