#89 Watch your weight. No one becomes overweight overnight.

11 Jul

With #59 being said (https://whydidshedothat.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/59-don%e2%80%99t-tell-someone-they-look-like-theyve-gained-weight-unless-it%e2%80%99s-time-for-an-intervention/),  I feel it’s only right to follow-up with this piece of advice.  While you may not want someone else constantly watching your weight, you need to make sure that you are watching your waistline.

Have you ever watched The Biggest Loser on NBC?  Did you see the episode where the truck driver said that in his 20s he weighed 195 and that one morning he woke up and BAM!  He weighed 337 pounds.  Just like that.  Went to bed at 195 and woke up at 337.  No?  Don’t remember that episode?  Oh, right.  That’s because it never happened.  No one becomes overweight overnight. 

But one episode that I do remember was for a show on TLC called “One Big Happy Family”.  As you can guess, it’s about a family that is big.  Literally.  No, not big in number a la the other “big” family on TLC named The Duggars, but big in weight.  The family of 4 weighed in at a collective 1400 pounds, each weighing well over 300 pounds.  The episode in particular that struck me was where the 16-year-old daughter’s doctor told her that she was obese.  The daughter immediately started crying as if this was the first time anyone had told her this; as if she didn’t already know that she was obese.  How she did not know that she was obese before that moment is beyond me.  I knew she was obese from the opening scene of the episode. 

What causes obesity?  According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are many factors; some that you can control, such as lack of energy balance, inactive lifestyle, overeating, cessation of smoking, and lack of sleep.  Unfortunately, there are other factors which you cannot control:  an environment that doesn’t support a healthy lifestyle, genes and family history, health conditions, and medicines.  (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/obe/obe_causes.html)  While you might not be able to control some factors, I encourage you to take responsibility for your health and lifestyle.  It amazes me that in the U.S., there are 23.4 million children between ages 2-19 and 145 million adults 20 and older who are overweight or obese.  (http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1236358025411OVRWGHT.pdf)

What can you do to not become a part of this statistic or to take yourself out of those numbers?  Well, eating a whole pizza in one sitting won’t help.  Maintain a healthy diet and watch your caloric intake.  It is recommended that women consume 1200 calories per day and men 1800 calories per day (I know this blog is aimed at women, but we need to look out for the men we love).  Keep track of what you’re eating and look for healthier alternatives.  That daily Venti Iced Double Chocolaty Chip Frappacino® Blended Beverage with whipped cream you’re having from Starbucks® every morning on the commute to work?  800 calories–more than half of your recommended daily caloric intake.  I’m not saying that you can’t ever treat yourself, because you can and you should.  But instead of making this part of your daily routine, make it a real “treat”. 

If the only exercise you get is walking from the couch to the fridge and back to the couch, be prepared to watch your waistline grow.  Take a walk around the neighborhood 3-5 times a week.  Keep your energy balance in check by not allowing the energy you take in through food to outweigh the energy you use throughout the day. 

Unless the only mirror you have in your home is the talking mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs telling you that you’re the fattest fairest one of them all (and if you tell me that you do have a talking mirror, you have more than a weight problem, but that’s for another post), you should see the changes in your weight and not be shocked when your doctor says that you’re overweight or obese.  Be proactive and take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on maintaining a healthy weight, visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/index.html).

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