Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why I Need to Lose Weight

As if I didn't have enough reasons, I just read this morning that losing weight can lower my risk of chronic disease, and that even losing 10 pounds can make the difference between having the disease or being able to bypass it.

1.       Cardiovascular disease. Obviously, the most important one is cardiovascular disease.  Obesity makes you more prone to developing plaque buildup in your arteries, putting you at greater risk of having some type of cardiovascular event…i.e. heart attack. But even before a heart attack, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. My husband had a heart attack at a very young age.  Fortunately, he survived it, and we have changed our lifestyle, but more changes need to be made.

2.       High Blood Pressure. This is tied very closely to cardiovascular disease, because as your heart has to pump harder, your blood vessels are also working harder and this increased pressure is causing strain to them and to your vital organs.  High blood pressure can lead to eye problems, kidney problems, as well as heart problems. Losing even 10 pounds can reduce the strain on your body and put you at a healthier blood pressure level. I have borderline high blood pressure and it needs to be addressed.

3.       Diabetes. This is turning into an epidemic in the U.S. Type II diabetes is considered to be one of the fastest growing chronic conditions in this country in adults, and it is tied directly to carrying excess pounds that leads to insulin resistance.  This means that while your body still produces insulin, the response you used to have to the insulin is now impaired. Just changing when you eat your biggest meals can make a huge difference.  Stop eating after 5 or 6pm.  Do not eat your biggest meal for dinner, but rather for lunch.  Studies have proven that eating a larger meal earlier in the day leads to lower overall glucose levels than when it is eaten later in the day. Simple change, but it can yield HUGE results. My mother has a pre-diabetic condition.  She and I share a very similar body habitus, so that is my future unless I choose to make changes.

4.       Depression. I hadn't really thought about this one, but recent studies have linked obesity to sadness and depression. It is harder for obese people to enjoy the fun things they used to do.  Food becomes a source of comfort rather than a source of nutrition. I have found pleasure in food that probably could be found elsewhere.  I'm working to develop a wonderful, healthy relationship with food, but I don't want it to be my "companion". I want to see food as nutrition and fuel for my body.  Finding pleasure in life needs to come from other things like spending time with people I love, and doing activities that I love.

I'm shooting for a loss of 10 pounds.  I have learned to set my goals small so that I don't become intimidated by them.  I have many more pounds to lose, but even 10 will make a huge difference in these four potential danger zones in my life.

What I won't do is diet to the point of deprivation.  What I will do is to change my eating and exercise habits to more fully embrace a healthy life. I think I'll go and walk my dog.

Who's going to join me?

No comments:

Post a Comment