My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned on this journey. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

Iobesity think I have found one of the reasons people are losing the fight against the obesity epidemic.

People are just not taking it seriously.

I use Google Alerts to send me articles on the obesity epidemic. I have shared some of these on Facebook and my other social media. It seems (particularly on Facebook) people feel the urge to respond with a joke. When I comment that this is serious, I am told to calm down, that it was just a joke.

Well here’s a newsflash folks. The obesity epidemic IS NOT A JOKE. In Canada, it costs business approximately 36 billion dollars a year in lost productivity and health costs. That number in the United States is near 300 Billion. That’s BILLION with a B folks.

I was told recently by someone that they have heard it all before, and that “none of it works and it all feels like nagging.” Maybe that’s what we need. We need to be reminded. Our loved ones need to tell us “I don’t want you to die”. One of my big wake up calls was when my children and wife were truly afraid I would drop dead.

They had tried to tell me, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal until I realized how big I had become and how their fears were justified.

I have 2 schools near me – one high school and one elementary. I watch in the mornings as the few kids who are actually walking to school and something dawned on me. When I was in school, as the fat kid, I was one of very few. Now the fat kids seem to be becoming the majority.

No wonder with the quick-fix-junk-food culture we live in. A culture of the dollar menu, of soft drinks sold to kids in 64 ounce cups. A culture where we have a channel dedicated to food where people watch cooking shows and then order pizza. A culture where people would rather play sports on video games or watch it on TV rather than get any exercise themselves.

It is a culture where we watch weight loss shows and TV and think smuggly “Well at least I am not as fat as him or her.” No. Not yet, but for some it’s coming.

It is a culture where people promote fad diets, or sell pills and potions that promise quick results. Quick – maybe. Permanent – no.

So why do I keep preaching the weight loss message? Because it DOES matter. I lost too many years and if I can help one person start on the road to health, it is worth it.

I know this post is a bit of a rant but I came across an article today that really set me off. Not sure if this is true or not, but it is scary. Their have long been rumours of a certain fast food joint having a “secret menu”. This articel would seem to confirm it. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-3167901/Does-McDonald-s-secret-menu-REALLY-exist-Restaurant-manager-confirms-customers-order-items-not-listed-including-McGangBang.html Read this article and tell me this doesn’t scare you.

People ask me for my advice and I try to give them pointers and once again I hear “That’s a lot of work. I need to get rid of this weight soon.” I don’t deal in quick fixes because they don’t work!

Can I share with you a couple of happy things? Where I live in the Vancouver BC area, we have been experiencing the hottest summer in decades. That’s not the happy part. The happy part is we don’t have to turn to high fat things to cool use down.

Instead of ice cream, here are a couple of healthy things to try.

First (my personal favourite) is frozen blueberries. You can use other berries too. Freeze them and then throw them into a blender or food processor. They come out like a sorbet. Cool, yummy and refreshing and just pure fruit.

Second is frozen bananas done the same way. The difference is that with bananas, you can jazz them up with things like a little vanilla or cinnamon. When you process frozen bananas, they get very creamy and don’t taste as “banana-ish” as you would think.

Third is good old watermelon. I saw a clip on Youtube where someone cut a hole in one, and inserted the beaters from an electric hand mixer. When they turned it on, it pureed the watermelon and it poured out like a slushee but was pure fruit. I am too much of a klutz to attempt that. I would just cut it and put it in a blender to get the same results.

Fourth – for the soda drinkers. If you are trying to cut down your sodas and colas, try sparkling water. It replaces the “fizz” of pop nicely.

Fifth – It’s bar b q season. Try doing something like chicken or steak cubes on skewers. Intermix them with some vegetables like a slice of onion or pepper or a cheery tomato and do them on the bar b q. No need for buns or bread. Serve with a nice salad.

These are just a few things you can try in the hot summer to stay cool but also stay healthy.

Something else that is VERY important in this weather is to keep hydrated. Drink your favourite beverages but drink lots of water. I like to fill a water bottle about 1/3 to 1/2 of water and freeze it. Then when I want my water, I fill it the rest of the way and it stays nice a chilled.

Well thanks for allowing to rant a little, and next time I promise to be more positive.

Meantime, have a healthy and happy day.

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