More than 78 million people in the United States are obese. Daniel Finney, a writer for the Des Moines Register, is one of them, and he’s looking to change that by making his weight loss journey public.
In a video released by the newspaper, Finney explained his rationale behind his decision to lose weight. The 39-year-old has struggled with his weight since high school, and was 563 pounds at his last weigh-in.
Finney had been diagnosed as Type II diabetic and also said that he had problems with sleep apnea.
He also experienced a lot of pain and found he was unable to walk 150 feet without having to stop. X-rays revealed that he had developed arthritis and a narrowing spinal cavity, leading to severe leg and back pain.
In the video, Finney explains that his approach to weight loss is three-pronged: he’s working with a nutritionist, a physical therapist and a mental health counselor to deal with his relationship with food.
“Cravings have never been my problem,” Finney writes. “Depression and anxiety are my problems. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m anxious or manic. I eat to socialize. I eat to feel. I eat to suppress feelings.”
Even those who aren’t obese often have trouble avoiding winter weight gain or the cycle of crash dieting. The average person in the U.S. can gain between seven and 10 pounds during the holiday season.
Changes in weight can even happen on a recurring basis. According to the Huffington Post, it’s not uncommon for women to have their weight fluctuate during their monthly cycles.
And as Finney points out, most diets (about 95%) fail, according to the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination. Within one year, 66% of dieters will regain the weight they lost, and 97% will regain it within five years.
There is no single approach to weight loss, as Finney says in his video. He, like many other Americans, is simply finding out what he think will work best for him, and he is hopeful that he can lose at least a pound or two per week — a healthy amount.
Thankfully, the internet has been supportive of his journey. His Twitter account, @newsmanone, now has more than 4,000 followers and a number of well-wishers who have seen his article featured on the web.
And Finney has made progress so far in his mall walks, according to a Tweet from April 13: “When I started physical therapy I could do 1 lap at 150 feet before stopping with [level] 8 pain. Today I went 10 laps with minimal pain. #recovery”