Are Those Excess Pounds Going to be the Death of You?

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Are Those Excess Pounds Going to be the Death of You?

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I answered a Facebook ponder about excess weight and its impact on health, and it reminded me of the serious health aspects of being overweight.

When it comes to weight, we focus a lot on how we look and our self-esteem. But the core reason to lose weight should be so that we can have a better quality of life and live longer.

I have to admit that when I watched medical reports on the nightly news, I tend to block out the warnings that extra pounds can lead to cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, this, that and many other killers. Who wants to know that stuff when there is leftover chocolate cake in the kitchen!? How foolish we are in America not to heed the many warnings about the ramifications of excess weight.

Focusing on our clothing size and our weight-related lack of self-confidence should be secondary in the great obesity battle. It’s so easy to ignore the fact that those extra pounds we carry are killers!

And I have I some first hand stories for you.

I’m a cancer survivor. Yes, back in the 1990s, I went through the whole cancer scene – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, completely bald. Did my excess weight contribute to my cancer? Possibly. Did I learn a lesson. NO, apparently not. 12 years after surviving cancer my weight soared back up to 250 pounds.

What about the quality of life for obese people? Yes, I have a personal story on that too. Double knee replacements. I carried so many extra pounds, my knees couldn’t hold me. As you’re ordering fried fish and chips, consider the brutal impact of those extra calories on joints.

Another example on the health scare lesson. I was so overweight, I couldn’t walk a block without gasping for breath. How embarrassing when others need to slow their pace for you.

The fact is that many overweight folks feel fine. Hey, those threats of weight related health issues are for everyone else – you feel terrific. Even checkups at the doctor come out pretty good (if you ignore the scale reading) Nothing is going to happen to you, is it? Well, yes, it is. You may dodge the overweight bullet for a while, but eventually, it’s going to hit you.

One final weight story: One of the saddest parts of my excess pounds was when my grandchildren (then ages 3 and 4) wanted me to play with them. I tried throwing the ball, playing tag, whatever. But I would quickly need to make an excuse to sit down after only a few minutes of running around the yard. I knew that at the rate I was going, I would likely never see them as teenagers. I could die of weight-related health issues before the were old enough to remember they even had a Nana.

If you’re just a few pounds overweight, I doubt these stories impact you. If you’re 50 or more pounds overweight, you may have some concerning or embarrassing stories of your own about the impact of your weight on your health and the quality of your life.

As you commit to your diet, forget about fitting into a smaller size. Instead consider, “Is my extra weight killing me?”


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