“This annual celebration is a time for people of all sizes to live actively, eat well, and feel good about themselves and others.” (Francie Berg www.healthy.net)
As Americans, we are becoming more active in controlling our weight or at least beginning to get some idea as to how our lives are affecting our weight. We are beginning to see the dynamic relationship between our emotions, our thinking and our everyday choices and how these things affect our overall health and weight. We are aware that conscious or unconscious traumatic experiences can trigger the flight or fight mechanism which in term can signal the body to store fat and deter any effort to lose weight. Heightened emotional responses like anger and unforgiveness can become signals to store fat in the body.
Over the years, with my patients, I have seen all aspects of this weight saga. I celebrated with those patients who took off the weight easily and I agonized with those who worked very hard but failed to lose the weight or regained the weight after stopping the initial program.
The good news is that we have enough knowledge to know that “how” you lose the weight is very important. I believe that the BIA (Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis) machines should be standard pieces of equipment in weight loss centers,schools and gyms. The BIA machine provides a simple way of assessing your body composition with respect to body fat and the relationship to lean body mass. We should all be comfortable with BMI’s (Body Mass Index) and BMR’s(Basal Metabolic Rate). We have the ability to quickly scan the function of all organs systems and determine the presence of disease. This includes the ability to diagnose any sensitivity to allergens, vitamin levels, and to determine the health of the digestive tract including the presence of healthy bacteria. These factors have a direct impact on our overall health and certainly affect how the body gains or loses the weight.
Certainly, there is no place for judgement in regards to another persons size or choices. Even if we could somehow walk in the shoes of another person, I think, as humans, we would lack the insight of being able to accurately see another person. As a health care provider, it is a privilege to walk along side a person and to receive with dignity and humility only that portion of someone’s life that they chose to share.
Let’s go forward, using the knowledge that we do have, integrating that into our everyday lives, championing equality in health care and loving the fact that we have the time to make improvements in our own lives. This has a way of spreading hope. Others will be encouraged by your efforts and your resilience.
Even if you have some level of frustration regarding your weight, be encouraged that it is possible to reeducate your body in the proper way to use and store energy. We may not be able to discern the ‘why’ of what happened to your metabolism but we can go forward by programming into your body a new way of losing fat but keeping a lean body mass.
In closing, I would like to say that even without BIA machines, gyms, and calorie counting apps on your smart phone, you can be completely successful with your weight management and nutrition. Early on, in the field of nutrition, we were successful using basic mathematical calculations to determine how many calories a person consumed during the day and how many calories were needed to lose weight. We asked the patients to keep food diaries and to record every single item that was eaten during the day. Ironically, that simple assignment brought “mindful” eating into existence. We even figured out how to use the everyday working tasks as a means of burning calories. So you see, there are many successful ways to achieve your weight goals.
I am looking forward to working with you on your journey towards health and wellness! Schedule a 20 or 40 minute monthly consultation with me for your personalized weight loss program!
Dr. Patricia Sebastian