This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Carole Carson. In her own words:
“Carole Carson, dubbed “An Apostle for Fitness” by the Wall Street Journal, is the author ofFrom Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction. Just before turning 60, Carole decided to reinvent herself. After chronicling her transformation from butterball to butterfly in weekly newspaper articles, she invited others in her Northern California community to join the fun. Inspired by her example, more than 1,000 ordinary people teamed up to lose nearly 4 tons of fat in two months during the Nevada County Meltdown.
Carole’s multifaceted background includes business leadership, marketing, public relations, event planning, writing, training and consulting to businesses and nonprofits. Her mission is to communicate her empowering message: “You and your friends can have fun, get fit and lose weight!”
Carole writes a featured newspaper column and has appeared on NBC’s Today show, CBS’s Early Show, MSNBC’sCountdown, CNN News and national radio programs. Besides teaching and consulting, Carole has produced a weekly community television show, The Tipping Point, and a reality show, Go Fat to Fit.”
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey, everyone! Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim Podcast. Today’s show is going to be a lovely one, full of smiles and inspirations and just good information because we have a woman who was dubbed in a possible for fitness by the Wall Street Journal. She’s the author of the book From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction. Her story was, which I’ll let her tell you in a bit more details, basically just before turning 60, she decided to reinvent herself.
In fact, she chronicled in her words her transformation from ‘butterball to butterfly’ in weekly newspaper articles. Then, got her whole community so pumped up about what she was doing that more than a thousand ordinary people teamed up to lose nearly 4 tons of fat in 2 months. She’s gone on to write the Fat to Fit Meltdown Manual so that other people can do in their community what she has so profoundly done. You can learn more about her on the website FromFat2Fit, (that’s the number 2) .com. Carole Carson, welcome to the show.
Carole: Oh, thank you.
Jonathan: Oh, Carole, we got to start from the very beginning. Tell us how you went from, in your words, and your motivation to go from ‘butterball to butterfly’.
Carole: My beginning was not auspicious. In fact, it began standing naked on a scale. I got out of the shower in the morning. Weighed myself. I didn’t even put on an underwear because I didn’t want to add [indiscernible 01:55]. I stepped on the scale and it broke. I thought it was message from on high. I think I looked up the ceiling and I said, “Oh, are you trying to tell me something here?” So in that moment I thought, “I need to do something.”
I went out and bought a new scale that day. The problem is with new scales is they’re more accurate. So I actually weight more than I knew. It went up 5 lbs. So I’m now coming in a 183 lbs. I’m only 5 foot 2. Not even that, 5 foot 1 now. So that’s way, way, way too much. So I decided that I would get fit. That’s important because I didn’t decide to lose weight. I decided to get fit. I looked at… I’d been dieting for 40 years without success. In fact, I joke that I was an expert on what not to do.
So this time I… what mistake have I made? What can I learn from my failed efforts? From that, I derived my own simple, little formula for fit, F-I-T. I’d make it fun. I would find exercise I love to do. I would find foods that I love to eat that wouldn’t pack on pounds. I would stand for individualized… I think at that time, I’d fallen and I had a torn hamstrings. So exercise, I had to be really careful that I didn’t set myself back. Also, my age at 60, I couldn’t do things I could when I was your age, Jonathan.
Lastly, T was I would team up with others. I would do it together. I use those 3 concepts throughout the remainder of my weight loss. I always wanted to write so offered to write a single article for the newspaper and instead of being of it being single article that they were going to bury in the back of the newspaper in the senior section, they put the article on the front page of the paper with my measurements and photo and said, “I was going to demonstrate [indiscernible 03:56].
Jonathan: Oh, well, they decided through your back back over the wall there as they say.
Carole: Well, the day the newspaper came out, a neighbor called and said, “Go look at the newspaper.” Well, I went and got the newspaper and I read it. I am absolutely mortified because I have not even told my husband my weight and there it is on the front page of the local newspaper. My husband came down to breakfast. First thing I said to him is, “We have to move.”
Jonathan: Oh, no.
