I promised you a “real” post and here it is. Over the past months as I continue to get my weight and health in check, I have been noticing my mindset on the matter slowly evolving. I am becoming more aware at how I used to say losing weight was about getting my body to a healthy state but that my inner person was still kinda doing it for the “looks”. I am becoming increasingly aware of how little appearance really has to do with weight loss. Our culture has placed such a high value on the “perfect” body that I think we all have some brainwashing to that effect. And its not good. It is something that we all need to work at changing.
One thought that keeps coming back to me is how little the medical profession is doing to help patients realize the major health crisis that being obese really is, and motivating patients to make changes to improve their health and longevity. For instance, I have only ever been approached by ONE doctor about my weight and it was not even my doctor. At the end of my pregnancy with our son, the Resident who was filling in for my OB gave me a good talking down about getting my weight in check, especially if I was planning for more pregnancies in the future. She didn’t mince words but she wasn’t disrespectful either and I really, REALLY appreciated that talk. It hurt. But I appreciated it. All other weight related discussions with doctors have been initiated from my end.
Imagine this scenario. You walk into the doctor’s office with a massive tumour growing out of the side of your head. Think like grapefruit size. Something obvious. But you are in to see the doctor because you have a stomach issue. The doctor sees your tumour, but says nothing because you didn’t bring it up even though he knows something life-threatening may be going on in your body and just addresses your stomach issue. 3 months later you are on your deathbed because of the unchecked tumour. Please forgive my lack of medical knowledge to make this sound more realistic.
Now imagine this scenario. You walk into the doctor’s office with a massive tumour growing out of the side of your head, but you are coming in to see the doctor about a stomach issue. The doctor notices your tumour, addresses your stomach issue then brings your attention to the tumour and insists that it is looked into further. You go to all the specialists and follow-up appointments, the tumour is removed, cancer had not yet spread and you recover and live another 40 years.
Now imagine this scenario. You walk into the doctor’s office for your annual physical, a viral illness or just some regular aches and pains. Your doctor notices you are severely overweight but he just addresses the issue for which you presented yourself, at the most, casually mentions you should think about losing weight. 3 months later you die because your excessive weight has caused a severe health problem which went unchecked and bam, you’re dead.
Do you see at all where I’m going with this? Obesity is a major medical issue. It is not simply feeling bad about oneself because the jeans you wore in high school don’t fit anymore. Or you don’t look as good in that top as you thought you might. It has nothing to do with the way other people look at you when you wear a swim suit. It has everything to do with you living a full and healthy life as God intended you to and you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to do everything in your power (and you have more power than you think) to get your weight under control and become a healthy person. Not a skinny person. A healthy person. Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes but never does healthy come in obese.
To those of you who think you have 10 more pounds to lose to “look good in those jeans”, I say this in the nicest way possible, GET OVER YOURSELF. You too, change your outlook to getting your body HEALTHY, and take the focus off your appearance. Help take your daughter’s body focus off her appearance and to her overall health. Help change your niece’s, mother’s, sister’s mindset from being shallowly about physical appearance and help get women to consider their HEALTH first. A healthy body is not one that fits into a certain size or reaches an exact number on the scale but it is one that exercises, eats well to live and overlooks the stretch marks, little jiggles and other “imperfections” to live a life full, happy and healthy with confidence.
We don’t have to look like models. But the world desperately needs role models of women who are confident to live in their “imperfect” bodies and who will take care of those bodies.
And that’s all I have to say about that…for now.
*DISCLAIMER* I was in no way intending to disrespect any of my doctors or doctors in general. I just wish you would speak up and motivate your patients to lose weight if they are obese. And maybe give them a game plan so they have something to start with.