You Might Be Healthier Than You Think
A common conversation I have with patients, both men and women, is the concern that they have become unhealthy over the years. They say things like “I don’t look like I used to look,” “I’m becoming overweight” or “I want to get back into the shape I was in when I played sports.” I’ve also seen a few former professional athletes with these same concerns.
When I perform their initial evaluation, I often find that the patient’s weight is appropriate for their height and vital signs are normal. I typically order bloodwork because that is a greater indicator of what’s going wrong or is about to go wrong, if anything.
Now that I have more complete information from the lab results, I can share with the patient that everything looks normal. See, you might be healthier than you think. But some patients still may not be satisfied.
Problem vs. Preference
This is where the conversation may shift to looking at personal preferences versus having a medical problem or being at an unhealthy weight. Please know I’m committed to helping patients maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight increases the risk of many health issues such as diabetes or heart disease. I just want to make sure we are approaching the issue from the right perspective.
A wide variety exists when it comes to a healthy human body shape and fat distribution. There is no one standard way a human being must look. The past 40 to 50 years of images portrayed in the media, magazines, movies, television, etc., all project an unrealistic story. However, we are the ones continuing to consume this content, so we can’t blame it all on the media and entertainment industry just giving their audience what they want. All of us are in this together!
We all need to keep in mind that the people we see on the screen may have amazing genetics and also put extraordinary effort into the way they look with the help of trainers, makeup artists, and expert photography. These images are not realistic and nearly impossible to attain.
The perspective I like to share is if you don’t have an unhealthy weight but still really want to lose some weight, I will help you lose it in a healthy way. I make the distinction that it is not a medical problem but a personal choice, and that’s fine.
Health vs. Happy
Recently, I’ve been working with a patient who was not at an unhealthy weight but still preferred to lose weight to improve her appearance. She couldn’t be happier. For the first time in years, she is approaching her weight from her late 20s and is fitting in clothes that have been in the back of her closet. She told me she was really glad that I helped her shift her mindset from seeing weight loss as a health problem to a choice that makes her happy. For her, this shift helped motivate her and helped her own it more because it was something she was choosing, not something she felt forced to do.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to make changes — health, happiness or both — text my office at 325-268-0650. We’ll schedule an appointment to start the conversation.