Carole: Then, I went to town that day and everybody said, “Well, Carole, if you could do it, maybe, I could do it. Of course, people recognize me everywhere I went. It’s a small community. I live in Northern California. I came home that night. I thought, “Well, maybe I could do it.” Then, of course… I’m sorry, Jonathan. But I think man process things differently than women. They’re kind of slower on the…sometimes. So Jerry, my husband, said, “Well, if you thought about where you want to move.” But I said, “No, no, no. We can’t move. I have to write the series – newspaper series.” That’s how all it began.
Jonathan: Then, so the series started. What were your key observations? Obviously, you got the community really; inspired 2 tons of fat losses is no small feat. So what was different about your experience that caused that massive inspiration?
Carole: I shared the ups and downs, the setbacks, the triumphs. When I had lost 60 lbs., I continued writing and only I expand it. I continue to write about my own experience but I added profiles of other people who were either doing what I was doing or had maintained a FIT lifestyle through the years. I used all different examples. Like a kid who was playing wheelchair tennis or a 75 year old who had black martial belts.
So I try to get a range of people and the different ways that they had maintained their fitness. I also started writing about opportunities in our community to get fit, whether it was a hike or a gym or an event. After I had done that for about a year, I said, “Anybody who want to join me in this getting FIT business?” We expected perhaps… because it was winter and we have snow here where I live and also we have a lot of seniors who don’t like to come out at night and we have young families who have to put their kids to bed after they did their homework. We expected maybe, I don’t know, a dozen, two dozen people.
Well, we had… after we had barricaded ourselves in because the fire marshals said we couldn’t take any more people into our theater, we probably had 1,200 people show up if not more. We continued to grow each week. We formed teams. We ended up losing that 2 tons in… If we were to expect… what I’m even prouder of as an achievement is the fact that communities across United States picked up on this idea. I stopped keeping track. But when I stop keeping track, I think over 1,200 communities had organized their own fitness and weight loss events.
Jonathan: What else… what are the…?
Carole: So we really triggered. It was an imaginative idea, I think. We really triggered or we pioneered this trend.
Jonathan: What were some of the key differences, Carole? You mentioned you had been trying for 4 years to do this. Not only in this instance where you successful but clearly some of the techniques you were using helped others to be successful as well. What had you done and then what is the… for lack of better terms counterpoint that you are doing now in helping others to do?
Carole: Well, I think I had always before viewed weight loss as a grim process involving depravation. Instead, I flipped that and I made it a fun adventure, like I’m going to find new foods to eat. In terms of exercise, I tried every exercise you can think of. From cycling to kickboxing to weight lifting to yoga, Pilates. I made it an adventure. That shifted the whole experience from grimness to “Wow, this is really fun to open up myself to these new possibilities.” I just jazzercise too which I’m terrible at.
In the end, I ended up with 3 forms of exercise that I could sustain for the rest of my life. I think that’s a…was another key element which is when I said I had to individualized my program which is I determined that I needed a way to live, a way to eat, a way to exercise that I could sustain forever. This wasn’t just a quick fix. This is a way I had to live from this point forward. But I think the biggest thing mistake I had made in the past is I always tried to do it alone.
I thought if I had enough willpower and jack that mind incentive, I could pull it off on my own. The truth is I couldn’t. I needed help. I needed a trainer to help me learn how to exercise so I didn’t damage my hamstring again. I need the support of my husband. I needed my doctor to reduce my medications. It took a whole little village supporting me to help me make the changes I needed to make. That’s why when I finished this, I thought, “I need to help communities do this.” It’s just too hard to do it alone.
Jonathan: Well, Carole, it sounds like you took… if I understand correctly, first of all, you really took ownership for this. You weren’t looking for someone else to say, “Carole, this is… you have to do this. This is the one right approach and do this.” You said, “No, I’m going to try it all and I’m going to see what works for Carole Carson., what works for me.”
Then, because also only you can determine is what can you keep up? What can you sustain? Then, once you found that individualized formula, what works for you and that which you derived enjoyment from, you found at least one buddy to do it with you because otherwise it’s lonely.
