Monday, November 9, 2009

Weight Loss Could Literally Save Your Life!

CNN Reports Cancer is linked to Obesity

Ok, I just had to add this article. New research has shown a link between obesity and cancer. Specifically, the report says that 49 percent of endometrial cancers are caused by excess body fat. That number is followed by 35 percent of esophageal cancer cases; 28 percent of pancreatic cancer cases; 24 percent of kidney cancer cases; 21 percent of gallbladder cancer cases; 17 percent of breast cancer cases; and 9 percent of colorectal cancer cases. Wow, I had no idea!

For some reason diabetes and heart disease aren't enough to scare most people into losing weight but maybe cancer can. I'd hate to say that I'm excited about this new research report, because I'm not exactly, but I am excited about the potential of people living healthier lives because of this report. Cancer seems to scare people more so than other weight related diseases. I guess it's because when you hear the word cancer people immediately think: chemotherapy, losing hair, being violently ill, all before getting better if that is even a possibility. I guess when people think of diabetes they think of insulin shots that don't seem so bad and for some reason don't think of the possibility of losing your feet. When it comes to heart disease I guess people think of having a pace maker or taking medications and not needing a heart transplant. Also if you did need a heart transplant the chances aren't very good for an obese person getting a heart. But the big "C" really scares people. If that is what it takes for people to be scared into losing weight well then please get scared. Many obese people don't even realize they are obese, they just think they are overweight and that they can lose it eventually.

A friend of mine was looking at some pictures of herself her mom had taken at a gathering earlier in the week and while we were looking at them she noticed one of her laying down on the couch after the gathering and there was a big ring of fat surrounding her face almost looking as if her face was being swallowed up. She asked me if she really looked that big, the dreaded question you don't want to answer...So I asked her if I looked bigger in the picture than what I really am and she sadly said no. She knew she had gained some wait but really didn't think it was that much or that she was obese until she saw that one picture. That is all it took and the next day she asked me to help her with an exercise program. So far she has lost an average of 2-3 pounds per week.

There are people that really and truly try to lose weight over and over again and fail. But then one day, something finally clicks with them, whether it is a picture, an article they are reading or a conversation with an old friend and they are hit with a few eye opening realizations. While they thought they were happy with the way they were, they really weren't. Some people realize this when they try playing a sport they hadn't played in awhile and realize they can't do it now. Some realize it when they finally get to baby-sit their grandchild they've waited for so long and they just can't keep up. Some realize it when they see a picture of themselves in a very unflattering way and then there are others who will realize it when they are told they are at risk of dying. Finding that realization can be such a memorable moment and those people who go on to lose the weight will always remember that moment.

When will you have your moment? I hope your moment can be after reading this article because I would hate for your health to be in jeopardy in the near future. Taking the first step can be hard but so worth it. It may take more than joining a gym and cutting back on some calories. For many people it is an emotional attachment, I know for me it was (and still is; I just learn to resist it most of the time). It may take a commitment of hiring a personal trainer to help hold you accountable and/or joining a support group to hear that other people struggle too and to share tips with others and get advice from a professional. Many people don't realize that their overeating or unwillingness to exercise is due to some emotional connection either from when they were a child, teenager or college.

In my family we were taught to eat when we have something to celebrate. When anybody was sad we would bake cookies, brownies or cake. I think we had food with almost any emotion we had. Even though I managed to learn to eat healthy and attempted to teach my kids to eat healthy I didn't realize that I was actually passing this eating with emotions on to my kids. Of course when anyone in the family did something good we went out to eat. But then if anyone had a rough day or was sad b/c a fish died or they were in a fight with a friend, there I was baking cookies to make them feel better. It dawned on me last year when my 14 year old daughter was sad b/c this boy she liked actually liked someone else and she came to talk to me and before I could say anything she said "Can we make some cookies?” There was my moment...the moment I realized I was teaching my kids the same thing my parents taught me. After all these years of school, training classes, working in the medical field, helping any and all of my friends to lose weight, exercise and eat right, I was teaching my own kids to have an unhealthy relationship with food. How do you undo that? Especially when I still want to eat brownies when I don't feel good.

Well, I’m working on it, lol...but I've thought of some ways to help brake the habits without them knowing and honestly without them knowing they have the habits to begin with. From now on when someone is feeling sad then we will go out and do something fun like bowling, skating, hiking or something active the kids like. When they do something good then we celebrate by going to Six Flags or Stone Mountain. I guess I'll have to keep cake for their birthdays and we can go out to eat just for fun without a feeling associated with it. I teach them how to make healthy options out at restaurants but we just don't want to associate feelings with along with it.

So to sum all of that up...GO see your doctor about all the risks that are associated with being overweight, GO look at some recent pictures (or if you were like me when I was overweight I didn't have pictures taken of me, so go get some taken) and then take a long hard look at yourself. Do you really think you are happy? Do you feel happy about the way you look? Then GO do something about it. Save your life! I think you're important enough to save. :) Good Luck!

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