On May 22, the Dallas newspaper reported on an authoritative new federal study showing that diabetes among youth has more than doubled since 1999. The "free market" is destroying America's young people! As I lost 90 pounds over the last 2 years, I have sought a way to get others involved in the process of reclaiming their health.
In October of last year, I brought the topic up in a meeting of my local Young Communist League club, the Red River Club in Hurst, Texas. Out of this meeting came the idea for the Texas YCL Red River Club’s Fitness Program. We discussed the issue again in November, and we decided that we would begin the process for the entire club on January 1, 2012. The program has been a great success.
We first started by altering the diets of any group members who had not already done so. Pork is no longer a part of any of our diets. We eat nothing but kosher meats. We have even reduced our intake of meat considerably and replaced it with high protein vegetables and fruits. We also removed sweets from our diets, got rid of regular sodas, stopped cooking with butter, and refrained from consuming alcohol. We instead now cook with olive oil.
Second, we began exercising daily. This was the hard part. Jason, a Marine Formerly in the Corps, has a unique issue. He was injured in a car accident a number of years ago and now has a titanium rod in his leg that is attached to his foot and knee with bolts. I also damaged my knees in the Army. We solved the pain issue by simply developing a walking schedule. Four times a week, we walk at least two to three miles. Then one to two times a month we go on long distance walks to develop endurance. The distance in these walks has gradually increased, from four miles to sixteen miles. We also carry weighted bags with us. This works just as well as running.
Our final thing to do was to change our mental attitudes. We did this by facing ourselves, looking into ourselves and remembering who we once were. We decided that we want to be there again. We will never be the same people as we were then, mentally, but we knew we could, at least, get our bodies back to that point. The biggest part was that we committed ourselves to holding each other accountable to the cause of, ‘Reclaiming our Health.’
Since the program began in January 1, 2012, the group has lost a collective sixty-five pounds, and we are all feeling great. We are not perfect. Each of us has had moments where we lapsed and ate or drank something that we should not have, but the overall process has been a positive success.
To conclude, Jason and I were talking the other day about getting more veterans involved in this process. Veterans in the United States, among those treated in VA facilities, especially males, have one of the highest obesity rates in the country, with seventy-three percent of the males receiving care at VA Clinics rating at least, overweight, thirty-three percent of which are classified as obese, and three percent of which are classified as Class III-Obese. Female veterans are in much the same boat. Their numbers are sixty-eight percent, thirty-seven percent, and six percent, respectively. These numbers are based on a study done at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2005.1
This is a problem that we should all make a great effort to address. Veterans are very important part of our society. They are men and women of all stripes that have chosen, voluntarily, to commit their lives to the defense of our country. They have been involved in multiple affairs that show why this country is in need of some dramatic changes. We need them to be healthy and able to contribute to the struggle in whichever way they would wish to do so.
1 Das, SR; Kissinger, LS; Yansy, WS, Jr.; Wang, A; Ciesco, A; Burdick, M, Yevich, SJ, “Obesity prevalence among veterans at Veterans Affairs medical facilities,” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15766618, Accessed on May 17, 2012.