In America, there is an abundance of food. While most people consider this an amazing thing, it can be considered the exact opposite for people like me. Who am I? I am 21-year-old female and I weigh roughly 230 pounds. While weight does not define who you as a person, it can definitely be a major issue both inside and out, literally. Technically, I am currently considered to be morbidly obese. My estimated body mass index is 40. This puts me at risk for several diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even worse a stroke. Although genetics and hormones do play a role in obesity, I will overcome this disease by increasing physical activity and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Put simply, weight is gained when calorie intake is higher than calories burned. Obesity raises the risk for heart disease. Heart disease is defined as the abnormalities of blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack. These abnormalities in blood vessels can be caused by high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the amount of work/stress put on the heart. This can cause a multitude of issues such as an enlarged heart. The heart enlarges due to the excess of work and can become less efficient.
High blood pressure is also the leading cause of strokes in this country. A stroke is when oxygen flow to the brain is blocked. Excess fatty tissue caused by obesity is known to be the source inflammation and lower blood flow. Therefore, being obese puts you at risk for a plethora of big scary issues. Now let’s discuss some changes that can assist in significantly decreasing your risk for these diseases.
While working out can make you feel like you’re literally dying, nine times out of ten its totally helping you. Physical activity can actually make your heart stronger. When your heart is stronger it can do more work with less effort. This can in turn lower blood pressure and help you lose weight. Thus, physical activity can overall just make your life a whole lot better. Along with physical activity, changing your diet can also help. Giving up fried fatty foods (such as my absolute favorite, fried chicken) can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. When dieting be careful and listen to your body to find out what works best for you.
Hormones and predispositions can make weightless extremely difficult so DO NOT give up. Some hormones such as ghrelin (the hormone that tells your brain “I’m hungry”) does not reduce signal following reduction of calorie intake. It can actually send signals to the brain that say “I’M STARVING” and cause your body to attempt to hold onto fat. While you cannot change predispositions, you are a product of your environment, so switch it up. By making healthy changes (as mentioned above) the sky is the limit and most things can be overcome.
As previously mentioned, I am a 21-year-old female who is morbidly obese. Just because I am genetically predisposed to this disease because both of my parents are obese does not mean that I cannot overcome it. I have struggled with obesity my entire life but after being diagnosed with high blood pressure, I have decided to begin to make some changes. This includes more physical activity and along healthier eating habits. I know that slowly but surely the results will show up.