Your Health: Is it Genetics or Habits?

By Larry North, an EO speaker and fitness expert.

My mother has struggled with her weight most of her life. In fact, I have photos of my great-great relatives–as well as my grandmother, uncle and my younger twin brothers–that document their own struggle with being overweight. Most people are surprised to learn that not only have I struggled with my weight since I was five years old, but that I’m an overeater.

Interestingly enough, it should come as no coincidence that I not only come from a long line of overweight relatives, but people who thought about what to eat for breakfast at dinner, and vice versa. Most babies’ first words are “mamma,” and “dada,” but my first word was “MORE!” My very first sentence was, “Is there anything else to eat?” The day I was born, my mother was told, “that is one hungry baby.” Unfortunately, not much has changed in the way of my appetite.

I often hear people attribute their personal weight-control issues to poor genetics. Genetics play a role in your health and personal appearance; that is a scientific fact. Everyone is given a predetermined number of fat cells and a predetermined placement of those cells at birth. Another scientific fact is that there are several different body types. Basically, we each have characteristics of all the body types, some just have more of each than others. For example, a very muscular, athletic teenager can show up bald and fat to his 20th-high school reunion. I also have dozens of testimonials that describe people who have been overweight their whole lives and currently look muscular and athletic. Why? 

Simple, it is because habits are far more superior to genetics. At some point in your life, you must become accountable. Stop the excuses that are pounding in your ear and realize that you and only you are responsible for your appearance and health, not your long-dead ancestors from the 17th century. This isn’t that complicated. A bit of easy cardio, some weight-lifting, a group class here and there, along with an eating program, will turn your body into a fat-burning machine.

Today, mom is great! My brothers look terrific, and at age 47, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been, but not nearly as good as I’m going to be. Do I struggle with my love of food and an insatiable appetite? You bet! The difference is I’ve figured it out, as have many of my loyal followers. Now it’s your turn! Stop saying negative excuses that accomplish nothing, and start creating habits that will change your life.

Categories: general


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