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Lifestyle Changes-Well Worth the Effort

Updated on June 4, 2015

Typical Obesity Chart


What is to Blame for America's Obesity Problem?

When Did Obesity Problems Start in the United States?

I am new to the Hub pages arena and many of my readers know my passion for health and fitness. I enjoy researching anything in the category of medicine, vitamins, minerals, doctor prescribed diets, lifestyle changes, fad diets, disease and much more.

Much of what I write on obesity is of my own opinion and most people are aware that they are entitled to their own opinion. I feel that personal opinions are neither right nor wrong, they just are and people are entitled to them. Personal opinions give other people food for thought.

Being a nurse for over 40-years enabled me to work alongside many professionals in the healthcare arena. I do not hold any degrees in nutrition; however, nutrition and fitness have been my passion for many years. I spent 15-years assessing patients for nutritional needs and diets, alongside dietitians and nutritionists, then I did reap a great deal of valuable info.

Obesity Comes Easily and Quickly

I believe that for many people their overweight problem was one day a surprise to them. They wonder just how and when they gained so much weight. We can lay blame to a number of factors for being overweight, such as, but not limited to

  • I am a nervous eater
  • I am depressed
  • I am sick
  • I have hypothyroidism, diabetes, and etc
  • I am in debt and constantly worried about the bills
  • I am going through divorce
  • I am getting married
  • I have a stressful job, but cannot give up the money I make
  • I have small children that drive me nuts and I never get out of the house
  • My teenagers are driving me crazy
  • My married children have to move back home

The list of excuses for what caused someone to become obese is endless and ready for picking. It is so easy to place blame on something or someone and place ourselves blameless.

In 1969, my husband weighed 118-pounds with a pant size of 29-inch waist and 29-inch inseam. I weighed 110 pounds and wore a size 10. After 30 years of marriage, my husband ballooned to a size 38-inch waist and a 28-inch inseam and I wore a size 22. I have my own ideas why it is that marriage does this to couples.

In My Opinion for What it is Worth the Effort

My husband and I were married in 1969 and even at that time, it took the husband and wife working to make financial ends meet. Women working full-time found it difficult to balance the family and work. When the woman got home from work she was the one who mainly put the dinner on the table, did the laundry, cleaned the home, helped with schoolwork or now days needed to do her schoolwork, bathed the children and got them to bed at a decent time. Many times dad helped when he could, but took care of the yard, car and did repairs around the home.

Slowly but surely technology increased and this increase was to make our lives easier. Cell phones replaced the corner pay phones; computers came onto the market with the promise of making jobs and home life easier. It seems to me instead of creating easier lives, technology has made us move faster, play harder and have little time left over for what matters in life. It appears to me that with the huge growth of technology came less time for the more important things in life.

During this time it seems to me that fast food establishments started to gain popularity and spring up in every city on every corner, taking the place of well balanced and well prepared foods at home.

Mom's loved fast foods and so did the children. Fast foods were serving the busy working parents their lunch on the run and then at day's end served the purpose for a quick meal that the family enjoyed at dinner. I think it was at this time that the United States began to see an obesity problem. Many people could not or refused to realize they were in a weight gain spiral. I cannot put all the blame on fast foods. Blame on obesity fans out in many directions.

Increased Technologies and Fast Foods

Fast foods from the their beginnings were not the healthiest foods to eat. Over the last few years fast food restaurants increased menu options to include healthier choices of meals, offering grilled meats, wraps and salads. Fast food establishments go as far as giving customers a list of calories, and vitamin and mineral ingredients, and then these restaurants leave it up to the customer their personal food choices.

While many families still rely heavily on fast foods for lunch and dinner, choices for healthier options are available. It is now up to what people long for in their fast food choices. If people are trying to change their lifestyle and get healthy, they are going to order a fresh salad and ice tea versus a Big Mac, French fries and a shake as a meal option.

It is my opinion that a person who is at least 30 pounds over their ideal body weight range, is obese. I recall this being the criteria that hospitals employ to establish obesity in a patient. Guess what, most of our society is 30 pounds or more over their ideal weight, including me. Given all the hard work and weight I have lost I am still considered obese. This is a hard pill to swallow.

Close to my retirement in 2010, I weighed 234 pounds and on my 5 foot 1 inch frame and size 22 clothing, I felt lousy every day. I did not like how I felt or looked. The professionals say that you should lose weight slowly; no quick diet or any diet in fact is going to be successful for the person wanting to lose weight. This needs to be a lifestyle change with an eating pattern and way of preparing healthy foods for the rest of your life and not just until the excess weight goes away. I resolved to establish a lifestyle change, slowly.

