An Outdoorsman’s Guide to Overcoming Obesity

Note: This is a guest post from Brett Traudt of S’more Outdoor.

As I wander down the city streets, watch the people as they pass me by, go to the movie theater with my wife, take her out to dinner, or help people that come into my job, I am constantly reminded of the growing problem we face in our society with Obesity.

You can see it on prime time while watching the Biggest Loser, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, or the newest sitcom, Mike and Molly.

You can watch the documentaries on Netflix such as Super Size Me or Killer At Large.

You can scan through the channels and see all the weight loss programs that are for sale, and hear all the promises of the quick fixes.

You will hear our First Lady talk about it as well as any News Network. You can even endure surgery to help remove excess fat.

Obesity is here and we NEED to do something about it.

I am not a nutritionist, nor am I a personal trainer. I am not a body builder, nor am I a marathon runner. I am not even someone who should be featured on Men’s Health magazine…. at least not yet anyway.

What I am is someone who has struggled with weight my whole life because I overeat and I eat my food way too fast…. I have even referred to myself as a vacuum!

A year ago, I reached my tipping point. I was at 25% body fat and according to “The Chart”, I was considered obese. I didn’t look like I was obese, but I did feel very uncomfortable and my body was sore all the time.

I needed to change!

My wife and I stared eating better, we spent less money on going out to eat and more money buying food that we could make, we started working out at home through a few of those home exercise program I mentioned earlier, and we started doing more things outside.

We decided that we needed to be living the life that we should be and not what society and big business is forcing upon us.

So…What will your tipping point be?

Mine was when I was labeled obese. If you are already obese, then what is that point going to be for you? Will it be a heart attack or the death of someone you care about?

What will that tipping point be for you when you realize that if you don’t do something now for your child, the life they live won’t be the one you had hoped for them?

The good news is that you can change!

You have the power to decide right now the life you want to live or the life you want to give your child.

What I love is that if I want to change anything, I can do it with a little focus and a little willpower.

It doesn’t have to be difficult; it just has to be persevered.

You can find a ton of information on the Internet about weight loss, and it can be a very difficult task to wade through all of the information, but since you are already reading this post, you have found a great site that focuses on just that!

Like the title says, I’m an Outdoorsman.

I love being outside, whether it be hiking, backpacking, camping, or any number of water sports. I just enjoy being out in nature taking in all of the beauty, and the experience of getting outdoors.

Up until I started the corporate life, I was always doing stuff outside which helped me maintain my weight… my balance in life.

After I was entrusted with a multiple-million dollar store, and experienced the stress that followed, I stopped spending time outside and spent more time resting and grazing in front of the TV…. more time getting fat.

Does that last part sound familiar?

I care about you. I care about the well being of your child. I care about the well being of our society. I care about helping you and your child lose weight through the simple idea of spending more time outdoors, away from your electrical paradise, your grazing ground.

What I am about to share with you will be a complete paradigm shift for you and your child, but in the end, will be worth the journey.

I understand that there are all kinds of reasons why you may be overweight, but the solution, as simple and straightforward as it is, will help you gain control over your problem with obesity.

It will take some time to work it, but in the end, you will be glad you did.

What I am about to propose to you will help you on this journey to become more relaxed (less stressed) and rejuvenated (more energy) while helping stimulate your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

It will help you become more alive and in the process help educate you and give you an appreciation for the beauty that surrounds you.

I believe that when a person has balance in their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being….when they spend more time out in nature learning from and experiencing from all their God given senses….they can overcome any obstacle that they face.

Through nature and the balance, peace and rejuvenation that it will provide for you, you can overcome your problem or your child can overcome their problem with obesity.

I have created the Overcoming Obesity Pyramid System or OOPS for short. I know, kind of corny, but the food you eat is corny too! (Make sure you watch Food Inc), that was also what I said to myself when I hit my tipping point.

Here is OOPS

If you notice… I also created an easy acronym for you to remember.

Act – this is very straight forward, but it is the hardest step in the process. You will not accomplish anything in life, let alone weight loss, unless you take control. I know you can act because you make thousands of choices every day… especially about what your next meal is going to be. You need to act in a different way. You need to make better choices if you want to succeed.

“A” can also stand for Admit; because it is time to be honest with yourself and admit that your life is on the line…. your child’s life is on the line!

Nutrition – this is the most confusing part because we are being fed conflicting information about what we should be eating, what we should avoid, all the advertising on processed food containers that say they are healthy, or watching all those commercials that make us want to try the latest food creation. There are also tons of diet books online and in the
bookstores…

Where do you start with your nutrition?

I have been reading a simple to follow and easy to read book called Food Rules by Michael Pollan and find the information very helpful when it comes to understanding what we need to know about eating the right food, or what we have always know but failed to follow. I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

Set Goals – most of us have never taken a moment to sit down and write out goals for our life. We are a society that has been advertised to and bombarded with information about having everything now.

Setting goals is about having a dream, in this case losing fat, and putting a timeline to it. You can set daily goals for yourself, weekly, monthly, or for however long you need to. If you set short goals for yourself, you are more likely to succeed.

Setting goals is a great practice to start doing in every area of your life and I can attest… once you start losing fat and feeling better about yourself…. you will begin applying this practice to other areas as well.

If you don’t hit your goal, don’t give up!

It has taken however many years as you are old now to get to the weight you are currently at. It won’t come off as quick as you want it too, but with perseverance and goal setting, you will lose the fat faster than you may have put it on.

Water – the earth is 75% water. It needs water to survive the way it does.

What happens when we don’t have enough rain? Droughts happen and things start to die.

According to some online resources, our body is composed of 75% water as well. The same thing will happen if we don’t nourish our body with water.

