Body shaming. A hot topic and one we often have to approach with kid gloves. So much in fact, our fear of offending others may lead to disease, prolonged illness, even death.
It’s one thing to accept our bodies as they are. It’s another to be in complete denial that excess weight can be incredibly unhealthy.
This post is not about getting to a specific weight merely for external reasons, like fitting into the black dress that’s been hanging in our closet for years. Nor is it about losing weight so you can look great on the beach come summer time.
It’s about living the healthiest life possible. It’s about having the energy to do the things we want to do without collapsing from exhaustion due to the strain we put on our heart and lungs.
And this is not about trying the next fad diet to get to our optimal weight. What it is about is finding an eating protocol that supports a healthy lifestyle.
When you release unhealthy weight in a healthy way, through the food choices you make, your quality of life is bound to increase.
60 pounds one half a pound at a time
Let’s be real. Excess weight can be a huge limiter in the quality of life we experience.
Sadly, many people have bought into the belief that they can’t do anything about their health. Nothing could be further from the truth. You CAN and SHOULD take control of your health before it takes control of you. One of the best ways is by maintaining a healthy weight.
Gaining a few pounds may not seem like such a big deal unless you gain a few pounds every year. Even a half pound a month, over a period of ten years equates to a sixty-pound increase in weight. A half a pound a month may not seem like much, but if you ignore this, over time it is a big deal.
Crash diets have become popular to quickly eliminate the weight that took us years to put on. Rather than going on a crash diet, finding a healthy eating protocol is far more desirable.
Sustainable Weight Loss
One of the most sustainable, and healthiest, eating protocols is a whole food, plant-based diet. Not only is it highly nutritious, a plant-based diet can reverse, even prevent, many diseases we experience when we are carrying excess (unhealthy) weight around.
Again, this is NOT about body shaming. This is about living a healthy life based on the choices we make.
Excess weight may increase the risk for many health problems, including:
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- heart disease and strokes
- certain types of cancer
- sleep apnea
- fatty liver disease
- kidney disease
- pregnancy problems, such as high blood sugar during pregnancy, high blood pressure, and increased risk for cesarean delivery (C-section)
The Link Between Obesity and Diabetes
According to an article on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease website “One of the most common health problems associated with excess weight is Type II diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels are above normal. High blood sugar is a major cause of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, amputation, and blindness. In 2009, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.”
More than 87% of adults with diabetes are overweight or obese. Losing weight and becoming more physically active may help you control your blood sugar levels and prevent or delay health problems. Losing weight and exercising more may also allow you to reduce the amount of diabetes medicine you take.
With health care costs out of control, including the cost of prescribed medications, doesn’t it make sense to do all we can to prevent disease whenever possible?
Unfortunately, many people have given up hope of living a healthy life. They continue to eat and drink to excess believing there is nothing they can do about it.
When proponents of healthy living talk about weight loss, there are those who attack them saying they are body shaming. Folks, this is NOT about body shaming. This is about living a healthy lifestyle that minimizes your dependency on a healthcare system that is broken. It reduces your need for medications that are becoming so cost prohibitive that some people may have to forego the very medicine that they need while in their current health condition.
Food Choices ARE a Game Changer
Taking control of your health by the food choices you make IS a game changer.
Will you have to give up some of your favorite foods? Yes, it’s likely you will. I used to love old fashioned glazed donuts. I loved how they tasted. I loved the rush I got from the first bite. I loved how they gave me comfort during stressful times.
What I didn’t love is the extra sixty pounds I gained as a result of eating the donuts. Nor did I like the way I felt after eating them to excess. Nor did I like how sluggish I felt after a sugar binge.
Was it hard to let go of poor eating habits? At times, yes it was.
Was it worth it? Absolutely!
The reality is, you must decide the quality of life you want. One of the fastest ways to improve your energy, focus, mindset and overall well-being is by what you consume.
Short Term Pleasure vs. Long Term Health
You can have short-term pleasure from foods that are incredibly unhealthy, or you can have long-term benefit from foods that nourish and heal your body.
There’s a strong possibility this post is going to upset some people. It is likely to upset those who are digging their heels in, holding on to their unhealthy eating habits, saying it’s their right to eat what they want. And it is. We each have the right to put whatever we want in our mouths. That’s a given.
Yet, the question that begs to be answered is this, “Are you willing to sacrifice your long-term health for the short term gratification you receive from foods that don’t serve you?”
Are you ready to quit pretending you don’t have control? Are you ready to take control of your health by the food choices you make?
And if you are using cost as the reason to not change, why not track your food costs. Track every bit of junk food that goes in your mouth. Every candy bar. Every cafe mocha you get at the local coffee shop. Every bagel with cream cheese. Every bag of chips you consume on the way home from work.
When you add up the few dollars here and there and put that into buying plant-based foods, you will likely spend less on your monthly grocery bill AND the dividends will pay you for years to come.
There is no doubt whatsoever that a whole food, plant-based diet is likely the healthiest choice available. It’s also one of the most cost effective.
The choice is yours. Choose wisely.