I recently saw two doctors, and when I checked out at the counter the nurse gave me a print out of my visit. There were the diagnoses I expected, including obesity which I did not expect. I told myself that the doctor should have seen me a few years back, but now, how could he say this. Like I said I have another 30-40 pounds to lose and until this last bit of weight disappears I am obese. I yearn for the day that I get one of those print outs from the doctor and this diagnosis is not listed. That day will come, I am devoted to this lifestyle change. Devotion and motivation to the cause of one's obesity is necessary in order to make that lifestyle change successful.

Been there and done that too

I am not getting to tell anyone how much I weigh now, but I will say that over the last 10-years my clothing size has moved from a size 22 to a size 14. If I can lose additional 30-pounds, I will be happy with myself. A lifestyle modification is one of the most difficult things I have performed in my lifetime. I have to work hard at this every second on the day.

An obese person (30 pounds or more over their ideal body weight range), must want to make a lifestyle change and stick with it. If the individual is happy being obese then more power to them. However, in my opinion, deep down inside of that person they are not a happy camper about their weight, but do not have the willpower to make the changes needed to become a healthier and fit individual.

I also have my own opinions why obesity is an epidemic across the United States, and what people can do to help themselves. In the end, everyone owns a choice in life to be fit and healthy and no one can answer this for anyone else.

Dedicated to My Beloved Mother-in-Law

My Mother-in-Law Had it Figured Out When Obesity Was Not Widespread

I always called my husband's mother mom. I was close to her and knew many times how she felt about issues regarding health and wellness. My (mother) raised six children and was a stay-at-home mom until the children entered high school and then she got a job in the maintenance department at the local high school.

She said her weight ballooned to 250 pounds and she wore a size 24 duster. Dusters were loose fitting, (loosely worded), bathrobes that buttoned down the front. The material was usually gaudy flowered and thin. My mom said dusters were the only thing that fit her anymore. Thus, she never ventured from her home or yard, as dusters were nightclothes and not appropriate attire to go shopping or visiting. It was at this time that mom made the proclamation that she was joining the gym and was going to run the track with her daughter who was on the high school track team. She was determined to lose weight.

During her journey, she won the Presidential Fitness Award and the local newspaper did a nice write up about her health and fitness plan and the success she was seeing in her weight loss endeavors. During this time mom did many strange things that we simply got used to, as it was no good scolding her for fear of her hurting herself. She was going to do what she wanted when she wanted.

Part of mom's exercise plan was to use inversion boots. These boots were popular in their day. They had a large metal hook on the front and came with a sturdy tension pole. The user hooked this pool between a door casing and the person would hang upside down. She firmly believed this exercise helped to keep the back straight. She loved the outdoors and we would never catch her inside during the summer.

This one day we drove past her mini-farm and there she hung on the back fence gate with her inversion boots and the gate kept swaying back and forth. I asked my husband if we should stop and help her and he said, "No, she will figure it out." When we came back past her house, she was down off the fence. During work breaks, she hung around the school in the maintenance room on her inversion bar and acquired quite a name for herself in the arena of physical fitness.

The other part of her plan was no more cookies, cakes or candy, no fast foods, fried foods or deep-fried anything. She ate lean cuts of meat, which included very little beef, and plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. She ate as if this for the rest of her life as mom had her new lifestyle change figured out and was devoted and dedicated towards health and fitness. No one could do this for her; she did it on her own. This is the decision every one of us must make if we desire to lose excess pounds. We must be first motivated to become healthy and dedicated to continue with a sensible lifestyle plan for the rest of our life. She also joined Weight Watcher's because she liked the support when the going got tough.

Mom's weight decreased to about 130 pounds and clothing to a size 12. She was 5'6" tall. This is where her weight remained for the rest of her life.

Mom Knew How to Lose Weight

Mom knew that exercising and running were her niche and she put all she had into losing weight weight though physical fitness.
Mom knew that exercising and running were her niche and she put all she had into losing weight weight though physical fitness. | Source

Making the Right Food Choices

Mother begain to incorporate the right foods with meals every day and never deviated to fast foods, empty calories, and an overabundance of  sweets again for the rest of her life.
Mother begain to incorporate the right foods with meals every day and never deviated to fast foods, empty calories, and an overabundance of sweets again for the rest of her life. | Source


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