21 Dec 2012
- Written by Dr. Timothy Moore
The days of thinking that thicker, big, or just plain plus-sized individuals are in the minority as it relates to size has changed for a lot of us. We are now the majority when it comes to our our dress, pants or waist size. Our growing girth often makes us feel secure as we look at ourselves in the mirror of life.
There used to be a time when "extra large" meant you had to shop at a specialty store to buy your clothes. Some of us were embarrassed to tell anyone where we bought our clothes. In most cases they already knew where we shopped because they shopped at the same store too.
We have become a nation of believing bigger is better. Our larger size makes us feel safe. It protects us from our present emotional needs in life that bring the challenges we all face on a daily basis. We often overlook those emotionally charged issues and start seeing ourselves as normal, when in fact we are not happy with ourselves as individuals.
What has happened to us as a society of people that we believe being unhealthy and obese is just the standard way of life?
A few health issues related to obesity: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, lupus and blindness are some of the health concerns that have now gotten our attention, but in most cases this awareness comes way too late.
We love to eat foods that are unhealthy. In most cases these foods offer little to no nutritional value. However, they do provide some form of emotional comfort for the stressful unbalanced issues that we face. Whether they are caused by perceived difficulties in our work environment, family, church, spouse, relationships, children or seeking our place in a society where we are always trying to be accepted by everyone, the resulting stress causes discomfort to us.
It is now being reported that obesity has become a bigger health crisis worldwide than hunger with the exception of a few countries such as in sub-Saharan Africa. It has now become the leading cause of disabilities as it relates to our obese healthcare, reports the British medical journal, The Lancet.
We live in a time when being FAT is normal. This belief is very misleading, but as a culture we accept it just the same way we accept driving our automobile daily. We see both as just a normal part of life.
According to the CDC, African-American women make up the largest obese group of Americans. I would attribute a lot of that to emotional distress. Things such as having witnessed abuse as a young child towards a parent, loved one, or friend of the female origin led to wanting to always feel safe. It is as if being obese will provide some form of security, which as we now know leads to other female health-related issues, including breast cancer, hot flashes, irregular menstrual cycles and hormone imbalances.
It's time to stop this madness of obesity which is the leading cause of unwanted diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stoke. These three time bombs are the leading causes of our present health epidemic. This preponderance now occurs world wide mostly as a result of consuming a western diet. Meals that mainly consist of processed foods, fried foods, and sugary drinks are related to so many preventable injuries, sicknesses and untimely deaths.
In his book "Reversing Heart Disease," Dr. Dean Ornish talks candidly about sudden cardiac death. An interesting point he brings out relates that approximately 40 percent of the people who dies from heart disease didn't even know they had a heart problem until they died from it, clearly not the best way to find out.
Ask Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr, who wrote "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease," what he tells his clients when they ask for a prominent symptom and he relates DEATH; there is no short cut to great health.
Imagine the crazy thought of not being able to eat crispy fried chicken, a fried apple pie, or some tender, delicious golden fried shrimp. It would seem inhuman to go though life without these foods that we have grown accustomed to love. It seems like a crazy idea, but is the potential alternative of cutting off one's foot or leg or having to have surgeons crack your chest open because of a heart attack acceptable as normal, and OK too? I really don't think so.
Why then has "bigger" or "supersize me" become so accepted in today's society as a misleading form of protection?
I can remember as a young boy that the preacher, policeman and some individuals of great importance seeming to appear larger than life to us. However, the meaning of the phrase totally changed as we began to take note of the world's overall health crisis.
We will all encounter some unpleasant challenges as we go through this journey. That's one of the realities of life. So, let's began to make those necessary health changes that will strengthen our bodies and our emotional well-being as we face those inevitable occurrences that affect our emotional stability and our physical appearances.
As with any change, there are obstacles that will try to hinder us. This will also be true in our quest to have great health or regain our health. Nevertheless, we must stay focused and dedicated. This is a lifetime commitment with the end result being the quality of our own life.