Carole: It’s lonely and you lose your willpower. There are days that you may not feel like exercising. For instance, I love tennis. So if I had a date with 3 other people to play tennis, no way I’m not going to show up. But I had a solo exercise activity for myself, I might not show up. I might disappoint myself. Also, I think I’m a really shallow person or maybe I reached the stage of my life where I just want everything to be fun. It’s grim and awful. It’s like I don’t do it.
Jonathan: Carole, have you found in your thousands and thousands of people whose lives you’ve touched with this message of fun, individualized and team based health, certainly, getting support, have you found… obviously, there are ways to do that. You have a friend or you go out with people physically.
But I know for some people are just little bit more solo or just live in areas where they may not have access to huge amount of people that are on the same schedule as them, have you found ways maybe to digitally get support? Or if I just had… if you’re like me and all you do is work, you don’t have any friends, how do you get support digitally? Or what are some alternatives?
Carole: Oh, there’s dozens of apps that are out there right now. There’s online communities. When I said I support community weight loss… communities come in different forms. There’s affinity groups. For instance, some people belong to churches and churches are organizing their own little fitness groups. But there’s online communities that are just fabulous for providing support including Weight Watchers, Smart People. There are dozens of online communities. Then, also employers now are organizing fitness program.
So if there isn’t one where someone works, they can talk to their human resources and get one started because employers have an interest in helping their employees stay fit. But the other thing is, I think it’s good to have a combination. For instance, I do a floor routine that takes about 45 minutes a day that I do by myself. I use it as kind of a meditation time when I have all ideas to surface that otherwise might not surface in the busyness of life.
But I also wear a pedometer. I think pedometer are fabulous for keeping people moving because it becomes a goal to make sure you get 10,000 steps every day. So there are all sorts of tools, communities, apps, resources for people that are technology savvy and for people who aren’t.
Jonathan: Carole, what would you say given your…you mentioned you started this transformation in your 60th year on this earth. Certainly, there are many, many, many, many people in our country that are in that same life stage. What have you found to be the most unique considerations? Or things that are even uniquely helpful for you or for people like you?
Carole: Well, I think when I began this, my main motivation was vanity. I didn’t like the way I look. I just… it’s funny that I didn’t wanted them to know my weight because all they have to do is look at me, right? You can’t really hide it. What was surprised me… shortly, after I began my makeover, I got a call from my local hospital and they brought me in and said they wanted to do a health and risk assessment on me at the beginning and then later after I lost the weight. Well, they got me and they tested me, what I learned was that I was in the 90% percentile for risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
That was because of my family history, my own history, my habits, all sorts of factors combined. I had no idea I was walking around with a gun to my head. If I had not made those changes, I wouldn’t be alive today. I think after 4 months, only 4 months, they retested me. Now, I was in the normal range in all those categories. I had no idea that the body could be so forgiving and we could reduce our medical risk by making those changes. I think I approached it as a vanity issue.
Jonathan: Did you find that when you had that… maybe, let’s call that more deeper meaning. Did that fuel you even more?
Carole: Well, I think what it did is… I had the impulse then to share what I learned with other people because I can look around and I see other people walking around with a gun to their head. Now, I say, “People, people, you had a gun to your head. Do you know that? You can… you don’t have to live like this. You can reduce your risk.”
It’s really expensive to take a lot of medications every day. I have pretty much eliminated the medications that the doctors had me on. In addition to maybe dying prematurely, I was going to have a lot less money because I was going to be spending money on medications and I was going to be hospitalized a lot more.
Jonathan: Well, certainly it seems like continuing life is more motivation all than just making the scale happy. So not dying is certainly a strong form of motivation in it sounds like.
Carole: Also though, I think having the energy to do what I want to do. Having the ability, physical ability to do whatever what I want to do. I frequently play an hour and a half of tough tennis. I mean, really tough, competitive tennis. Then, go for a 3 mile walk. Now, I’m in my early 70s. I probably have more energy than a lot of more [indiscernible 0:15:53] that are in their 20s.
Jonathan: I think that’s so wonderful, Carole. Because I noticed that… when we get… when you’re in a stage of life that I’m in, you’re just kind of working. That’s all you’re doing. But once you get through that stage of life, you have so much time. You could spend doing all of this wonderful stuff and how amazing it is to have the level of health and vitality that now you’re enjoying to be able to take the 40 years that sometimes people may perceive in one way and actually transform those 40 years into a time of vibrancy and celebration and enjoyment.
