A foreboding observation

One of my relatives has had the misfortune of breaking a hip, which is not a fun thing to do. Since I have been the principal chauffeur for her many doctor and rehab visits, I have made an unfortunate, but telling observation that is foreboding for us all.  Based on my observations in the waiting room, the dominant majority of patients over the age of 30 in an orthopedic office are obese.

I recognize fully this is not an unbiased statistical sampling. Yet, I kept thinking of what a nurse friend told me about our bodies. Our bone structures are not designed to carry so much extra weight. They will break down. I believe I was seeing first hand evidence of such. This is a foreboding lesson for us all.

Over the past five years, through brief morning stretching routines, walking and smaller portions of meals and snacks, I have lost forty pounds. My goal is to walk on my own for the rest of my life. A geriatric doctor said there are two inflection points on the demise of an elderly person. The first is the inability to drive. The lost freedom is impactful both physically and mentally. The second is the inability to walk unassisted. When this occurs, all sorts of challenges evolve for the patient.

Through my work as a benefit consultant and manager, I became aware of a key data point. The United States is the most obese nation in the world. We are all train wrecks waiting to happen. When we add all of this together, the lesson to be learned is we must do something about our weight. Even a little bit helps. While I have lost forty pounds, I could use about five to ten more less. Or, at least I would like to come in closer proximity to one or two pack abs. Six pack abs would be a pipe dream.

The stretching I do is a combination of Pilates, Yoga, Isometrics and mild weightlifting. They last fifteen minutes and are so limited in exertion that I do them after my shower. The key is they vary daily and are sustainable, which is vital. One day it is stand-up stretching, the next day is floor stretching and the third day is light weightlifting. Then, I start again. The fact I vary them keep me engaged. If I did the same thing everyday, I would get bored.

The above is balanced out with walking and swimming. Plus, the yard and pool boy is the one typing this post. As for the eating, it has taken time, but I eat smaller meals and snacks. Portion control is key, but another contributor is little bread. My wife is on a low-carb diet and that makes a huge difference. We love bread, pasta, potatoes and rice, but we now eat much less of them.

Folks, we must get a better handle on our weight. I am not saying we must look like the after pictures advertised on TV, but we could benefit from exercise and eating better. The alternatives are not pretty if we don’t. Higher blood pressure and risk of falling become more pronounced. So, let’s get moving and eating better.

14 thoughts on “A foreboding observation

  1. Dear Keith,

    Do you still have power? Are you able to get about in your area?

    Thanks for the tip. In the last year, I’ve put on over 50 lbs. After your notice, those pounds are coming off. When others suffer from depression, they lose weight but I do just the opposite.

    It’s this President Trump who is making me sick. It’s too bad I can’t sue him and the GOP lawmakers who’ve backed him.

    But thanks a million for the tip.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, we still do. Charlotte should get the brunt beginning tomorrow afternoon through Sunday night.

      I had added weight, but being tall (6’5″), it was less noticeable. I got up to 260 and now am just shy of 220. Doing it slowly helps. I must tell you the biggest culprit is carbs. Cutting back on bread, potatoes, etc. makes a huge difference. If you could do that, drink more water and walk some, that would be a big help. Best wishes, Keith

  2. Such wise and important words, Keith. My sister-in-law is a sonographer and she says that people she sees coming in for scanning – even young people – are often incredibly overweight. Not only do extra pounds impact the heart, lungs, and joints, contribute to several different types of cancer, and impact our ability to exercise (among other things), having a lot of fat surrounding our organs makes it difficult to diagnose problems. Good for you for losing 40 pounds… and you did it right – slowly and steadily.

    Best wishes to you and your family as you brace for Florence’s fury.

    • Janis, thanks. Your sister’s observations are important. I hate to see a young heavy person. Unless he or she alters the course, the path forward will be fraught with health trouble. Keith

  3. Very wise words Keith. I ought to pay attention to them, not very much overweight, but we can never be complacent.
    Will be thinking of you over the next couple of days.

  4. Very sound advise, my friend. I remember before my eye surgeries earlier this year when I finally, after driving my daughter’s car into a ditch, had to admit that I could no longer drive … I was bereft and felt that I had lost my autonomy. I absolutely hated sitting in the passenger seat and made excuses to just stay home instead. I sometimes imagine what it would be like to not be able to walk on my own, and frankly, I don’t think I would have a desire to remain alive. I do exercise and don’t eat much due to health issues, so I don’t have a significant weight problem, but I can feel a difference even if I gain a pound or two. At our age, both physical and mental exercise are essential if we wish to remain autonomous. So, while you’re doing your stretching exercise, work a crossword puzzle too!

  5. I’ve observed much the same thing with health and obesity. I remember looking around the room when I was waiting for my first colonoscopy. This was probably before current HIPA regulations. What I remember before I drifted off to my happy place was the people in stalls around me and all the health issues they were dealing with that could complicate a simple, routine procedure. Mostly, there was a lot of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

    Unfortunately since that time, and since my retirement from a physical job, I have put on over 10 stubborn pounds. I’ve got to get serious about getting rid of it. Will power! 😦

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