Tag Archives: Lifestyle

On the Obesity Epidemic and What People Don’t Want to Hear.

No one is going to like me for this article. Physicians, PA’s, NP’s, patients… basically all of America is going to hate me.
But, sometimes we need to hear things we don’t like. 
I’d like to start by saying that in America we are constantly bombarded with all types of consumption and choices.  Society at large has us set up to fail– to over consume in terms of nutrition and finances– and pretty much anything else. 
We are not set up to succeed in our health or wellness, which continues to spiral out of control through generations.  I read a statistic (several times) stating 80% of America is either obese or overweight.  I can’t remember the source; but, I started to pay attention to my patients and the general population at large and I mean– it seems pretty accurate.
Fast food, advertisements, portion sizes… hell even the size of our utensils are grossly enlarged to skew our perception of what we “SHOULD” (trigger word) be consuming and how much of it.
The number of subconscious decisions we make in a day regarding the food we choose to consume and what we spend our money on is basically innumerable.
We live in a society that values quantity and quickness over quality and mindfulness.  My response to this is: THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE.  It is not something that is going to change on a macro level.  It starts with each individual and spreads.
Now, here is the part no one is going to like.  We are all responsible for this. 
HOW?
Will power and responsibility is a thing.  We are all individually responsible for how we treat our bodies, minds and souls.  The nutrition and lifestyle we choose fits into all of these categories. Simply because society does not set us up to succeed does not give us an out to be obese, lazy and victims of our circumstance. 
We all have the power to make better choices.  Do it.
Health care providers: QUIT skipping the difficult conversations.  Patients need to hear that they are obese and what they are doing to their bodies by not honoring them with healthy choices. I’m not suggesting we start bombarding people with “hey you know how overweight you are? do something”. What I am suggesting is that we start having difficult conversations and lead by example. 
Is it difficult to sit in front of someone and tell them “you need to lose weight” and have that conversation?  Yes.  I do it 5-10 times per day.  No joke.
If you are skipping over the conversation you are part of the problem and not the solution. 
Modern western medicine teaches us in school to treat illness.  What I have learned in my time on earth and three years as a medical provider is that you have to learn to teach you patients to honor wellness.  That well-being is not a pill, it is not an overnight solution or a crash diet or diet pills (I simply tell people “no” when they ask for them).
Teach your patients wellness.  If you don’t know what this means I encourage you to learn. Learn and practice what it means to live a life of mindfulness and wellness.  Develop an understanding of proper nutrition– unfortunately we are NOT taught this in school and it is something I have learned through nutrition coaching.
SHAMLESS PLUG: If you are interested in a life overhaul that starts with honoring your body with nutrition visit Working Against Gravity at: https://www.workingagainstgravity.com/

DISCLAIMER: I do not receive financial incentives or anything by promoting them.  But by being a part of their group I did develop mindfulness and a nutritional habit that honors my body and wellness. My life changed because of the choice I made to work with WAG (working against gravity). 

I encourage all of my colleagues, future colleagues, physicians, nurses— or whoever you are— start with yourself.  If you transform yourself and learn, you have the capacity to help and transform another.  This change will not occur overnight;  but, I encourage everyone to be a part of change on a small scale so that changes at large can occur in the future ❤

America Has No Idea What They’re Eating.

I recently started working 1:1 with a nutrition coach.  I’ve always been a healthy eater.  Recently,  I’ve cut out sugar and focused more on healthy foods and timing of nutrition.  When I felt I had done all I could on my own I hired a coach for a few months.

Now I’ve weighed some foods before and eyeballed even more.  Let me tell you the first time you weigh or measure peanut butter or almond butter you question everything you ever thought you knew.  And then you cry just a little inside and out.

I look at the portion sizes people take in and scream and die on the inside.  People literally have no idea what they are eating.  In turn, their kids also are not learning what they are eating.

One of the women on the facebook page for the nutrition program I follow (Working Against Gravity) posed a question if other Moms in the group worried about what their kids though about them weighing and measuring their food.

At first I was like eeehhh good point.  Then I thought a bit deeper.  I thought to myself “This is a great teaching opportunity!”

Kids take in so much from their parents. Food, eating habits, nutrition and wellness are no different. I figure it this way, parents who weigh and measure their food can potentially cause the same harm or good as the parents who quadruple the dosing for their children.  It is all about the perspective.

The way I look at it is for parents who are healthy and weigh and measure food, they can teach their children about what is necessary in order to properly fuel their bodies and grow up healthy. Teach them what veggies, healthy protein and carbohydrates are and what they do for their bodies and mind.

Not teaching children about healthy portion sizes and food can have just as much if not more a detriment than showing them that it matter.  It results in kids growing up not being able to identify what broccoli or cauliflower is, or eating 16oz of pasta when a serving is 1/2 to one cup, eating 10oz of steak or chicken when 2oz gives you 15 grams of protein.  10oz of meat= 75g protein.  CRAZY!  My daily requirement on any day whether it is a rest day or I’m in the gym being active for 2-3 hours is 120g.

Like I said, people have NO idea what they are eating. As long as we as adults have no idea what we are eating– we pass that same message on to the next generation.  I guess my final statement is that we shouldn’t shy away from teaching kids about healthy eating.  If they don’t learn to form healthy habits, it will likely result in unhealthy habits and behaviors.