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Learn to Love Your Body!

Jul 17, 2008
Motivation is an ever-present need when implementing the change to a healthier lifestyle. Today I have elected to share some extremely personal information in an effort to provide you with some very important reasons to continue on this path you've chosen.

My employment with the American Red Cross came to an end in the middle of May, along with a thousand others nationwide. A 200 million dollar deficit predicated this massive layoff that affected most of my coworkers and many who dedicated their lives to this noble institution. We felt displaced and found ourselves polishing up our resumes.

When the notice came of our impending departures, and the resulting termination of our health insurance, scheduling routine annual exams suddenly moved to the forefront of our "to do" lists. One such appointment was to my family practitioner. The visit included a routine blood draw and came with the added benefit of seeing the look of amazement on his face as he noticed the large weight loss since my last visit. (By the way, that is a really fun aspect of the physical change, seeing someone who hasn't seen you in a long time and watching his or her reaction!)

So last week I received the test results of my lab work and I was thrilled! Not only all normal, but better than normal!!!

Weight: 185 lbs
Total Cholesterol 189 (Normal range 165-199)
HDL 77 (Normal range 35-59; doctors say anything above 50 is good - 77 is Great!)
LDL 90 (Normal range is less than or equal to 129; cardiologists are recommending below 100)
Triglycerides 111 (55-199)

I remember my old values being out of range, especially the triglycerides, so I called the doctor again. Here are the old results for comparison purposes.

Weight: 290 lbs (Highest was 330 lbs)
Total Cholesterol 218 (Normal range 164-200; abnormal)
HDL 80.9 (32-96; within normal range)
LDL 94.7 (90-190; also within normal range, but new values are better)
Triglycerides 214 (30-200; abnormal)

Many times we focus on the physical appearance of weight loss and mentally we compare ourselves with others. Unrealistic images and touched up photos of movie stars and models bombard our senses and we tend to develop a false picture of what it "looks like" to be healthy. For most of us, we are not and never will be a size zero. The truth is, the average size woman in the United States is a size 14, the size at which "plus sized" clothing begins.

The point is, the most important reason we should lose weight is to move to a healthy lifestyle!

As I excitedly shared the results of my blood work with my mom, she informed me she had noticed many changes in my health. Not being quite so in tune, I asked her to share what she had noticed.

These are her observations and they're shared to encourage you to look beyond the physical aspects.

Sleep apnea has resolved itself and a CPAP machine is no longer required.

Breathing difficulties are no longer and issue and inhalers are a thing of the past.

With less weight on my frame, there is no longer the pressure on my bladder and bladder control issues are no longer existent.

The knee pain is gone and my knees are stable! It is no wonder they had trouble. Can you imagine carrying a 146-lb person on your shoulders day in and day out? I get tired carrying an infant or a toddler for short periods of time and I get to put them down!

My blood pressure is in the normal range with the medication half of the previous doseage. We are now assessing whether it can be eliminated all together.

The heart health benefits are shown in the blood test results above and my risk for cardiac disease has greatly improved.

While I did not have any issues with my blood sugar, it should be noted that had I continued on the same path, statistics show it would only have been a matter of time before Type II diabetes developed. (It can be precipitated by obesity.)

Let's stop thinking about outside appearances and focus on the inner working of our bodies. Try comparing it to shopping for a car. Would you want to purchase the car owned by a mechanic who had meticulously cared for the motor? Or, would you purchase the one whose owner participated in the pleasure of many long road trips but failed to perform the routine maintenance?

You see, if we do not choose to love our bodies and treat them in a kind and caring manner, we stand to lose our health. If that happens, we stand to lose everything that is near and dear to our hearts. Without your health, you won't be able to participate in activities, your longevity is threatened and your life may become burdened with the cares of tending to the needs of your health.

By making health the No.1 reason to eat nutritionally and exercise regularly, you preserve your body to participate and enjoy all that life has to offer! You will be alive to enjoy the love of your family and friends and that is truly where our treasure lies! The Choice is Yours!
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