One out of three Americans is obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report confirms that America is experiencing a national obesity crisis.
What to do?
Enter Dr. Ian Smith!
Dr. Ian Smith, author of The 4 Day Diet, got tired of reading the ever-increasing headlines about our ever-increasing waistlines, so he decided to do roll up his sleeves, jump in head first and do something about it. With the support of State Farm, in April of 2007, Dr. Ian founded The 50 Million Pound Challenge.
I am thrilled to have this opportunity to interview Dr. Ian, as I am hoping to get the inside-skinny on the 50 Million Pound Challenge!
JT: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today, Dr. Ian. As a Life and Wellness Coach, author of Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal and 50-pound big-time-loser, I am genuinely interested and excited to hear about the work you are doing to reign-in the ever increasing American waistline!
But before you tell me about your work and The 50 Million Pound Challenge, I've just got to ask ... How did you get into this line of business? As they say ... funny, you don't look like a fat person (past, present or future)!
Dr. Ian: I've never been overweight.
If, ten years ago, you'd told me that I would be doing what I'm doing today, I would have laughed. I was a health columnist for Time magazine, and I received numerous emails from readers seeking information about weight loss, supplements, and metabolism. There was a huge hunger (pun intended) to know the truth about these things.
I felt I owed a great service to my readers, and so I set out to learn about these different topics. And I was truly disgusted by the predatory forces that were taking advantage of desperate people.
Many of us sit on the morning shows and talk about the problems, but few actually get up and do something about it. I got tired of reading about it and hearing about it. I decided to do something about it!
With the help of State Farm, we launched at the nation's capital in Washington DC, The 50 Million Pound Challenge.
JT: 50 Million Pounds sounds like an awful lot of weight! Tell us more about it.
Dr. Ian: Considering that America is 4 to 6 million pounds overweight, 50 millions pounds isn't that much!
The 50 Million Pound Challenge offers Americans the free accessible tools they need to combat obesity. The Challenge provides a 24/7 - 365 day support network or all those who participate. Cities, churches, civic groups, friends and families across America are teaming up to help reverse the obesity epidemic and work toward a culture that embraces healthy living.
Our website tallies total pounds lost and offers free resources including a 30-day diet plan, online journal, personal weight and activity trackers and Challenge teams that make it that much more fun. There are over 38,000 teams and 1.4 million members to date.
JT: And what specifically is happening on September 12?
Dr. Ian: Since so many medical illnesses have walks and special days, we decided to walk against obesity. We are teaming up with communities and leaders from across the country to host the first annual series of Walk Offs on September 12
Sixteen majors from major cities nationwide including Houston, Phoenix and Philadelphia are hosting 50 Million Pound Challenge Walkoffs in their cities. Everyone is invited. You can go to the website and sign up to host a walk in your city.
It's a great opportunity to get up, get out, get moving with your family and friends and an opportunity to put a dent into the obesity issue.
JT: It's a wonderful start, and I applaud you for taking action. And, it's great that State Farm has stepped up to the plate (no pun intended), but what about the other corporations?
Dr. Ian: State Farm has been extremely generous in their support of the 50 Million Pound Challenge. And corporate America is doing more than it has in the past, but there still is a big gap.
JT: What about the Food Industry? How do they fit into this obesity epidemic? I'm angry at the industry for blatantly producing foods that I consider to be unhealthy. I find their lack of morality appalling, to say the least.
Dr. Ian: The food industry has huge culpability as to why we in America find ourselves where we are. The food industry is not a non-profit agency. They are in it for the profits. I don't have much confidence that the industry will change or that they will self-regulate. Yes, they are major league culpable for this nonsense.
JT: Weight loss isn't easy; in fact some find it difficult to not only lose weight but to keep their motivation in high gear. Do you have any tips that you can share with us?
Dr. Ian: Weight loss is 80% mental and 20% physical. The first seven chapters of my book, The 4-Day Diet, speak to the psychology of weight loss. You need to understand that motivation is not something that can be given to you or purchased. The motivational engines are in us. I tell people to look inward. What has worked for you in the past? Perhaps, you want to live a healthy lifestyle for your children or grandchildren. Perhaps, you're afraid you are going to develop diabetes.
JT: What about fashion ... you know, wearing sexy or cute clothing? I know that's motivating for me and for a great number of my clients. Of course, we want to be healthy, but we want to wear regular sized clothing and feel good about the way we look. It's a thrill and it reflects our new selves ... our transformations!
Dr. Ian: In the old days, I was judgmental about motivating people.
Now I know that it's not for me to judge. You define what motivates you and keep it going!
The honest truth is that weight loss is not easy; it does require work. But it is doable.
JT: I'm happy to spread the word (NOT the icing) through the Our Lady of Weight Loss world. I know that people will want to join the 50 Million Pound Challenge and help be a part of this movement. Any final thoughts?
Dr. Ian: Movements start with small numbers of people. If enough voices are lent to a cause, the voices synchronize, and a loud and powerful sound emerges, "Enough is enough!"
Let's get busy; let's do something about it now. Let's set a healthy example. Make a difference!
JT: Thank you Dr. Ian. I'm all pumped up and ready to join The 50 Million Pound Challenge.
And YOU!!? The 50 Million Pound Challenge Help America shed its 6 billion excess pounds!
Spread the word ... NOT the icing,