Today is the day!

You ask today is the day for what?  Well, it is the day for you to be honest with yourself and have a serious conversation.  I would like you to ask yourself two questions.  1.  Do I have a big buttock?  2. Do I have a big belly?  If you answered yes to either or both questions it is time for serious consideration to making some lifestyle changes.  The only reason you would make these lifestyle changes is for your own personal health. 

First, determine your BMI.  You can google a calculator online and just plug in your height and weight.  A normal BMI is 18.5-24.9.  65% of the Florida population is overweight.  This is painfully obvious when you visit the shopping malls, restaurants, public gathering places.  Why do you suppose this is?  As a healthcare provider, I have heard, I have a slow metabolism, I have thyroid problems, I am big boned, I don’t eat that much, I only eat once a day.  

The issues that arrive due to being overweight are diabetes, cardiac issues, hypertension, chronic back and joint pain.  Do not mistake thinking these are only issues for adults because they are not.  Children are included in that 65% overweight category and can develop diabetes, hypertension, and the other problems just as well as adults. 

The logic is very simple.  Calories in and calories out.  If you take in more calories than you put out, it becomes stored as adipose tissue.  This usually occurs in the buttocks and the belly.  The causes are multifactorial.  Lack of physical exercise both for adults and children.  The computer, phones, television have replaced getting up and being active.  Driving through your favorite restaurant for a quick meal.  Have you checked the calories of a soda, hamburger and French fries, your favorite slice of pizza?  Have you checked out the portions of food on a plate when you sit down at your favorite restaurant?  The number of calories ranges from 1000 to 1500 just for the one meal.  This is almost the total caloric intake needed for the day. 

I am reminded of a friend who started a new job. They started complaining of hip pain and back pain which interfered with their job.  I was asked what they could do for the pain as far as medication. While medication might offer temporary relief, there was a bigger issue.  It is the 150 extra pounds that were putting pressure on the joints, hips and pulling on the back.  Change needs to take place at the core of the problem not covered up with a medication.  

I have watched my nieces and nephews in action.  Most of their meals come from fast food, they do not like most home-cooked meals prepared for them, there is a constant checking the refrigerator for something to eat or drink.  I have seen them eat 4 or 5 times in just a few hours due to boredom and lack of activity.  They do not see an issue with this lifestyle however they will be my future patients with several health issues.  

This topic is extensive and I have a lot more to say about this subject.  Please look forward to the next article continuing with this important topic.  

Wade Smith RN, FNP-C