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Bill Roth headshot

The Link Between Boomers’ Health and Sustainable Living

As is the case with health journeys like weight loss, going a painful, tedious and self-denying route isn't necessary when embracing sustainable living, writes behavioral economist and proud boomer Bill Roth.
By Bill Roth
Sustainable Living

“Are you okay?” That is the whispered question I now receive from friends who have not seen me for a few years. They are really asking if I have cancer. They are reacting to seeing me 40 pounds lighter.

To allay their fears, I smile broadly and say, “I feel great.” And that is really true. I can run again. I am wearing a pant size I last wore in my twenties. Even better (and this will sound unbelievably false) I achieved this success while still enjoying pizza and Dairy Queen.

Rethinking our approach to healthy living and weight loss

But I have learned the hard way that telling someone you have figured out the weight loss “Holy Grail” only generates an “oh boy, Bill has gone off the deep end” look. It is the same look I got when I first began sounding the alarm about climate change.

I went to see my doctor after my wife wondered if I wasn’t fooling myself and that my weight loss might actually be due to something wrong with me. My doctor assured me I was in great health. He lamented that the reactions I was receiving represented how our culture had accepted plus sizes as the new norm.

As a behavioral economist, addiction is the best way I can explain why Americans are normalizing weight gain. This insight, which I gained a few years ago while researching a TriplePundit article series on our national obesity crisis, sparked me to write my latest book, The Boomer Generation Diet

The themes within this book address the contemplation stages in addressing addiction. Contemplation is a questioning process for visualizing what to change and how to change it. It is the first step in addressing addiction. The Boomer Generation Diet disruptively refutes the idea that hunger, denial and painful exercise is the path to weight loss. In addiction terms, going cold-turkey rarely works. This lifestyle change profiles 10 best practices to sustainable weight loss that still provides the type of pleasures provided by a weight-gaining addictive lifestyle.

It's about sustainable living, boomers

Where I screwed up was in entitling my book The Boomer Generation Diet. The goal was to help my generation confront their diabetics epidemic and a life sustained through medicines. Unfortunately, focusing the book’s title on the boomer generation missed what is now obvious: Weight gain is a national health crisis impacting all generations. Half of us are projected to be obese by 2030.

I also should have known better than to use the word “diet” in the book’s title. We hear the word diet and feel denial. I should have entitled the book something like The Sustainability Lifestyle for Having Fun and Living More. This type of title captures the book’s sizzle: There is a path for loving food, having fun and losing weight.

This same type of win/win message is now emerging as the solution for climate change and other environmental crises. We are moving past the failed idea that you have to give up fossil fuel-powered pickup trucks and SUVs to save the world. The emerging new message is that you will want to give up conventional trucks and SUVs because electric vehicles will have more torque, are faster, handle better, require little maintenance and are least cost over the life of the vehicle. (And in a few more years they will be competitive on their retail sticker prices.) We are entering what I would describe as a clean technology cost less, mean more mass-production cycle.

Consumers will flock to electric vehicles because, through mass production and technology innovations, they will cost less and be more fun to drive. And, oh by the way, they have zero tailpipe emissions. A similar story is unfolding with other sustainable lifestyle choices—they're simply more desirable, as well as more conscious. 

The exciting news of The Boomer Generation Diet is that the sustainability best practices that have begun delivering clean tech cost less, mean more results can also deliver weight loss while having fun and living more.

I am proof that you can lose weight, have fun and live more!

Image credit: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

Bill Roth headshot

Bill Roth is a cleantech business pioneer having led teams that developed the first hydrogen fueled Prius and a utility scale, non-thermal solar power plant. Using his CEO and senior officer experiences, Roth has coached hundreds of CEOs and business owners on how to develop and implement projects that win customers and cut costs while reducing environmental impacts. As a professional economist, Roth has written numerous books including his best selling The Secret Green Sauce (available on Amazon) that profiles proven sustainable best practices in pricing, marketing and operations. His most recent book, The Boomer Generation Diet (available on Amazon) profiles his humorous personal story on how he used sustainable best practices to lose 40 pounds and still enjoy Happy Hour!

Read more stories by Bill Roth