Itis is the first medical term I learned the meaning of. Simply, it’s a suffix to indicate the previously mentioned item is inflamed. Medical terms come from either Greek or Latin and in this case, it’s Greek. The reason I had my tonsils removed when I was two years old is that I had frequent bouts of tonsillitis.
That’s about the time I began to put on weight. Swallowing stopped hurting so I would eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Now, connections are being made between obesity and inflammation. Ask any overweight person if they have arthritis, or acid reflux or chronic back pain, and chances are they will admit to at least one. I have arthritis, chronic back pain, tendonitis, and degenerative disc syndrome. Sitting is pretty much the worst thing I can be doing, next to typing. No wonder I want to be a writer.
Obesity causes low-grade chronic inflammation. Adipose tissue, or fat, hates you and wants you dead. It plays a benign role in folks who are of a normal weight, but in people with too much fat, it “recruit(s) macrophages and promote inflammation and the release of a range of factors that predispose toward insulin resistance.” Once you have that going for you, losing weight is an uphill struggle and you are on a furniture dolly without brakes or steering.
Doctors and medical researchers have just figured out that your fat makes you fatter. It works to keep making your overall health bad and prevent you from making huge strides toward health. Folks, it’s time for that magic pill to show up.
Until that day, there are some basics that can get you started. Don’t think of it as a diet, first of all. You are embarking on a lifestyle change. There are some basics that are promoted in every plan you might want to follow.
1. Drink your water. No matter how, get it in your body. I like to drink a few glasses first thing in the morning when I feel most thirsty. I like to have ice water available all day long. Sometimes, I even drink it.
2. How many years did you need to build up the weight you now carry? A few pounds off at a time is excellent progress. Be kind to yourself and stay positive.
3. Get all the sleep you need. There’s a link between obesity and being tired all the time. Seriously, let yourself have at least 6 hours of sleep per night, and maybe a nap during the day.
4. You don’t have to give up everything you love. You just have to read labels and stay within your best calorie intake range. Make smarter choices about carbs and eat lots of vegetables. Even if the only veggie you can stand is canned green beans, eat a few cans a week! You’ll feel full when you do, and that’s going to stop some over-eating.
5. Don’t read too much about weight loss magic. You have a plan that works for you. The internet plan you just read might not work as well for you. Everyone is different. What works best for more people I know is Weight Watchers. Check it out.
6. I eat when I am stressed, distressed, bored, when I think I should be eating, and so on. Mental issues don’t respond well to feeling full, drinking water, and so on. Getting counseling to help me lose weight is a big step that I need to take. Maybe you don’t have such major issues, but still, having a shoulder to cry on for a small fee could be the best thing to do.
7. Accountability is super important. Write down what you are putting in your mouth and find another person on a similar path to share that with. Read their journal and learn from it. Be truthful and share with an open heart.
8. You knew this one was coming. Daily movement is vital. Park farther away from the store or where you work. Take the long way when walking the dog. Do sitting leg lifts while watching TV, then do some hand weight bicep curls. Sure, it hurts when you have arthritis. Guess what’s the best way to relieve some of that pain? Yup. Exercise. Swimming is one of the best for large people in pain. Just be sure to join a group with an excellent instructor who knows how to get your heart rate up.
Good luck on this. Some say it’s not luck, it’s hard work, but I think there is some luck involved. Finding the right plan, the right support group, and the right exercise for you takes luck. I’m in my sixties, female, and genetically predisposed to obesity and diabetes. The deck is stacked against me, but I don’t care. Giving up is not an option.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.