Carole: I have a need to give back to other communities. I worked with communities mainly in the United States, sometimes out of the country, as an advisor to help them organize their own events. Because the problem with obesity continues to excuse the pun, expand. The medical cost associated with the illnesses and medical conditions that occurs as a result of obesity continue to grow.
So there’s a lot of work that needs to be done at the community level. I can’t… there isn’t enough for me to go around to counsel individuals so I focus my energy on helping whole communities to tackle the issue together.
Jonathan: Carole, in my understanding, your focuses from a community perspective, at least in large part, is getting people moving, getting people to be more active, getting people to exercise which, of course, is a wonderful, wonderful component. How have you found or have you found successful approaches where communities can support each other nutritionally?
Carole: Well, exercise is wonderful for our bodies but changes in weight occur through changes in eating, as you know from writing your book and doing all your research. Part off…of course, when you go start messing around or recommending… I don’t recommend any specific diet, incidentally. But I do recommend eating healthy and taking into account the person’s preferences.
Maybe cultural background, maybe religious considerations about what they do eat and what they don’t eat. But it’s really important to eat healthfully. I just saw a headline in the news this morning that the United States allows additives and chemicals in our food that are not allowed in China, Europe and the U.S. So people have to be kind of a lot pickier about the food that they put in their mouth. You could probably could speak to this too.
Jonathan: Oh, absolutely. I love the point you made about if we want to be able to move throughout our life… it’s a good idea to move throughout our life. I’m thinking exercises base line. You have to do it if you want to maintain your body’s ability to move. There’s no better way to do that than to move. So we got to do that. But so often it seems, Carole, that people may even stop exercising because their motivation for exercising are those body composition changes which they don’t see or they see the opposite of because exercise and it makes them hungry.
Then they just eat more of the foods which are causing their suboptimal body composition. How do you… because you get these thousands of people together, it is fun. We’re together. We’re in a class. We’re all active. Our endorphins are going because we’re moving. We’re outside and that’s all good. Then, it’s Sunday night and we’re at home. We’re by ourselves and we’re hungry. How do we tap into the community or leverage techniques to ensure that we don’t get off the ranch in those nutrition circumstances?
Carole: Well, once a community… you can view the 8 week programs I typically do with communities, sort of an awareness session. A consciousness raising session. Then after that, the real work begins where you start institutionalizing the changes a community needs to make. For instance in our community, we have so many farmers market where people can buy crushed. They can buy organic if they like. But they definitely can buy locally grown produce that prices that are less than at the grocery store.
Our school now have more exercise and programs for kids. We’re moving towards doing real food in our schools, as opposed to processed food that we were serving before. The hospital has changed its cafeteria of… so that the food that it’s serving both its visitors and its patients is healthier. So these are the kind of institutional changes that are gradual and begin to occur overtime.
Now, in our community when we did the meltdown, the number of children that risk for obesity was right about at the national average 33-34%. We did a retrospective a couple of years ago at the request of the magazine. They wanted to see if the changes in our community were permanent or just an 8 week “Oh, this was just a lot of fun. Now, let’s go back to the way we were.”
As it turned out, what we learned which I didn’t even know until we did the retrospective was that our rate of children at risk for obesity has dropped at 18%. So that tells me that families got involved and changed their lifestyle at home. We changed things at the school. We changed… we had a walking trail so kids could walk safely to and from school. Farmer’s markets were added. So all of these changes combined contributed to that shift in statistic.
Jonathan: Carole, if an individual is living a healthier lifestyle, they’re eating smarter, they’re moving more, they’re doing some smarter exercise, they’re out there, they’re making a difference in their own life, what have you found to be the most effective ways that they can help others? Because oftentimes, sometimes, individuals who are healthy, quote on quote, there’s a stigma that they’re trying recruit people or people almost get intimidated by them.
Well, if you have success, it’s going to make me feel bad about myself. So therefore I maybe like “Oh, you think you’re too good to eat this cupcake.” Or something along those lines. So how do we…?
