The Root of the Problem.

September 5, 2011

After losing his father in 2004, Sam, a 29-year-old single man, moved in with his aging mother to care for her. Over the next few years, his mother’s health deteriorated and he turned to food for solace. In seven years, Sam gained 120 pounds, developed metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and depression. His doctor prescribed anti-depressants, blood pressure medication, insulin treatments and recommended losing weight.

Peaches, an attractive cheerleader-type, married her high school sweetheart during her senior year of college. During her first pregnancy, she gained 70 pounds and developed gestational diabetes. After the baby was born, Peaches vowed to lose the ‘baby weight’ and get back down to her 135-pound pre-pregnancy frame. But when she found out she was pregnant 10 months later, Peaches still had 30 more pounds to go. The second pregnancy was similar to the first: she gained 70 pounds, developed gestational diabetes and delivered a big-but-healthy baby. Now Peaches had 100 pounds to lose. With a toddler and infant in her care, Peaches suffered from post-partum depression and found it hard getting out of bed each day. Her baby is now two years old and she has only lost 30 pounds. Her doctor prescribed anti-depressants and suggested she lose weight.

Note that each doctor prescribed weight-loss, but neither gave tools for their patients to make some real changes like a referral to a registered dietitian, certified weight-loss coach or therapist. Both of these individuals is left to “go it alone” in the weight-loss department, even though it’s the only long-term solution. With the right combination of healthy eating, exercise, and emotional help these two people will overcome their battles with obesity and the typical tag-alongs of depression, insulin resistance, high blood pressure and the like.

Doctors are quick to prescribe medications. Why? Because they know most people are resistant to lifestyle and behavior changes. Most prefer a ‘quick fix’ and hide behind the excuses that backed them into these corners in the first place. Change can be scary, and facing the demons of life are difficult. But with the right team of coaches alongside, change can be a wonderful and life-saving event.

Sam and Peaches are young: with nothing tying him down, Sam should be dating, enjoying his thirties and having fun. Peaches needs to stay vibrant and healthy for those two little people as they grow up. After all, doesn’t she want to live to see her grandkids?

If you or someone you know needs a little boost getting started, below are some great resources:

  1. Kick that food addiction. Overeaters Anonymous is amazing: I know a woman who lost over 100 pounds with them.
  2. Need to talk to someone NOW? Check out these free hotlines: there are a ton of different avenues.
  3. Check with your health insurance company for reimbursements or discounts on a gym membership, nutritional counseling or personal training. While you’re at it, find out about your insurance’s mental health program.
  4. Want to jump-start your fitness? Try the Couch to 5K program…so inspiring!
  5. Get back-to-basics with your eating, inspired by Nina Planck.
  6. Invest in yourself: sign up for weight-loss consulting.

Never go it alone. Tell your friends. Reach out to loved ones. Hire a coach today.

 

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