THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Super(wo)man Syndrome ...

Superman Syndrome. I'd heard the term before, but I thought I'd Google it just for kicks. I'm glad I did. Why? There is no one definition. Everyone is claiming it as theirs! Every area of life from motherhood to careers to one's spiritual walk with the Lord. There are even several book titles which bear the phrase.

No, there is no one "original" Super(wo)man Syndrome, yet many share the concept of a supernatural ability, desire, drive to outdo and to overcome. And, just in case you think this is a good thing, this superhuman strength or character or ability is not necessarily desirable. It is implied that exhibiting this syndrome is ultimately to the detriment of Super(wo)man's relationships and personal well-being.

So, what does this have to do with weight loss? Well, nothing really, in and of itself. But there's the fact that statistically, many of us who struggle with our weight, are also struggling with being so over busy in our everyday lives. Sadly, most of us have to be Super(wo)man to survive in today's society. Check out the statistics:

  • Americans work an average of 1,966 hours annually. That's nearly two weeks more per year than Japan - and more than any other industrialized country.
  • Working couples lost an average of 22 hours a week of family and personal time between 1969 and 1999.
  • The typical, middle income married couple family works 3,885 hours - that's an increase of 247 hours, or nearly six weeks, more than their counterparts ten years ago.

To be honest, I'm right there living in the superhuman world myself. And time is one of the strongest enemies of the weight loss warrior. The lack of quality time we have available to invest in this huge change of lifestyle that we so desperately need to make is exactly what makes the Super(wo)man Syndrome a problem for weight loss. Just think about it. We have deep rooted habits that have for years kept us yo-yoing with the same 30 pounds and deeper rooted emotional hungers that drive some of us into the morbidly obese range. Think you're going to easily overcome THAT in your spare "quality" hours of exhaustion at the end of everything else you've had to accomplish during the day? Hmmmmm.

The fact is, you will never find enough time. Never. Time, quality time, has to be made, not found. But that is the one thing Super(wo)man lacks. The fall out: an unfit, overweight, weak body with which to do all the superhuman tasks in our world. And the longer the syndrome continues, the harder it is to reverse.

Hard, but not impossible. For it is precisely that superhuman strength and intelligence we possess that can help us turn all this around. The hope is that If we can realize the time and focus that are required to change a life, our lives, we will take the steps to act on it.

Let me make this perfectly clear - no amount of programs you join, no amount of 2 point bars you purchase, no number of doctors visits or motivational books or websites you frequent - nothing is going to change your life until you put it into practice. And that, my superhuman friend, takes time, effort and attention. It takes putting into practice all the tips and suggestions, meal plans and journals, new recipes and trips to the grocery store. It takes the one thing that will not come easily to you ... time. But that also means this ... that it is completely within your grasp. Yes, you can do it!

So get going up off your superhuman yet saggy buns. Up, up and away!