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The Perils of Obesity
The perils of obesity are many. Our challenges can be quite different then most others. So much so, in fact, that the challenges of being obese can hinder our daily lives in the most discouraging ways. Please allow me to share some of my challenges with you. We may have some in common, and you may have different challenges then I do. Let's compare.
Waking up in the morning is easy. It's the getting out of bed part that's challenging! The second my feet hit the floor, I'm in pain. Not just minimal pain, but pain from the plantar fasciitis that I have given to my own feet. There are no rewards for carrying around 100+ excess pounds; only bodily illness, pain, and suffering.
Taking a shower is another story in itself. Being large doesn't exactly work well in a tiny shower/bathtub that was originally installed in the 1950's. Judging the size of my bathtub, it's obvious that people of that generation were quite smaller then society as we know it today. Being obese, we are more susceptible to losing our balance, slipping, falling, and not being able to get up easily, or at all. It's like one of those bad "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials that you see on television. Only we are not old and frail, we are obese and fragile.
Dressing is by far my least favorite activity of each and every day. What should I wear? Nothing looks good on me. My clothes are feeling tighter. My bra's don't fit right any more. I used to feel very self-conscious wearing shorts in the summer, and I would often over-dress in long pants, hot t-shirts, or Capri pants with a baggie shirt that made me look pregnant. These days, I've learned how to be more flexible with my summer attire and I actually wear shorts and tank tops now. It's still not a flattering look on me, but it's by far much more comfortable then trying to cover up my body.
Then it's on to breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner menu's for the day. Standing on your feet becomes so painful when you are obese, even after just a couple of minutes! Who wants to slave over a hot stove when they weight 225+ pounds? Not me! We need something quick, something fast, something easy. And that's where many of us turn to fast food, pre-packaged food, fake food, convenience food. The thing we most seek out when obese (convenience) is the very thing that keeps us obese~ unhealthy foods and eating habits!
Let's move on to fitness for a moment. The one thing that will help us lose weight, build endurance and a healthy/steady core, and strengthen our bodies is exercise. However, when we are obese, the obvious answers to getting fit are not so easy for us to put into action. Does Jillian Michaels realize that those of us who are obese cannot possibly get on the ground and hold a 'plank' pose? Not only can we hardly get down on the ground due to our size, heaviness, and lack of coordination, but getting back up off of the floor is more of a challenge then getting down there to begin with! My stomach actually touched the floor at one time if I got down into the plank position.
So what do we do about these types of obesity issues that seem to paralyze us from being able to do things that healthier people don't even give a second thought to? We make do with what we have, right where we are today. Let me explain.
You don't have to rise and shine tomorrow morning and commit to running a marathon. But you do need to make sure that you are wearing proper shoes with arch supports or a good arch support insert throughout the day. You can purchase arch supports at your local drug store. Dr. Scholl makes some great arch support inserts for a fraction of the cost of a medical prescription. I utilize them myself, and they have helped improve my foot and back pain immensely.
If you have trouble getting in and out of your shower or tub, purchase a good suction cup tub mat, as well as tub handles with suction cups. They are fairly inexpensive, yet very sturdy. I also make sure to keep my cell phone right next to the shower in case I have a spill and need to call for help.
As for the fear of clothing, start wearing things that you would not normally wear. Purchase a tank top or two, and a long skirt. Wear them around your house until you start to feel more comfortable in them. It's only a matter of time before you realize that your comfort comes before pleasing others.
You will need to embrace this next suggestion if you ever want to get healthy and lose weight. You must learn to prep your food ahead of time, and do a little bulk cooking in your free time. Being prepared and ready to go is key when it comes to weight loss. There are many internet articles, programs, websites that offer this information to you free of charge.
Finally, we come to fitness. Commit to just 5 minutes of walking a day for the first week, and double it the following week. Perform upper body workouts utilizing soup cans if you cannot afford to purchase hand held weights. Start with 1-3 pound dumbbells and increase the weight weekly. There are many free workout DVD's on the internet that you can perform sitting down. Have a Wii system? Get dancing! Where there's a will, there's a way. Find your personal way and stick with it! You won't get healthy overnight, but it's the beginning to a brand new you.
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