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How to Overcome Obesity

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    I can recall the very first time I heard the word “Obese”. I was ten years old at our family doctor’s office. My mother, brothers, and I were sitting in the room waiting to see the doctor. The doctor arrived he performed examinations on my brothers and I. Once he finished he began talking to our mother about my weight and how I needed to lose some pounds. He expressed concerns about me becoming obese by the time I was a teenager. I remember looking at my mother’s face and how shocked she was to hear him say that. Then she scolded me about not eating candy and fatty foods.

    I felt horrible, embarrassed, and ashamed of how I looked. My brothers whom are younger than I thought it was funny. As soon as we got home they began teasing me repeating the words obese, obese, obese, and obese. I started chasing them and yelling for them to stop. I was really hurt by what they were saying, so I waited until night time to cry myself to sleep. That memory has been stuck in my mind, and I will never forget it. Obesity in today’s society is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions. In the United States, it is estimated that 93 million people are considered obese. Obesity Action Coalition, 2010) By educating the population on the causes of obesity and its consequences, can be the first step in combating this terrible disease. There are several resolutions available to those among our population who suffer with obesity. I will demonstrate why obesity is such a problem and what can be done to help combat it. In order to understand how to assist those who suffer with obesity, we must first understand what it is. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated, causing an adverse effect on a person’s health (CDC 2010).

    The way that a person is determined to be obese is by measuring the amount of body fat based on the height and weight of a person. This measurement is called the Body Mass Index (BMI). (CDC, 2010) There are different levels of obesity, which are overweight, obese, morbid obesity, super obesity, and super-super obesity. Obesity is a widespread the problem affecting our young people in the United States. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a great way of explaining information in such a way that it is easy for people to understand and comprehend.

    There is a lot of information that is given, and it is more easily explained through the use of more pictures and less words. When I was younger I didn’t have a clue about how to lose weight. All I was told was not to eat sweets. It was hard when my mother did the grocery shopping, and bought home sweets. I used to sneak and hide snacks to eat late at night. When my late night snacking was discovered I would get punished. In the long run my mother thought her punishing method was helping me. I’ve often wondered if my mother would have been more involved with me being healthy could my obesity have been controlled.

    I’ve always wondered why I didn’t have the same body type as my mother. Now my mother wasn’t a very thin lady but she wasn’t a size fourteen either. I’ve struggled with weight issues all of my life. My grandmother has told me all my life to lose weight. Often she would say, “Cute in the face thick in the waste”. I used to think to myself, is something wrong with me? Why can’t my family love me for me? Now that I’m older I realized that a lot of my weight gain was tied to my emotions. I’ve recognized that anytime I’m depressed I eat. The more I eat the more weight I gain.

    As a child my father was in and out of my life, and I compensated my feelings about him with food. I held a lot of resentment against my mother’s family, because of the things they said about my weight. I decided I didn’t want to look like them when I got older. I chose to be fat, so I gained even more weight. Even now being at my heaviest I’m not happy, so gaining more weight wasn’t the answer. I thought about what I was doing do my body and decided I wanted to make some changes. I recall having good results when I cut back on meal size and exercised on a daily basis.

    During my early 20’s I lost weight and towards the end of my 20’s I have gained the weight I lost and much more. (Berger, 2007) Causes of obesity range from genetics, lifestyle, environmental, and psychological factors. Genetics tends to run in families, control chemical levels in the body. Also the Prader-Willi syndrome is there is a problem in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls the feelings of fullness or hunger. As a result, one never feels full and has a constant urge to eat that he/she can’t control. Lifestyle can be being too many hours in front of TV/computer, oo little activity, working long hours, and eating late meals. Environmental is lack of access to healthy foods, or lack of neighborhood sidewalks and safe places for recreation. Psychological can be depression, low self-esteem, eating in a response to negative emotions, and binge eating. (OAC, 2010) I know for me it was a combination of all factors mentioned. When I was younger I had no one show me resolutions to lose weight. The only time I remember getting any form of exercising was dancing in a talent show, and another time I was in a jump rope competition for my elementary school.

    It’s amazing how different advertising companies use typography to sell their products. I will give two examples: First, fast food restaurants will use words in a large flashing text to appeal to the customers. Second, weight loss commercials will show a person sharing their story of weight loss by using a journal. The customers will feel the company is private and trustworthy making them want to join the program. Both ways tend to have negative connotations for the consumer, because you may gain more weight. (Yegyan, 2010) Throughout my adulthood I’ve tried fad diets and pills, but I never got any good results.

    We have to keep in mind things promised in the advertising have no guarantee. (CDC, 2010) Hypertension, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and esophageal reflux are a few consequences of obesity, I wanted to raise awareness about the health issues, so people can recognize the things that one does not want and needs to take seriously. Researching the consequences of obesity was very disturbing information. There are resolutions in place that would help to calm a person, so that he/she could comprehend the available treatments and solutions. CDC, 2010) Some resolutions are changing eating habits, increase physical activity; engage in a support group, education regarding the proper nourishment. There are five different types of bariatric surgery adjustable gastric banding, vertical banded gastroplasty (stomach stapling), sleeve gastrectomy, roux-en-y gastric bypass, and biliopancreatic diversion with or without duodenal switch. Remember to speak with your physician in order to make sure which surgery is best for you. In order to lose weight you have to do more than just diet and exercise. Having a positive mental mindset is the key.

    Obesity has truly become a serious problem today. When speaking about obesity you want to convey the message in a positive way, it is important that it is done in such a manner as not to alienate anyone. People who are overweight and obese are already sensitive to weight related issues. It is important not to make anyone feel badly about his/her self, or at least no worse. I’m an active person, but when I’m depressed I’m not as active. Self esteem is very important for everyone, especially in young girls. I remember how I felt as a young girl being teased.

    The youth of today really need to understand how important it is to be healthy. There are ways to give “tough love” without hurting someone’s feelings. I truly believe if my family would have invested quality time with me to find out what was going on, then I could have avoided obesity during my childhood. Currently I’m working on a plan to lose the weight I have gained in the last four years. I signed up to have a membership with a gym for a year. I want to be able to work out at least four or five times a week. I’m buying healthier foods such as fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and cooking with sea salt.

    When a person makes a decision to change their lifestyle they can be successful at weight loss. My pledge to self is in one year be a healthier woman than I am today.

    References

    BERGER. Custom book for Ashford: CGD218 Seeing is Believing. McGraw-Hill Primis Custom Publishing, 38503, 2007. Campaign to End Obesity: Advancing America’s Journey to Healthy Weight. “Obesity Facts & Resources. ” 2010 Retrieved September 2, 2010. http://obesitycampaign. org/obesity_facts. asp Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Overweight and Obesity: Causes and Consequences. December 7, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2010. http://www. cdc. gov/obesity/causes/index. html CDC. “Overweight and Obesity: Defining Overweight and Obesity. ” June 21, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010. http://www. cdc. gov/obesity/defining. html Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). “All About Obesity. ” 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010. http://www. obesityaction. org/aboutobesity/morbidobesity/mo. php Yegyan. Lose Weight and Keep It Off Forever. “Obesity Help. ” August 14, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010. http://www. natural-weight-loss-myths-revealed. com/obesity-help. html

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