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  • Did you know that the average caveman in the Stone Age

  • spent five times as much energy on physical activity

  • as the average American adult today?

  • And I mean our average caveman in the Stone Age had to

  • walk for up to 16 kilometers a day,

  • had to chase his prey for days on end,

  • so then when he finally made his kill,

  • he could rightfully stuff his face with meat

  • and eat as much as he wanted.

  • However, nowadays, overeating is a global problem

  • and the cause of many severe health threats.

  • 44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischemic heart disease burden,

  • and up to 41% of certain cancer burdens are linked to obesity.

  • So, these numbers are the things you learn from text books,

  • the facts everyone can look up on the Internet,

  • but once I started working in the hospital as a junior intern,

  • and met people who were struggling with obesity,

  • I realized that it's often not these physical consequences

  • that seem to matter most to those who are overweight themselves.

  • Let's take a look at the picture of this girl as an example.

  • The quote that came to my mind when I saw this picture was:

  • "To lose confidence in one's body, is to lose confidence in oneself."

  • Because the girl you see is only 15 years old,

  • but already weighs over 100 kilograms,

  • and tonight she's going to her high school's prom,

  • and you can see she's all dressed up, posing for a picture,

  • probably taken by one of her parents.

  • And yet, in spite of the brave smile she's putting up,

  • you can also instantly sense her insecurity.

  • You can see she's not really looking forward to the night.

  • Only 15 years old with a whole life ahead of her,

  • and already she has lost confidence in herself.

  • This is only one example of people who are severely unhappy in their body,

  • but still can't manage to lose weight.

  • And it made me wonder why

  • because there are stacks of books on how to lose weight,

  • web pages full of tips and tricks,

  • and plenty of experts to guide you through the process.

  • So, if it's not for a lack of tools then why is it so many of us

  • can't manage to lose weight or keep the weight off?

  • And I ask myself all these questions,

  • and then, as we are taught within the problem-based learning system

  • here at Maastricht University,

  • I realized that the best way to find the answer was to go look for it myself.

  • And so I stumbled upon some research on the science of complexity

  • by two professors at York University in Canada.

  • And I found their theory surprisingly applicable

  • to the process of losing weight.

  • You see, they proposed there are three types of problems in the world:

  • the simple, the complicated, and the complex.

  • So, simple problems are the ones like following a recipe.

  • You need some basic techniques and perhaps a bit of practice,

  • but once you get the hang of it,

  • following the recipe has a very high chance of success.

  • Complicated problems cover problems like sending a rocket to the Moon,

  • which does sound pretty complicated to me.

  • However, complicated problems can often be broken down

  • into a string of simple problems.

  • So when coordinated well,

  • these complicated problems still carry a high rate of success.

  • Finally, complex problems are the ones like raising a child.

  • There is no recipe for success.

  • And while raising one child may certainly provide experience,

  • it doesn't guarantee success with the next child

  • because every child is unique

  • and may require an entirely different approach.

  • So, our cavemen in the Stone Age

  • didn't have any notice of complexity, his life was simple, and basic,

  • and as simple pretty much as it could be.

  • But, nowadays, in our modern time,

  • the process of losing weight definitely seems to be a complex problem,

  • there is no recipe for success.

  • And certainly there may be some basic ingredients,

  • eating differently, changing your exercise pattern,

  • but there are no standard tools to use,

  • and no definitive order of steps to follow.

  • The remarkable thing is

  • that many things in our environment suggest

  • that losing weight is, in fact, simply a matter of following a recipe.

  • Drink these shakes, eat these protein bars, skip all carbs,

  • drink gallons of water, avoid all sugars, and you will lose weight,

  • and you will be happy forever,

  • and you will never feel insecure in your life anymore, ever, right?

  • No.

  • I'd like to take you back to the picture of the girl we saw at the beginning

  • because the next picture is the same girl one year later.

  • And seven years later, she's standing here right in front of you

  • sharing a story that appears to be now about as personal as it gets.

  • And five months ago I told my story

  • for the very first time at the TEDxMaastricht pitch night.

  • I showed the audience the same two pictures

  • leaving the second one to right before the end.

  • When I told them that it was the same girl as in the first picture,

  • an audible sigh of genuine surprise went through the public

  • because they realized, as you do by now, that that girl was me.

  • And what struck me most after the pitch night

  • were not the kind words from my friends,

  • and not the compliments from strangers in the audience.

  • No, it was that audible sigh of genuine surprise

  • that I had heard when showing the second picture

  • that quite confused me.

  • You see, I had never expected that anyone seeing that first picture

  • wouldn't immediately recognize the girl to be me

  • because whenever I picture myself in my head,

  • I still look that way.

  • Seven years after physically losing 40 kilos,

  • I still struggle to recognize the way my body looks now.

  • And it confused me because I'd always thought

  • that losing weight was as simple as, well, losing the weight.

  • So, only a moment ago, I told you about how losing weight is a complex problem,

  • that there are no standard tools to use

  • and no definitive order of steps to follow.

  • But most importantly, that it's a personal problem

  • requiring a personal solution,

  • it's a matter of compiling your own personal recipe to losing weight.

  • So, have I found all the ingredients to my recipe of losing weight

  • and keeping the weight off and being happy with my new body?

  • I think that in past few years I have found out

  • about quite a few things that work for me,

  • but it's the final seasoning of the dish that's still a bit of a struggle.

  • You see, it's scary as hell to admit that sometimes I'm still feeling fat,

  • and that when I look in the mirror I struggle to recognize

  • the same image other people see when looking at me,

  • and that sharing my story with you today,

  • means overcoming one of my biggest fears.

  • Because what I'm scared of most

  • is not that I stumble on words or forget my lines;

  • what I'm scared of most is that when I leave this stage,

  • you will look at your neighbor, raise an eyebrow, and say:

  • "I don't get why she's on stage; she's still fat."

  • But I also know that that fear is irrational, as are many fears,

  • and I no longer want to be scared because a great man once said that:

  • "Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it,"

  • and that: "the brave man is not he who is not afraid,

  • but he who conquers that fear."

  • And maybe, the triumph over one of my biggest fears is

  • that final seasoning my dish needs,

  • my final step to completing my recipe to losing weight.

  • So, as long as I'm still scared, I will continue to conquer my fear,

  • and I will continue to tell my story

  • until I no longer need to summon up any courage

  • to tell people that I used to be fat, but no longer am.

  • And I hope some of you may find comfort in this story,

  • knowing that losing weight and being happy with your new body

  • is not always as easy as our society makes you think.

  • And I hope you will find your own ingredients

  • and compile your own recipe.

  • And do remember, that, in the end, it's only one person

  • that has to be satisfied with the taste of the final dish.

  • And that person is you.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Did you know that the average caveman in the Stone Age

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A2 初級

TEDx】痩せるためのレシピ|Anna Verhulst|TEDxMaastricht (【TEDx】Recipe to losing weight | Anna Verhulst | TEDxMaastricht)

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    paul に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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