As the holiday season approaches, we battle through the grocery to snag the ingredients for our Thanksgiving feasts. Ruminating in the backs of our minds: I’m going to gain ten pounds again. Ugh! Why does Char have to bring up our WEIGHT right now? Well, I don’t, I suppose, but I have a question: When was the last time you got your checkup at your doctor’s office? I mean, the whole workup? Certainly, adding another appointment to your stressed-out life might cause you to pass out, but it might save your life.
The Numbers on the Scale Indicate More Than Your Weight
Those little glowing numbers tell you how much you weigh, don’t they? Maybe you have a love-hate relationship with it, but don’t grab your sledgehammer yet. They may tell you something more, but you need medical interpretation to decipher the code.
Health Problems and Weight Gain
Being overweight may be an indicator of an underlying health condition. No, Char isn’t fat-shaming anyone. Instead, I’d like to see you avoid a serious situation down the road. If your doctor has told you to lose weight but nothing specific, then it’s undoubtedly a good warning to heed. But you need to know if there is a health condition they want you to avoid or reduce. If you overindulge and feel like you are getting away with something, I would say you are rebelling against your doctor’s advice. They aren’t your parent. This behavior never goes well in the long run. However, just being told to lose weight and your blood work shows concerning numbers, it’s time to find out what it takes to snuff out the wick of that ticking bomb.
Have you avoided going to the doctor because you’re afraid of what you might find out, then go? I want to share with you some of the health problems that often indicate or go hand-in-hand with extra pounds:
- Hormonal problems. This encompasses a lot! However, it might be helpful to consider what these cover.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Some thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s Disease
- Medication-induced overweight issues, like corticosteroids, antidepressants, etc.
- Celiac disease (compensation for stomach pain) I lost ten pounds going gluten-free.
- Pregnancy (Not a problem, but it’s a good idea to get a pregnancy test if you are of childbearing age and have some pregnancy symptoms)
- Depression and stress
- Gall bladder disease
- High Blood Pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, and High Cholesterol– all make up the metabolic syndrome. Usually, you will carry extra weight first, then your blood pressure or cholesterol numbers will show borderline-to-high. Type 2 diabetes often follows one of these two. These health conditions are often avoidable for the most part. Heredity is the exception. You can find healthy swaps at www.myplate.gov. Get moving, even if it’s just brisk walking and light resistance exercise. Living a healthy lifestyle is way better than taking pills that will eventually tax your liver and kidneys.
In all these, you need specifics to help you combat the weight gain and do your best to stay at optimum health despite your illness or disease. So do your research but be careful about playing Dr. Google! In most cases, following the Guidelines for Healthy Americans or the Mediterranean Diet will make a big difference when added to a reasonable, doable exercise plan. If you want more specifics, come into a Healthy Lifestyles group or Christian Wellness Coaching. I’ve been in this situation on the way to metabolic syndrome in the past and can walk alongside you as you work toward your goals.
Low Body Weight Issues
Many people who consider weight with health often overlook low body weight. I’ve encountered this twice personally through anorexia and undiagnosed autoimmune disease. This list will help if you struggle to keep your body weight up in the healthy range:
- Undiagnosed autoimmune diseases like lupus and type 1 diabetes I was here before being diagnosed with Mixed Collagen Vascular Disease.
- Low bone density
- Celiac disease (lack of nutrient absorption)
- Eating disorders may be operating in the background due to emotional and mental distress in both low and high body weight. Such disorders include anorexia, bulimia, anorexia athletica, and binge eating disorder. I’ve been here with anorexia.
These lists aren’t exhaustive, but they can help you consider that if you struggle to get your weight, either high or low, a medical issue might be lurking in the background. Getting an annual physical with regular blood work is always a good idea. When you get your health under control, you may find it easier to get your weight under control. If it’s impossible to reach your ideal weight due to health or medication, eat healthily and get regular exercise to maintain good health anyway.
Making Healthy Living Your Lifestyle
Sometimes, we forget that we can give our issues to the Lord and reduce our stress. In Matthew 6:25-27, Jesus tells us to not worry about our life, and what we will drink or wear because God cares for us and our needs. Why cause yourself undue stress over something that may be out of your control? Do what you can, but give your health and weight issues over to the Lord. Our shoulders were never meant to carry such weight.
I would love to help you from a nutrition and exercise perspective after getting health issues resolved. New Healthy Lifestyles groups begin January 4, and I have a special surprise! I’ll announce it soon. Also, Christian wellness coaching is always available which personalizes your goal setting and gives you individual support apart from a program. Contact me if you have questions or register.
National Institute of Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders
Used with permission from Charlaine Martin.