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My Professional Take On Colorado’s Obesity Statistics

Before I went on vacation last month, there was an article in the Denver Post about Colorado’s obesity statistics and how we had the lowest obesity rate in the nation.

The first thing that went through my mind after reading the headline was, “Yay! We’re #1!”

But then I read the article. And soon, my enthusiasm quickly died down. And when I got done reading the article, I have to admit that I was depressed.

You see, the good news is that, yes, we are the least obese state in the nation. We should be proud of that.

However, nearly 50% of Coloradoans have become obese in the last 15 years. AND our obesity rate today would have made us the MOST OBESE STATE IN THE COUNTRY IN 1995!!!

Incredible isn’t it?

The other sobering statistic is that Colorado was the only state in the nation where the obesity rate was under 20%. Think about that. Forty nine states have over 20% of their population classified as obese.

And you thought the whole debt crisis recently was a big deal.

How did we get here? I have my opinions. And you probably have heard them all before. Cheap and easy non-nutritious food, cutting physical education classes from our schools, the way our society is set up where we don’t have to physically move to get things that we want anymore….the list goes on and on.

But what do I think is the #1 reason why we are in this realtity?

People simply are not mentally ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

When I became a personal trainer in 2003, I realized that our nation was headed for a health crisis. It was one of the main reasons I decided to leave the law profession and pursue this career. I knew I could do something to help those people who didn’t want to become one of these statistics and live a healthy lifestyle.

The thing that I didn’t expect was the resistance some people put up when it comes to their health. They know they want to be healthy, they know what they need to do, but they simply choose to procrastinate.

Believe it or not, exercising and eating right are the easy part. The hard part? Mentally training yourself to want to become healthy.

Just recently, I have encountered at least three potential clients (I guess they are not potential anymore because they are now clients) who told me they want to lose weight, they need to lose weight, but yet they were apprehensive to commit to themselves to lose weight. Mentally, they are just not there yet. But they are slowing getting there.

And it’s these types of clients that I want to train the most.

You see, part of my job is to motivate and hold my clients accountable to themselves. I would venture that at least 80% of the people who hire me do so because they need the motivation. They need the accountability because they can’t be accountable to themselves. And this is the biggest challenge to me as a health professional. If I can’t convince someone to adopt a fitness lifestyle and push themselves to want to accomplish their health and fitness goals, then I am simply just taking their money. And that leaves me with a sick feeling in my stomach.

So where are you mentally? Do you want to become a statistic like in the Denver Post’s article? Are you willing to do what it takes to turn your life around and take the next steps to become healthy?

It’s quite the burden I know. But with the right attitude, you can do it. No personal training client of mine has failed when they develop this never say die attitude. And when that happens, the results are absolutely phenomenal!

To see the original Denver Post article click here:



  1. Laurie Merrick on August 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Bravo!! If more (or all) of our healthcare professionals – in ALL areas – had your same philosophies, attitude, dedication and passion, then obesity wouldn’t be a primetime topic of discussion. Stealing Gandhi’s words, kudos to you for being the change you wish to see in the world.

    • dennis on August 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks, Laurie! This is my passion, and I will continue my quest of getting all of Northern Colorado to adopt a health and fitness lifestyle! 🙂

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