Water helps eliminate toxins from our body. Water helps lubricate our joints and our muscles. We need water to survive.

You can go for a while without food, but you could not live long without water.

Most of us do not drink enough water. Sure we may be drinking more than enough soda, energy drinks, or fruit juice, but those all have more sugar than your body was designed to function on. Even if you drink diet or sugar free, can you pronounce their ingredients?

Bottom line…… You need to drink more water.

Educate – I love this part of the pyramid, and I hope you find it as fascinating as I do. I took a few courses in college that have left a lasting impression on me and helped me understand the world around me.

I took Astronomy which helped me have a better understanding of the night sky and our universe, I took Physical Geography to understand how the Earth and it’s physical nature is formed and goes through changes, and I took Botany to learn more about how plants from the tiniest of species to the largest of trees have become who they are and their importance to each other.

These three courses were the best education I had ever pursued and helped me have an appreciation for the world beyond the concrete walls. They opened my eyes to this world and in turn helped me to look at nature a different way. They gave me something to look at, to hear, to touch, to smell, and to taste.

When I go out in nature and breathe in the air, I feel at peace…. I feel whole.

Nature doesn’t laugh at you, it doesn’t criticize you, it doesn’t yell at you…

Nature welcomes you with open arms.

It may be different for you, but I can tell you from experience that when you are out in nature, it will give you hope, it will give you peace, it will give you more energy, it will help give your life balance, it will inspire you… It was created for you!

Recreation – this is the foundation of the Pyramid, because without it, as great as the other components are, you will not succeed with out some type of recreational activity.

You need to be active outside of your house even if you only have 20 minutes.

The biggest distraction, the hardest obstacle, the most difficult thing you will have to overcome is the time you spend at home. I know you have been at work all day, your child has been at school or playing video games, but you have to get away from everything that is keeping you and your child from living a better quality of life.

You need to start finding places you can go to away from home, away from fast food restaurants, away from the places that are keeping you obese. You can do any type of outdoor activity that you find enjoyable….and yes…. you must find something enjoyable.

The best place to start is to find somewhere local such as a National Park or a National Forest that you can visit and go on a hike. You can visit Recreation.gov for a place near you. A hike is just another word for a walk, but out in nature and with a little more rugged terrain than you’re used to.

My wife and I just recently went on a hiking trip to Yosemite Falls. It was tough, but we made it close enough to snap some amazing pictures.

You don’t need to get crazy; you just need to get active!

As you begin to lose fat and feel better about yourself, you can progress to a more rugged terrain. You can also experiment with other activities such as rafting for your upper body, bicycling for your legs, or continue exploring the world around you through nature hikes.

There are many other ideas…and once you are outdoors….something else may inspire you.

There you have it; Oops is the Answer, at least for me and I hope it becomes the answer for you too.

What you do now is up to you, but I hope you take your life…. your child’s life… seriously and make the change. You need to do this for those you love.

You need to do this to prove to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to.

Being outdoors, learning about the world around you, understanding how you need to feed your body, how you need to teach your children, how you need to be an example for others to follow, will be the best decision you will ever make.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I know the information is helpful, because this is what I do and how I keep my life…. my body in balance. I encourage you to share this with those you love, I encourage you to help your child, I encourage you to get S’more Outdoor! (Ok… I couldn’t resist that last part).

Brett Traudt has been an outdoor enthusiast since the age of 2 when he had his first camping experience with his family. His wife Le’ Zette is a massage practitioner. Together they combined their two passions to create S’more Outdoor… a camping spa retreat!

 

Comments

  1. Excellent, informative, inspiring article!!

    • Brett Traudt says:

      Teri – glad that you were inspired by the article… getting outdoors is what has inspired this article, my way of life!

  2. What an amazing post — so much valuable information!! Food Inc, Food Rules– all great resources to learn more!! Also, if one gets a chance watch Fresh and Food Matters — and due out this summer is Farmageddon (check out the trailer:

    Following the steps listed out here will definitely work. Also, it is not about the type of diet you are following– it is making sure you are putting good raw nutritional food into your body and getting some sort of exercise. Another great book to read for nutrition is ‘Nourishing Traditions’ by Sally Fallon. . . it goes back to the way our great-grandparents cooked. . . it may take a while and may make us slow down, but. . . our bodies respond very well to it!

    • Brett Traudt says:

      Wendy – I love what you mention about “putting good raw nutritional food into your body”… it is what most f us are missing. I couldn’t help but notice the line of cars at McDonalds today and how sad it makes me to know what I do and that people just don’t understand what to eat. Thank you for sharing and your feedback.

  3. Brett – I know you’re living what you’re talking about! Thanks for sharing your story…I hope people will take it to heart and start making positive changes.

  4. Brett Trauddt says:

    James – I am glad you have taken the time to share your thoughts and your leadership in helping me get to where I am. I know that people will take it to heart when they have a big enough WHY and reach that tipping point that so many of us experience.

  5. Brett – I’m so stoked you got the opportunity to write this here. Can’t be too many people preachin’ this message. Thanks for being transparent…and caring. And for the wise counsel.

  6. Brett Traudt says:

    Kevin – if it wasn’t for all that you do for your friends, the inspiration that you provide to follow your heart and do what you are passionate about… then what is written here would not have been on my heart to share. Thank you for your guidance and your wise council. Your families lifestyle was another that inspired this article

  7. Hi Brett, this is great information. Too many people think getting fit requires a monthly membership or an expensive machine, but the only thing really necessary is commitment. Just being intentional about what you eat makes a huge difference for people, and finding an activity they enjoy is another key.

    • Thanks, Jake! I couldn’t agree more with you, and that’s why you’ll find pretty much everything we do at Fit Marriage can be done outside the confines of a gym.

      Dustin

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