In my last post, we talked about how the body positive movement is dangerous for people who need to get healthy. Telling you that it’s okay to be the way you are if you are not healthy isn’t being loving. It can be a death sentence.
Today I’m following up with a little science (& stats) about weight loss and health. My hope is that this will be eye opening, encouraging, and help you get on a greater path.
I want everyone to love themselves and love their bodies. The best way you can show love for your body is to take care of it!
Let’s talk a little about the realities of an unhealthy lifestyle and the consequences of being overweight/obese. It’s not pretty, and it’s not something people like to talk about. But it’s real and affect millions of people every day, so it deserves to be a topic of conversation.
- Obesity increases risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, cancer , joint problems, gallstones , and dementia .
- In 2013, the obesity rate of every single state was above 21%. In two states, the rate is now above 35%. Twenty states are at or above 30% .
- Adults are considered obese when they are about 35 pounds overweight .
- Since the 1980s, obesity rates have doubled among adults and more than tripled among children .
- More than 1 in 3 adults are overweight .
- More than 1/3 of adults and 17% of children in the US are obese . (17% YOU GUYS. 1 out of every 5 of our children are obese. NOT COOL. It’s past time to wake the heck up.) The numbers for these percentages are in the epidemics range: 78 million adults; 12 million children .
- As of 2016, 41.5% of women and 37.9% of men in the US are obese .
- This means that at least 2 in 3 adults are either overweight or obese.
- 1 in 13 adults in the US have extreme obesity .
- 70% of firefighters are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for cardiovascular events – the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths .
- Childhood obesity is correlated with poor educational performance, increased risk of bullying, and depression .
- Obesity costs the US $150 billion in healthcare annually .
- Obesity alone costs state Medicaid programs between $5 million in Wyoming to $1.3 billion in California annually .
This isn’t just a problem for the US. In the EU and Canada, the percentage of obese women ranges from about 20% to over 30%. For men, the range is a little lower: from about 16% through the 20%s (with statistics coming from throughout the 2000s). In Australia as of 2015, 27% of women and 28.4% of men are obese. As of 2017 in New Zealand, 33.9% of women and 30% of men are obese. From data in 2012, 37.5% of women and 26.8% of men in Mexico are obese .
As you can see, this is not an issue we should be taking lightly. Most of the US (and the rest of the world) are affected by obesity. You yourself might be struggling with your weight. And every single one of us knows and loves many people who are fighting their weight.
The good news is, if you’re finding yourself in a reality of poor health, you are not alone, and today is a good day for change.
You might be asking yourself some questions right about now. Maybe these sound familiar…
What do I do? Where should I start? I thought I was healthy. Why isn’t what I’m doing working? How do I know what information to trust? If I change my lifestyle, what if my friends and family don’t understand?
What You Can Do
I’m here to tell you it won’t be easy, but there is hope and help. Where should you start? Anywhere. It can be small. Find one thing to change. Then another. Then another. For example, cut out soda. Adjust. Cut out sweets. Adjust. Cut out fast food. Adjust. One thing at a time. Once you get a handle on your food (which has been proven to affect healthy the most drastically ), start working out once a week, or meditating 5 minutes a day, or getting 1 more hour of sleep. Big change starts with small decisions.
Learn What Works
If you’re struggling because your “healthy” lifestyle isn’t getting you results, you might not be quite as healthy as you think. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Most of it is coming from our government and our food sources. I highly recommend the book “What The Heck Should I Eat?” by Dr. Mark Hyman. It’s an excellent resource and crash course in food and how to truly eat right and completely approachable for anyone. You can also follow along on the blog (and join my newsletter for exclusive notes and updates).
If you’re starting to feel like you’re on an island around friends and family when it comes to health, I would suggest first that you communicate with them. You might find that your loved one is in the same boat as you, and you can use each other for accountability. Unfortunately, not everyone is accepting to change, and that can be hard. The next best thing to do is find a new community to plug into. That doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your old friends! But it will allow you to have support and accountability that you might not otherwise have.
Finding a community is easier than you think. You can make friends through me, here at Egyptian Organics. You can also find other fitness communities. I’m a part of the Blogilates POP Pilates crew; I follow Yoga With Adriene and Marie Forleo. I read Dr. Axe’s blog and listen to Dr. Hyman’s podcast (both of whom have very active Facebook pages and are probably the best place to start). I also listen to Tony Robbins and Gabby Bernstein. I know first hand that any of these people are a great start if you’re looking to connect with like-minded people. Seek them out and you will find them.
Start today. Don’t wait.
Get on one newsletter. Meet one friend. Make one change. If you are obese or on the path to becoming obese, your life, your happiness, and your full potential is at risk. I want you to lose the weight. I want you to get healthy and strong. I want you to live your best life. I want you to succeed and shine. Let me tell ya, it’s so much easier when you lose the baggage from an unhealthy life.
You won’t believe the difference that one change and a little time can make.
Share Your Story
Share you story below in the comments! Maybe you’re just now ready to get started on your journey to health, or maybe you’ve got some encouraging personal results to share. I want to hear, and your story will bring encouragement to others!
What The Heck Should I Eat? by Dr. Mark Hyman