Carole: Then I’m going to have two!
Jonathan: Exactly. Exactly. So how do we not only not turn people off… that’s step one. Don’t turn people off. But what you’re showing is we can actually turn people on to this lifestyle. So what are the key ways we can approach it to turn people on rather than off?
Carole: Well, first and foremost, is to be an example, a positive example. I have so much fun with my life. I think, sometimes, people look and say, “Well, I want to have as much fun as she’s having.” So I think if you’re an example of someone who’s living – living and loving your life, it’s like whatever… it’s like that movie “Whatever she’s having I want some of that.” But I say that because I notice once I lost weight, the people around me started losing weight. I was not proselytizing.
Stepson laws lost about 40 lbs. My son lost about 20 lbs. My husband started working and getting more fit. Actually, my husband gained weight at first because he kept wanting to eat the way he did before. So I would fix two dinners. Sort of my new food way of eating and he still got to eat his old traditional food. So he ate both dinners. Then, eventually, he said, “You know, you’re skinny food isn’t so bad so if you join me…” But he’s still working on his fitness and losing weight.
But I never lectured him, I never said a word to him. All I said is “This is the life I want for myself. This is how I want to take care of my body.” But I think the … being a role model is important. Then, the other thing is educating. You’ve done a brilliant job with your book on pulling together all of the latest research and turning it into a workable program for individuals. But to the extent that you can keep educating yourself and educating the people around you about what the issues are.
Nobody wants to put food in their bodies that’s going to poison them. People have a self-interest in learning about what’s going into their food. So you work on… to me, I spend a lot of time still writing articles. Because I think education makes the difference.
Jonathan: Carole, I love so much the point you made about have fun. I’m so deep into the science sometimes I forget about this. But it reminded me that just on outside looking in, there are certain lifestyles which when you see is someone says, “I do x.” They seem sad or tired. Or it seems they’re doing x and it’s hard. It’s a burden. Why in God’s name would you ever want to… okay, clearly it’s healthy. It seems to be really making you feel good.
So that is just a profound. It’s simple and seemingly common sense. But often common sense is a common practice where if the approach you’re taking is enjoyable, one you’re probably on the right track. So if it’s not enjoyable, you’re in that depravation, non-sustainable mindset. If it is effective and it is making you feel and look vibrant, it’s almost impossible not to inspire others. Because we’re all just motivated.
We all want to feel better. So if Tom and Mary are doing this thing that’s really making them feel better, that speaks many more volumes than trying to lecture someone and say, “Do what I’m doing.” Because if what you are doing was so effective, you wouldn’t even need to tell them. They would see it and just say, “Hey, what are you doing?”
Carole: Yeah. Who you are speaks more than anything you could say. I think this power of example… I have a really dear friend who does the editing, the video editing, for my video production. It’s a 7-3 job, right? Editing video, long hours, putting things together. He’s probably 50, 60, 70, 80 lbs. overweight. He’s making fun of me because I’m walking over to his place or off to do something in… it is good-nature kidding. But he’s having joint problems. He’s pre-diabetic.
I even got him a pedometer and said, “Why don’t you just keep track and get up out of your chair and do a little walking during the day.” But all I… nothing I said or did… he’s even editing this fitness videos for heaven’s sake. So I gave up and just enjoying him as a friend. Well, guess what? He totally surprised me the other day. He’s joined a gym. He’s going to an exercise class. I’m so thrilled for him. So you see, we do have an impact even if we don’t know we are having one.
Jonathan: Carole, that is absolutely true. I tell a story which often makes people smile. I drink these green shakes because I’m usually on the go and it’s hard for me to sit down and eat 2 lbs. of vegetables. But just the amount of chewing, this is often doesn’t fit in the schedule so I blend up these smoothies and I always bring them into work.
They’re like, “Oh, what’s this green drink you drink? What’s this green drink?” “Oh, a silly green drink.” Then, after about 4 – 6 weeks, I opened the refrigerator and I’m like, “Wait a second. That’s not my green drink. What are these all green drinks doing in here?” You’re just like, “Well, that’s kind of cool.”
