Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Weight loss for the health of it: is obesity the cause of ALL health problems?

 Greetings friends! Today on this blog about how I lost 100 pounds, I'm exploring how obesity affects overall health, wondering if obesity could be the cause of all health problems and then if weight loss could be the solution to them all.  Now that might sound exaggerated. However, while there's probably no unilateral fix for all conditions, I think it's safe to say that obesity plays a part in a host of other problems and that it doesn't improve any of them. 

What got me thinking about this is the number of times of heard, read and probably said that doctors don't take other health concerns seriously when obesity is an issue. They seem to see weight loss as the panacea for everything: got ingrown toenails? Lose weight. Migraines? Lose weight. Depressed or anxious? Lose weight. Etc. I've heard (and probably said) "My doctor doesn't understand. He's just fat-shaming me. I know I'm fat, but that's not what's causing (insert problem)." And then we get angry and resentful and go doctor shopping, again. 

But what if it is? What if weight loss could actually fix or at least improve some or all other areas of health. Reality TV shows like "My 600-lb Life" have proved that gastric bypass patients feel better overall after weight loss. It's statistically obvious that diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, liver problems, some forms of cancer, thyroid, joint pain, sleep apnea, chronic pain, back, leg, knee pain, migraine and many more issues have a direct link to being overweight. 

Do people who are not overweight suffer from these same issues? Certainly. However this issue isn't whether there are other causes besides obesity, for various health problems. The question is whether, if I am overweight, I can heal these other struggles with weight loss. The problem, as I see it, is avoidance of responsibility, weaponized incompetence and denial. It's someone or something else's fault. We also don't like being told that we are causing our own problems. We want a magic pill that requires no effort. We claim to be helpless and want others to fix us. When they fail to because they can't (only we can fix ourselves) we get mad, blame them and lay there helplessly, angry, resentful and blaming (weaponized incompetence).

 Even gastric bypass can be that effortless fix (it's not but so many think it is). You've only to watch an episode of "My 600-lb Life" to see how denial sabotages life and weaponized incompetence often ultimately kills people. 

I'm currently watching a real-life "My 600-lb Life" situation. A friend is killing herself by refusing to take responsibility and weaponizing incompetence to the hilt. She is in a nursing home being treated for obesity yet has all kinds of junk food brought in, then complains when staff takes food away. She says she can't wait to be home so she can eat what she likes. She wants them to fix her yet faults them for not letting her break herself further. And the irony is that while she proclaims to be helpless, we are the ones whose hands are truly tied. We can't make her lose weight or stop eating. We can only refuse to feed her and not enable. 

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