Yesterday was supposed to be the day that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial soda ban (a ban on 16 ounce containers of sugary drinks that have more than 25 calories per ounce) was supposed to take effect. But Monday afternoon, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling said the ban was "arbitrary and capricious," and put a stop to the new legislation that would have impacted many restaurants, movie theaters, bars and more.
There's no arguing the fact that obesity has become a national epidemic, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that one in three adults is now obese. While change is definitely needed, putting a ban on large-size drinks is not the answer. Solving the obesity epidemic can only happen on an individual level with each person making a decision that he or she wants to get fit and healthy. It's about self-responsibility.
The mayor has vowed to fight the court's ruling because he said, ""People are dying every day; this is not a joke; this is about real lives." He's right; this is not a joke and people are dying every day. More people are getting sick with preventable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes because of obesity.
Unfortunately, a ban on large-size drinks won't solve the obesity epidemic, and is nothing more than a clear overreach of government intervention. Is the Mayor going to ban Halloween next because of all the sugary candy? American's are free to make their own choices when it comes to what they eat or drink. If they want to eat fast food, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or whatever, the fundamental rights of living in this country allow people to make their own choices.
Here's my critical thinking question: Do we control our own lives or does the government control us? You should be free to live life on your own terms, doing whatever you want, wherever you want and with whomever you want as long as you're not interfering with others.
When it comes to winning the war on obesity, the key is to grow up emotionally, get mentally tough and stop making excuses. It's making the decision to get healthy once and for all. Make no mistake about it, many diets and exercise programs work perfectly well. It's just like a budget. Budgets work perfectly well if you stick to them, and so do diets.
Fit people know no one is coming to the rescue, not their parents, the government, their spouse, or the company they work for. Many people have a deep-rooted belief that it's someone else's responsibility to make them healthy, wealthy and happy. Fit people know that if they put on a few pounds, the only person who can save them is the man in the mirror. The mantra is: I am responsible.
The point is, had Mayor Bloomberg's ban actually started today, it wouldn't have made any difference. Someone who wants more soda is going to buy another cup, or go to the 7-Eleven and other state-regulated grocery stores where the ban has no impact. A government ban won't help someone lose weight until that person decides he or she wants to lose the weight. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
Losing weight is not easy, but it's a simple and very linear process: you stick to the diet and exercise program and you lose the weight. End of story.
The bottom line: Unless you have a true medical condition, you are in control of your weight. If you made yourself overweight, you can make yourself thin and fit. If you're willing to settle for a mediocre existence you can blame anyone you want for your failure. But if you want to manifest your potential, wake up and realize you are the problem and you are the solution.