I have enjoyed some amazing hikes since returning from Florida although my loss of stimina has certinaly been a lesson in humility. Walking two hours each day on flat, paved surfaces in Florida was good exercise, but not even close to the same thing as walking for two hours on a mountain trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Thankfully, I knew this and was prepared. I started out with short hikes on trails with less of an elevation profile and have gradually increased both distance and difficulty. I'm not yet back to the level of confidence I had last fall, but soon will be. Interspersed within some nasty, windy and wet weather days have been pockets of warmer, sunny days perfect for winter hiking. It's my favorite time to hike as the clear blue skies and long range views are simply gorgeous.
You may or may not have noticed a theme I quietly introduced on Wednesdays. As I approached maintenance weight levels, I began a subtle change from the blog being totally about my weight loss journey to a lifestyle blog covering any and everything that came to mind. It was at that time that I merged my separate travel journal into this blog and opened it up to people in my "real" world. That was also planned and I've never regretted it!
But the blog was begun as a weight loss journal and many of you became my friends when losing the weight and writing about it was the number one priority in my life. And the thing is.......I've always known that losing the weight didn't end the journey nor did it even lessen the battle. So for those who are really only interested in that aspect of the blog and for me to retain a specific platform for us to always talk about weight loss issues, I've decided that the subject on Wednesday will always have something to do with weight loss. I know Weight Loss Wednesday is not even remotely original to me, but I'm using it anyway although my WLW post title will always have a subtitle. My plan is to post something every Wednesday and hope that you will come on Wednesday knowing there will be something there to ponder. See, I'm even making it easy for you to remember. Wednesday! Weight loss!
I'm still working on a set posting schedule and other ideas, but let's get this one well established first!
Sometime back in January, I heard a report on the NBC Nightly News which troubled me. I'd like to say that it surprised me, but I'm not sure that it did. I just think it was the first time I'd heard a statement about obesity and a link to cancer that was this bold. Here is a link to the report which was entitled, "War On Cancer." The statement you are looking for comes very near the end at about the 1:22 minute marking.
In essence, the report states that although there is much good news in the war on cancer with some cancer rates falling to all-time lows, the battle on some fronts just keeps getting scarier. The gentlemen from the American Cancer Society states that (I'm not quoting) in 10-15 years, obesity will replace tobacco as the leading cause of cancer in America.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe it? In your opinion, how does that happen? Do you think we have all the information we need or do you think there is still much to be learned as to what does and does NOT cause cancer? Do you have a personal story to share of someone whose obesity directly contributed to a cancer diagnosis? What was the outcome? What can we do?
Doesn't it just make you feel kind of helpless? So many people that I love are obese and I feel unable to help because I know that they will only help themselves when they are ready. But maybe there is more we can do to get messages such as this one out. It is so easy to hide our heads in a hole while tearing the paper off that candy wrapper or pulling open that bag of chips. No stone-throwing here. I've done it and am certainly not immune to being right back there again.
The trail I walked last week and shown in the first picture is rare. To find a stretch of trail in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park THAT straight and THAT flat is highly unusual. It just doesn't happen. More often they look like this.........