Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"I'm just big-boned" -Obesity, Denial and Heart Disease

It is Heart Healthy Month!

All this month our Facebook Page has been full of information about what is needed to get heart healthy and to stay heart healthy.  We have had some great post and comments. Based upon the feedback received, many have learned and are going to make changes. BUT there were a couple of post that truly disturbed me. Those post basically said that is is okay to be obese and that society is being prejudiced against obese or fat people because thinness is preferred. Really????

Here is my response to that very interesting point of view:

PALEEEZZZZE!!!   This has nothing to do with what you LOOK like...it has everything to do with what is your HEALTH is like!!

There are those who will not like me for this or will get upset with me for saying this BUT being in denial about being obese can ultimately cost you your life.  Obesity is considered to be one of the top causes of heart disease AND heart disease is the #1 killer for women in the United States.

Given this information it is just amazing to me that people are still in denial about how obesity can impact their health. I have heard comments like "I am not fat I am just big-boned"; "I am not fat I am just larger than the average woman"; "I am not fat I am just not skinny like you", or my favorite "I feel great, I look great, I love the way I look"   What is your medical practitioner telling you? Is he/she telling you that you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or that you are considered clinically obese? If they are you better listen. Being in denial about being obese is a mistake and it can be a fatal mistake.

I find it particularly dangerous when our celebrities and other well known figures wear their obesity like a badge of honor. If you personally want to look heavy that's on you...it's your life.  But BE HONEST. If you like being obese, you also like the idea of eventually dropping dead from the many diseases that have been tied to obesity.  It is irresponsible  to encourage others to stay obese when facts show that obesity can lead to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sadly death.

As a health and wellness coach I cannot stand by without telling you the truth about what is at risk if you continue to "hang on to your fat" and be in the denial about making a lifestyle change to help you move toward wellness.

Here are some tips to stay heart healthy! 
  • Eat to be heart healthy - work on adding more fresh dark green leafy vegetables to your diet, whole grains, beans, salmon and other foods that are rich in heart healthy Omega 3,blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sprinkle your oatmeal,soups, baking goods with flaxseed which is also rich in Omega 3
  • Keep it movin' - exercise is extremely important. Choose activities or types of exercise you enjoy. Incorporate movement and exercise in your schedule at least 30 minutes everyday. Stretching, strength training, and especially aerobic activity are great and will keep you heart healthy!
  • Reduce your stress -  Stress is toxic. One great way to reduce the impact of stress in meditation and prayer. Also Yoga is a great stress reducer. Reduce those unnecessary stress inducers in your life. Learn to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy doing things that facilitate rest and relaxation.
  • Don't Smoke - smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your heart and your health. Cigarettes are the only products produced in the US that, when used as intended by the manufacturer, will lead to death. Yes, cigarettes contain tobacco, but are you aware of the hundreds of other additives? Smoking is deadly for women
  • Watch Your Weight -  Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop heart failure than women who are not overweight. A study that followed 5881 participants (54% were women) in the Framingham Heart Study found that excess weight increased a person's risk of developing heart failure. Consult with your medical practitioner about the best way for you to lose pounds. Quick fix diet plans don't work, select a weight loss plan that involves a healthy diet.

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