Our country, and really the industrialized world at large, needs a desperate wake-up call.  According to The World Health Organization (WHO), in 2008, over one-third of adults were overweight, with the prevalence of obesity almost doubling from 1980 to 2008. (1) The frequency of overweight and obesity varies by region, with the U.S. being a “top” performer – almost two-thirds of the population is overweight and a quarter obese. (1).  What’s more, this trend has not restricted itself to adults, but is now running rampant through our children, as well.

Now, we know there is a bit of a push and movement to support loving your body, no matter what your size.  We at CoreLfe believe you should love yourself, despite your size, job, relationship status, etc., but as health professionals, we can’t get behind this attitude of “weight doesn’t matter”, “love your curves and bulges”, etc. Why? Because the health risks associated with overweight and obesity are just too great.  And quite honestly, if you think you are doing yourself a favor by “loving” your body despite its size, we’re here to say you’re not really loving yourself much at all.

This body, it is the only one you get. It’s the one that has to drag you through your whole life. If you respect and love your body for doing its job, then you should be caring for it in a way that exemplifies that. Imagine if you bought a house, a beautiful, pristine, lovely house. Then, you didn’t do any maintenance on the house. You never mowed the grass. You never dusted or swept. When you noticed a crack around a window, you just let it go. When the roof started to sag and leak you simply ignored it.  Food you didn’t eat was just left to rot – you get the picture. This once beautiful house would start to crumble. It would have mold and insects. It would become overrun with weeds and animals. The smell would build up. And before too long, it would become inhospitable.

Your body is the house for your mind, your spirit, your soul – whatever it is that you believe makes you, ‘you’;  your body is the house that shelters it.  Just like the house you may buy to live in, this body requires maintenance and care.  If ignored, if unattended to, it will become dilapidated and inhospitable. One of the ways we care for our body, for our “house”, is by keeping it healthy. Excess weight is not only a burden on your body frame, but on your internal organs, your hormonal pathways, your metabolism – every facet of your life.  Overweight and obesity are not merely physical appearance “problems”.  This is not simply a question of whether one looks good in yoga pants or a tight top. Being overweight or obese reduces your ability to perform everyday physical tasks. It causes joint and back pain from the excess load your body is straining to carry. Your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, liver and kidney disease, as well as pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, all increase significantly (2). And, if those health complications weren’t enough, obesity reduces your life expectancy by up to 10 years or more. (2)  So, not only will the life you’re living be less enjoyable as you suffer from diseases and ill-health, but that life will be shortened, as well.  Additionally, because so much of my interest lies in fertility and pregnancy nutrition, for those trying or hoping to conceive, overweight and obesity have been found to increase infertility, both in males and females. (3)

At CoreLife, we aim to help people find a way to bring balance and wellness back into their lives. As the CoreLife dietitian, I’m not seeking to eradicate all culinary pleasures from you life. My goal as a nutritionist is to help clients find a way to care for their body while absolutely still enjoying and loving their life. We want to empower you with the skills and knowledge to lead a healthy lifestyle, full of energy and enjoyment, and devoid of disease and ill-health.  If you would like to learn more or are ready to make changes in your life, come on in for an appointment and take the first step toward a healthier you.