So as I pondered the blog I’m about to write it crossed my mind that it could fall into that realm of ” not politically correct” that seems to permeate our world today. You know, that place where you can’t or aren’t supposed to say anything or have an opinion on anything for fear of “offending” someone ? That if you speak out, someone might feel that you are bashing or tearing them down ?
Hear me… there’s a huge difference in speaking out in love/concern over being mean spirited and hateful.
Well! Now that I have your attention…. 😉 ( you’re pondering…where the heck is she going with this?)
I’m fixing to speak truth.
I’ll tell you…. I’m gonna talk about….. fat…. and the fact our country has an epidemic of it…. including our children… childhood obesity will have to hold for another post…
It’s not cool to mention fat. We live in this current world of not “shaming” and trying to make everyone feel ok and comfy when the reality is this…
Obesity increases the risk of many health conditions, including the following:
- Coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Cancers, such as endometrial, breast, and colon cancer.
- High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides.
- Liver and gallbladder disease.
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems.
- Degeneration of cartilage and underlying bone within a joint (osteoarthritis).
- Reproductive health complications such as infertility.
- The high cost of healthcare for these diseases.
Hear me on this, fat isn’t bad. Our bodies need fat to protect our organs and give us energy as well as help with proper functioning of our nerves and brain, it helps to maintain healthy skin and other tissues.
Excess fat is what becomes bad. It puts extra stress and strain on our knees, hips and other joints. Internally, our heart and lungs have to work harder to carry the extra weight. On a practical level…. daily tasks can be harder and take more energy and that can leave you tired.
I feel I have a platform to speak on this. I’ve not always been athletic, had muscles or worried overly about what food I ate. If you’ve known me for awhile, then you’ve seen me at varying sizes, however, so many of you are new to following me you might assume I’ve always been into running/fitness. Not true.
My grandmother and mom were considered morbidly obese… not a pretty term….but sadly true. I’m the age my grandmother was when she had her first heart attack. She had not only heart issues but diabetes and other health related problems. She eventually died of congestive heart failure.
My mom nearly died one Easter of undiagnosed diabetes. Her blood sugar level was something like 960. If you know your numbers then you know… that is out of the world high. Somehow though, she pulled through that. She also had high blood pressure and dealt with many other issues including loss of both kidneys, 2 transplants, and later in the past few years, life of dialysis and never ending doctor appointments. Because of diabetes complications, she eventually had toes and parts of her foot removed. All of these things directly related to her being so overweight. Oh, she did have surgery a number of years ago and lost a lot of weight and was quite small when she passed away…. but all the damage had been done.
I lost her a year ago tomorrow.
My grief is neatly packed away on some levels and there is a blog waiting to come out…. someday….. but I digress….
It’s an ugly truth we don’t want to confront in ourselves or in this world today. Fat can be deadly and take a huge toll on our health and quality of life. But we don’t want anyone to feel bad so we act like it’s all ok…. again… this isn’t about treating anyone poorly…. it’s about offering love and support.
7 years ago I started my journey after kindly being confronted by my doctor… or perhaps challenged is a better word… to consider losing some weight. Pointing out basically, I was healthy, but could stand to lose a few pounds. Well, honestly, I went on to lose more than a few, about 55 actually. Not to mention who knows how many inches, and about 6 pant sizes.
I remember the first night I went out for a walk ( begrudgingly I might add) I had to deal head on and face to face with the reality. I was 43 at the time…. did I want my life potentially to be like my mom and grandmother? Was I going to let food dictate and control my life? Or was I going to make changes?
That…. was when my fitness journey began.
I will always remember taking in the December 2012 edition of Runners World to show my doctor. I had been one of 22 selected out of over 400 submissions to be shown in their “Runners Body” feature. I asked him if a few years ago when I first came in would he have thought I’d have been in such a magazine ?
He was in tears…..his words….. “I tell people all the time, they usually don’t listen. I’m proud of you”
So yeah, I feel like I can speak to this topic on too many personal levels.
Yet, losing even 10lbs can lower blood pressure, help reduce knee and hip pain and help to lower blood sugars. Not to mention, it can make you feel awesome for doing it =) Oh yeah, what about increased energy as you lose weight ?
The most important thing ? Get started.
→ Set small realistic goals
→ Include daily purposeful exercise
→ Remember even when you don’t see big “losses” that things are happening inside you too.
→ Enlist help or a support team
→ Aim to eat healthy nutritious food 95% of the time.
→ Allow for an occasional treat but don’t reward yourself with food.
→ Don’t quit. Slow and steady wins the race.
→Progress pics aren’t vain…. they can remind you how far you’ve come….. take them =)
You ultimately are the only one who can take control of your health and wellness. If you are in a good place perhaps you need to be encouragement to someone on their journey…support goes a long way! Most of all, consider what you do an investment in your quality of life… you’re more than worth it!