First and foremost, I'm not here to tell you how to live your life. I'm here to share. A lot of people share one's success. How am I different? I realized I've been blind and so has basically almost the entire countries population when it comes to our health. However, after doing research, it's come to my attention that many people, in fact, know the truth but choose to live the same lifestyle. Let me take you back to the middle of September in 2016 to the moment I made this realization and decided to change my way of life.
You've heard them say take a trip to clear your mind, listen to a song to feel emotion, or watch a documentary to change your perception. Well, that happen; I watched a documentary that changed my life. I watched a documentary called Fed Up, and it triggered something inside of me to change. Change the way I think about food. Change from thinking so-so about my health to thinking ok, it's time to get real, it's time to get real about food.
I'm sure you've noticed, but if you haven't, next time you're at the grocery store, take a look at the front labeling of food products. The front labeling of most food products promotes fat-free. The promotion of 'fat-free' or 'less fat' products began about twenty-five, thirty years ago. Now, fast forward to today, twenty-five, thirty years later, obesity has massively increased. It's estimated that 93 million Americans are affected by obesity, and why is that? It's actually quite simple. Food companies lowered the fat in their products and increased the sugar amount to maintain the good taste. Here's a fun fact I learned; there are 600,000 food products in America, and eighty percent of those food products contain added sugar. Eighty percent added sugar. Just writing and hearing myself say that short sentence out loud sends chills up my spin and grosses me out. If the rest of you haven't been blind, I sure have been.
Here's another fun fact I learned; our brains look almost identical when we're on sugar to when one is on cocaine or heroin. If the eighty percent of our food products contain sugar, that's a clear statement that we as a country are sugar addicts. Let's be real; food companies have set us up for addiction. With addiction, comes more using and therefore, more buying. We crave sugar and buy more of the same food products. It's a toxic cycle. The hard truth is food companies aren't in it to make and keep our country healthy; they're in it to make money. Another hard truth is if we get sick or suffer from health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, cancer just to name a few, all of which are driven by sugar, the healthcare industry continues to make money. It appears to be a pattern, and again, another toxic cycle.
As I watched the documentary, I became really frustrated, and then Dr. Mark Hyman says, "This is the fundamental problem, no one is talking about it as a society." We've been hearing it for years and continue to hear it daily that we as American's don't exercise or aren't active enough in our everyday lives, but that's simply not true. The fitness industry over the last few years has been booming. More and more people are getting gym memberships and getting active, so the answer is simple, it's all about the food we're consuming on a daily basis. Dr. Hyman is right; people are talking about the so-called lack of exercise in America and no one's talking about the health concerns of the amount of sugar added to most of our food products.
It's obvious obesity is and has been getting out of control for years, and it's incredibly sad. The documentary hit me the hardest when it discusses how this promoted fat-free food trend years ago has impacted our children today. It's a fact, children are being born with more fat than normal, and therefore leading them to early child obesity. Our kids are being born addicted to sugar. There's sugar in almost everything, and unfortunately, there's no one to blame but ourselves. The best sugar to consume is a healthy amount of natural sugar from fruits, vegetables, and dairy. The ingredients are there for us to see and we've been blind by not noticing the change in how the food we love is made. We typically ignore looking at ingredient labels; it's an unfortunate truth but, there is hope. As Richard Carmona states in the documentary, "It's all preventable."
After watching the documentary, I decided to take control of my health and get serious about what I'm eating. Since September of last year, I've been cutting down on my sugar intake, and my body feels amazing. I've noticed I have more energy, and quite frankly I've lost more weight than expected. It's been difficult at times however my health is worth the challenge. I began cooking more at home, educating myself on what I'm buying, reading labels, and drinking more water. The obvious is to cut out soda and fast food, and I've been successful. It's difficult to become sugar-free, and at this point, it became apparent cutting sugar out cold turkey it's a bit unrealistic. However, I believe in maintaining a healthy balance and squeezing in a cheat day every once in awhile. Watching the documentary Fed Up couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I'm loving my body and teaching myself how to respect it enough to be cautious when it comes to sugar and my intake. I hope you follow along on my health journey this year as I share more details on my sugarless progress and how to maintain a real healthy lifestyle. The documentary has and will change the way I look at food and eat for the rest of my life. I can now say I'm smarter than the toxic cycle, and that in itself is my success.