Carole: That’s exactly what I’m talking about.
Jonathan: Again, it’s not… now, that wouldn’t have been the case if I were to gone to people’s desk and “Why aren’t you drinking this green drink? Drink this green drink.” But if you’re just drinking green drinks and people are “Wow, that person seems pretty happy and healthy.”
Carole: They got energy.
Jonathan: Yeah. I love it. I love that much. It’s just about having fun. Obviously, we want to have that fun backed by science. But have some fun. Carole, what’s next for you? You’re doing all kinds of stuff all over the world. What’s next?
Carole: Well, I’m doing a series of videos, Fit is fun, where we tackle different topics all the way from diabetes, breast cancer, how to get started, how to stay on track, and where I interviewed experts. Then we have individuals tells stories that demonstrates the points. I’m continuing to write articles. Your listeners can find my articles on AARP’s website. That’s a tremendous platform that they give me to promote my articles.
Of course, I want to continue consulting with communities and helping them launch their weight loss events and fitness events, whether it’s an employer or an affinity group or an online community. Because I do believe the future of… if we’re going to make the changes that we need to make us as a society, it has going to have to be done at the community level.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, we’ll keep pumping out the science as long as you keep pumping out the inspiration. Okay?
Carole: Alright. Jonathan, I have one question for you.
Carole: The medical society just came out and said that obesity is now being categorized as a…qualifies…is included in the medical definition of illness or medical condition. What do you think about that? Should obesity have been medicalized a long time ago or is that a mistake? One of the consequences probably is that we’ll have more weight loss drugs available to people to help them lose weight.
Jonathan: I’m going to give you a science answer, if that’s okay.
Carole: Great. Great. That’s why I ask it.
Jonathan: So underlying my work, we talked about the homeostatic regulation of weight, we talked about how it’s not just a matter of conscious regulation of calories. How could it be? We don’t consciously regulate our insulin levels. We don’t consciously regulate our blood sugar levels. We don’t consciously regulate our blood pressure levels. So why is it that this one system works that way? Well, it doesn’t. Certainly, certainly, there’s important lifestyle factors that can contribute to obesity.
But there are also lifestyle factors that can contribute to diabetes. In fact, those lifestyle factors are often very similar. The same types of foods that can cause the homeostatic system around blood sugar regulation and insulin production to break down, which we call the disease “Diabetes”, a.k.a the breakdown of the system. The systems inability to maintain health automatically. We define as a disease and we call that disease “Diabetes”.
Now, obesity is, if you look under the covers and you look at the breakdown of hypothalamus’ ability to be sensitive to certain hormones and to regulate body composition. If you look at the changes in gut bacteria, there are these indicators which are as clear cut and are as common in obese individuals, as we would say there are underlying factors in diabetic individuals.
So when we look at how similar the underlying metabolic dysfunction is for say hypertension or for diabetes and for obesity, if we’re going to define the first two as a disease, it would seem odd not to define the third as a disease. Again, this is not a moral argument. This is nothing. This is just saying if we look at the characteristics of a body that is diabetic, if we look at the characteristics of a body that has hypertension and then we look at characteristics of a body that is overweight, the same reasons we call hypertension and diabetes diseases seem to apply to obesity as well. Does that makes sense?
Carole: Yes. I agree with everything you’ve said. I wondered if there’s a downside if people who will somehow transfer then the issue of their obesity or weight loss to a physician and look for a weight loss drug to solve the problem. The same way we give with people diabetes insulin.
Jonathan: I think that is a more global problem. I don’t think we shouldn’t… the correct approach to overcoming the diabetes epidemic is not to prescribe more insulin. Right? That’s putting… as Dr. Peter Attia said in his recent Ted Talk, that’s like putting cover up on top of bruises. What we need to do is stop slamming our shins against coffee tables. That’s the solution.
Whether or not, we cause call bruising a disease or not, I think we all know that taking pills or at least we should know, or people like you and I should make it our mission that taking pills is most often not the right approach. Because a shortage of pills was not the cause of your problem. We have to identify the cause of the problem. The cause of all of these lifestyle problems are lifestyle decisions. Eating improper foods. Not moving enough.
