I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
How do we sustain long-term weight management?
We’re going to need support.
This last year has been a huge struggle for me. A new obesity diagnosis coupled with a changed body after giving birth had me feeling very unlike myself. I had never had a problem with managing my weight. Between genetics, a moderately active lifestyle, and youth, my weight didn’t fluctuate very much during my twenties. I took for granted the fact that I never worried about what the number would say when I stepped on a scale.
Now that I’m older, and the mom of two, I’ve had a hard time maintaining a weight that makes me feel comfortable.
At a recent doctor’s visit, I was told that I needed to lose about 25 pounds, and sent on my way with a few generic ideas for dropping pounds. I know better, though. Overcoming obesity isn’t just about getting on a diet or joining a gym. The reasons why people gain weight is very personal. There are many factors that help determine whether or not someone will have obesity. It could be genetic risk factors in their DNA that influence the way that they react to life. It something else like the type of medication they take, pregnancy, or their lifestyle.
For me, it’s a little bit of all of the above, which is what makes getting back to a healthy weight challenging.
That’s where my support team comes in. My husband, daughter, and friends are all aware of my desire to improve my health and put better wellness standards into practice. They listen to me, and never judge. Instead, they encourage me by reminding me of my worth outside of my weight, get active with me, and cheer me on when I do something that is going to get me closer to my health goals like eliminating coffee or going for a long walk.
Folks who have obesity need people like that in their corner, and not just because it feels good. An article from the Mayo Clinic* states that, “having friends or family members who are supportive of your healthy eating and exercise goals is important for long-term weight-loss success.”
We can’t overcome obesity alone.
Did you know that obesity is a chronic disease? When you get that diagnosis, it can feel like you’ve messed up or failed at some point along the way.
That’s just not true.
For women, especially, we tend to put the needs of everyone else before our own. We make sure our family is taken care of while our health suffers. The good news is, we can overcome obesity. It’s not easy to do on our own, though, so we have to call on the same loved ones that we’ve supported to be there for us while we focus on our health.
Maybe it’s asking our family to go on walks with us, or getting them onboard for trying more heart-healthy meals. Perhaps we suggest going dancing or roller-skating instead of out for ice cream. When we know that folks are rooting for us, we’re more likely to stay the course.
There’s no shame in being honest about our health.
Before I started working with Med-IQ, I never really talked about having obesity. I alluded to feeling different about my body. Now that I have an education and resources around obesity, I feel more confident about my outlook. Med-IQ is an organization that is helping patients and medical professionals understand each other and communicate better. Their free continuing education classes to healthcare providers is so important as it helps do everything from encouraging “people first” language (i.e. a patient has obesity, they’re not obese) to sharing resources from the patient perspective.
Med-IQ is one layer of support. Your friends, family, co-workers, internet friends—they’re the next level. And there’s no reason to be ashamed for asking for help to reach your health goals.
After all, isn’t that what friends are for?
Check out the OAC for access to community support and resources.
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