Life is a precious gift. Even with all of the downs we face, there’s always something positive out there waiting for us. There’s always a new adventure, there’s always new turns that can make your story worth telling. Life can be so heartbreakingly beautiful, but it can also be devastating. The secret is learning how to live our lives to the fullest… because it’s true that tomorrow always comes with new promises, but our choices and actions today have a huge impact on how tomorrow works out. It’s easier said than done, of course. Living our lives to their fullest can be very difficult with all of the things weighing us down, figuratively and literally speaking. All of those fats covering our waist and hammering our height down to the floor, they come in our way of experiencing our full potential in life.
How To Measure Obesity
Gaining a few pounds doesn’t necessarily mean you’re obese, neither is all obesity the same. The most common way to determine the level of obesity is known as the BMI, or body-mass index. It’s an equation that shows the proportions of your mass in regards to your height. The following scores explain the numbers:
- Underweight: BMI >18.5
- Normal weight range: BMI of 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight (not obese): BMI of 25 to 29.9
- Obesity class 1 (low-risk): BMI of 30 to 34.9
- Obesity class 2 (intermediate-risk): BMI of 35 to 39.9
- Obesity class 3 (high-risk): BMI of 40 or greater
You’re Not Alone
The prevalence of obesity is alarming. It’s a chronic disease that, of today, affects 35% of women, 31% of men, and 15% of children aged 6-19 in America, according to the U.S Surgeon General. Its epidemic proportions are growing so fast that it’s almost catching up to tobacco as a significant health threat. Obesity is a serious disease that harms more than just our quality of life. It has detrimental effects on almost all of our systems. It plays a big role in all causes of death, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here Are Some of the Risks Associated with Obesity:
1. Cardiovascular Diseases: Heart Disease, Stroke, Atherosclerosis & High Blood Pressure
All of the excess fats put much more weight and demand on the heart to do its job. Instead of pumping blood to an average-sized area, the heart has to work on an overdrive to deliver blood to all of the body. This results in more fatigue to the heart. Over time, chronic obesity can cause an enlargement in the heart size. Obesity also affects everything regarding the cardiovascular system. Due to the increased demand, the heart pushes blood harder. Alongside the excess weight of the blood vessels, this results in high blood pressure, which is dangerous to many organs. High blood pressure causes damage to the heart, can cause brain strokes, and may lead to kidney failure. Excess fats also damage the kidneys, which help regulate blood pressure. It’s a vicious cycle. Ingesting high amounts of saturated fats also affects blood cholesterol levels, causing the arteries (that pump blood) to become clogged and work at less efficiency. This condition is known as atherosclerosis, and it poses more risk for heart attacks, heart failure, and coronary heart disease.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which there’s an increased level of sugar in the blood, with impairment of the body cells to utilize it. That’s due to problems with the Insulin hormone. Excess weight affects the amounts of insulin, while also impairing the ability of cells to use it. While it isn’t very clear how both obesity and diabetes are correlated, it’s been noticed that over 87% of diabetic patients are overweight or obese. If untreated, diabetes has a huge negative effect on the health of its patients and their quality of life. Chronic increase in blood sugar levels leads to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and blindness.
3. Metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of many diseases, most of which can result from chronic obesity. It consists of six factors:
- Increased waist area (abdominal obesity)
- High blood cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance, or diabetes
- Elevation of certain blood clotting factors
- Elevation of certain blood inflammatory indicators
Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that commonly strikes people of old age, due to excessive wear and tear of joints on the hips, knee or back. With excessive weight gain, the degenerative process of wear and tear accelerates the damage done to the joints, making obese patients at higher risk for the bone-thinning osteoarthritis.
5. Increased Risk of Cancer
It’s not very clear how being overweight is correlated with cancer, perhaps that excessive fat cells produce hormones that aid in the growth of cancerous cells. A big factor is also the kind of diet, in which lack of healthy nutrients and shortage of fibers contributes to risk of developing cancer. It’s been noticed that weight gain, even if it doesn’t reach the level of obesity, increases the risk of developing the following cancers:
- Colon and rectum
- Reproductive Organs
- Post-menopausal Breast Cancer
6. Increased Male Hormones in Women
Obesity causes an increased levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone, in women. This makes them more prone to male balding patterns, facial hair, and acne.
7. Other Detrimental Effects
Obesity is such a disease that affects all of the bodily organs, in addition to the mental and psychological health of the patient. It disturbs sleeping pattern with “sleep apnea”, causing patients to be unable to breathe while sleeping for a short period of time. It affects the liver with “fatty liver disease”, and might result in “gout”. It’s dangerous to pregnant women, posing health issues such as increased blood sugar, high blood pressure and might necessitate cesarean delivery. Aside from all of the physical health risks, obesity often affects the image the patients have of themselves. It reduces their self-esteem and confidence, alongside their already affected quality of life. And as if their internal struggles weren’t enough, society usually looks at obese people with eyes of discrimination, blaming them for being weak and lazy, and for deserving the state they’ve “forced themselves into”. All of these factors contribute in the decreased of productivity, and maybe even having no or hardly-sustained relationships.
As difficult as the situation might be, there’s always a solution for it. We’re in an age where there’s a dozen diet regime out there helping you start, and even reach your weight goals. It won’t be easy work, however. Gary Preacher from the official HCG Diet explains that strict adherence to the diet plan will determine how much weight is lost with the diet. The kind of foods you consume in the diet also makes all the difference in the world, so choose wisely.
Final Thoughts: It Starts With a Decision, Works By Commitment
Unlike fairy tales and magical dreams, turning your life around doesn’t happen overnight. It takes days, weeks, months and even years of hard work, focus, and commitment to achieve your dreams. Losing weight is no different. Before starting on any diet or exercise plans, you need to get yourself in the right mindset first. Acknowledge that it won’t be easy, and every time you feel like giving in, remember why you first started. It all starts with a decision, and happens with a commitment.