Thursday, February 10, 2011

Facing the truth about obesity.

You know me by now. I'm very passionate about making a healthy life for myself, and my family. I would also LOVE to change the world, and the views we have on our health.

I was inspired to blog about Americans' addicition to food. Especially fast food. It's quite sad actually. I decided that I needed to do some research on the matter before blowing it up!

This too, is convicting to me! - I am not obese, but I do try, and will continue to try harder, to raise my child in a healthy environment....Even when society is pulling her to the greasy side! I will continue to slowly change my eating habits.   For the most part, they are good. They can always be  better!

It's even sad what even our schools serve as a " well balanced" meal...

 I then, in the same day as being inspired, receive an email from a friend and fellow blogger Ashley, saying that she came acrossed this blog that had to do with obesity, and suicide that I might be interested in. (Says it reminds her of something I would My ears perked, and I got to my computer and looked it up immediately!
* I quickly recognized that this lady is also involved with the same running group I am! small world!!

I was stunned beyond words after reading the enrtry. I felt like, it should be shared. I got her permission to share the blog, and want to.

 We have to have to have to get out of this rut! We're only killing ourselves slowly. One french fry at a time..

Warning : this blog post will be offensive and possibly painful to some.  It will deal with suicide and obesity.  If either of those two topics are painful for you, I recommend you read no further.
I discovered today that once again, there is an Oklahoman participating in Biggest Loser.  The fitness minded side of me shouted in joy at another Oklahoman attempting to change their life.  The other half of me hung my head in embarrassment for our state.  You see, this past year when the Biggest Loser did a casting call for their new season, they visited 15 cities, one of which is Oklahoma City because their producers have determined it to be one of America’s Fattest Cities.
These producers are not alone.  In 2010, Oklahoma was named the 6th fattest state in the United states.  In addition, we rank 45th in the nation for overall health of our population.  But Oklahoma isn’t alone.  If you look at the map of obese states, you’ll find that the Midwest is filled with high obesity rates and high rates of complications of obesity. 
Now, if you look at the leading causes of death according to the Centers for Disease Control, you will find that the top 10 are made up of Heart disease, cancer, stroke, Chronic lower respiratory disease (Emphysema, asthma, etc.), Accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Influenza and Pneumonia, Nephritis (kidney diseases) and Septicemia.  Currently, obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States, but that may not be for long.  It is rapidly approaching tobacco as the number one cause of preventable death.
Preventable.  Let’s look that one up.  Preventable – able to be prevented.  Prevent – to keep from occurring.  So, if you have a someone who is doing something that is preventable, that means they are doing it intentionally, correct?  Now, if someone is intentionally causing death to someone else, that would be considered what?  Manslaughter?  Murder?  But what if they are intentionally causing death to themselves?  Let’s define another word.
Suicide – the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.
Now when most people think about suicide, they think of sudden death.  And the reactions to a suicide or a suicide attempt are broad.  We’ve all heard someone say that it’s selfish.  That the person leaves behind a mess that they never have to deal with.  There is definitively a stigma associated with those sudden, awful suicides. 
But what about when the suicide is slow.  A person who has been warned by doctors time and time again that their lifestyle is leading to their death.  The father who continues bad eating habits knowing that it is leading him to a path of death, maybe not immediately, but eventually.  Why is it horrible for someone to take their life suddenly yet acceptable for someone to do it slowly?  We’ve “accepted” obesity.  It’s no longer acceptable for an airline to charge for 2 seats.  It’s discriminating.  We see more and more lawsuits against companies who have discriminated against overweight individuals.  Nobody calls them selfish.  Nobody reminds them of the mess they are creating.
Now someone is probably reading this and getting offended.  “What mess?” they are angrily asking.  Let me tell you.
The father whose daughter has to take care of him because his legs have been amputated due to Type II diabetes brought on by his obesity.
The mother whose grandchildren’s last memories at Christmas is of her with oxygen tanks because she has congestive heart failure and can’t get out of bed.
The wife who each day prays that today isn’t the day that her husband’s heart stops because of high cholesterol and high blood pressure brought on by his obesity.
You see, with fast suicide, the mess happens after the death.  But with slow suicide, you watch your family die over months and years. 
And of course, you will have those individuals who are justifying obesity by using the argument that there are healthy obese people.  Sure.  They may be healthy today.  No diabetes, no hypertension, no complications.  But fast forward 10, 20, 30 years and lets see how many of today’s obese individuals have died of complications from their weight.  To me, that argument makes as much sense as someone saying that they’re healthy while chain smoking Marlboro Reds. 
Now, let me say this.  There are medical conditions that cause obesity.  But, they are extremely rare.  Only 1% of obesity cases have valid medical causes, and only one disease, Cushing’s syndrome, cannot be completely treated.  It effects 1 individual per million.  Other causes of weight gain and obesity, such as Thyroid disease, PCOS, and depression can typically be treated or assisted.  For 99% of the population, obesity is caused by consuming more calories than burned.  Overeating,  Indulging.  Lack of activity. Choice. 
And yet we’re supposed to accept it, right?  Especially here in the middle of the Bible belt of the Midwest.  Where we preach on Sunday that suicide is wrong, yet succumb to gluttony as soon as the service is over.  When are we as a society going to wake up?
Yes, I am on a rant today.  But I am sad.  This hits close to home.  No mother, father, child, grandchild, wife, or husband should have to put themselves through the hell of watching someone die, especially when it is self imposed, be it fast death or slow death and do nothing about it!  I can’t imagine a more selfish act than to care so little about your loved ones to do nothing to keep them from that pain, yet milions of American’s, almost 1/3 of the population, have decided that suicide is acceptable.
When will it stop?

Thank you so much Shawna    for opening my eyes to the tragedy here! We are being held hostage to the processed, greasy, fattening, artery clogging, heart stopping, " quick foods " that are " convenient "

We are writing our own death wishes. If you think it won't catch up to you eventually. Your delusional!  That blood pressure cup will say other wise. That scale will laugh at you. Those lungs that want so hard to breath normal, will scream for help!

One calorie, and one foot step at a time, we really can conqueror this! It's not about being on a "health kick" it's about living an active healthy lifestyle.  Is it easy? Nope. It's a lot easier to drive up through that drive threw window, order some mindless caloric food, toss a bag to the kid in the back, and keep going. That's easy. Is it easy to bury someone you love because they chose THAT lifestyle? Absolutely not! Is it easy to plan your meals, and take a time out from life to actually think about WHAT  you are putting in your body as fuel? Nope.

We have a choice.

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