So whether or not, we call it a disease or not, I think it’s on our shoulders as influencers to say call it a disease don’t call it a disease. To the extent that we don’t eat healthy food and we’re understanding more and more and more what healthy food is, to the extent that we don’t eat so much healthy food that we’re too full for unhealthy food and to the extent that we don’t move, we’re going to have a bunch of conditions. If you want to call some of them diseases and not others or all of them diseases, they all are terrible.
They all make you suffer. So to me, I think people like to get amped up about uncertain things. To me, I don’t get as amped up about this one because my scientific perspective I do think it’s fair to call it a disease. If people want to use that as a way to say, “Well, clearly the solution is taking pills.” Well, that’s just indicative of a deeper problem where the solution to diabetes is not to inject yourself with insulin. The solution to diabetes is to live a lifestyle that does not cause the underlying system to breakdown.
Carole: So whether it’s a disease or not, it will always require a person taking ownership for making the changes that would promote health.
Jonathan: Exactly. To me, it almost becomes a very esoteric, semantic discussion. I’m just, literally, what is the dictionary definition of disease? If the dictionary definition of disease is… I actually don’t know what it is. We can look it up right now. But if it was something like a systemic dysfunction in the body that tends to manifests a series of predictable symptoms, well then, yes.
Obesity is… well, you can look at anyone who’s obese and they have similar characteristics in gut bacteria that non-obese people have. They have similar level of hormonal deregulation that non-overweight people don’t have. They have different levels of inflammation in their brain. So it is. It’s this… if we could manufacture that state in any person’s body, their body would store less… excuse me, would store more and burn less. So…
Carole: You’re good, Jonathan. I thought you’re actually reading from the dictionary.
Jonathan: Oh, no, no. did you actually pull up the dictionary definition?
Carole: No, no, no. I’m just saying you sounded like you’re reading from the dictionary. I believed you.
Jonathan: No, no, no. I wasn’t. So again, I keep… a couple of folks have ask me question about this. My urge to everyone is actually just… I would pretend this really never happen. The hormonal deregulation has been talked about like a disease or metabolic deregulation in the neurobiological and endocrinological communities for decades. It was just, “Oh, yeah, of course. That’s what it is.” The fact that it is just now coming into the mainstream… again, eat smarter, exercise smarter, live better. That’s the bottom line.
Carole: That is the bottom line.
Jonathan: I’m like “I forgot this is Carole’s interview, not mine.”
Carole: How clever of me to shift it to you!
Jonathan: Well, Carole, thank you for all that you do to help people. Whether we want to call it a disease or not to make the lifestyle changes which are not depravation, there are actually quite enjoyable. In fact, that they are not enjoyable my key take away from these talk is we’re probably not taking the right steps. They’ve got to be enjoyable.
Carole: That’s right. Thank you for your partnership. We… A lot of us, you, me, a lot of other people are working in partnership, whether we have an official relationship or not, to encourage individuals to make the changes they need so they can live longer, live healthier, spend less money on drugs and enjoy whatever time they have left.
Jonathan: I really appreciate, Carole, so you’re approach which one that is very clearly not driven by… it’s driven by love and enjoyment and almost a humanitarian effort. Because truly, again, this disease discussion is a distraction. People are dying. So I don’t care if you call it a disease or not. It correlates with death. It correlates with sadness. Anything we can do to minimize the amount of death and sadness in the world, I sure think is important.
Carole: I do, too.
Jonathan: Well, folks, her name is Carole Carson. Obviously, she is a wonderful inspiration, a wonderful beam of light and certainly, lives up to term butterfly versus butterball. You can learn more about her at her website FromFat2Fit.com that is the number 2. So F-R-O-M-F-A-T-2-F-I-T.com. She also has a wonderful book called From Fat to Fit. If you want to be an example like her in your community, she actually has a manual to help you do that. That’s Fat to Fit Meltdown Manual. Carole, thank you so much for joining us today.
Carole: Thank you for a wonderful discussion.
Jonathan: Folks, I hope you enjoy today’s conversation as much as I did. Please remember this week and every week after. Eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. Talk with you soon.
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