If I was to ask you to write out a list of “priorities” you have in life, what would that list look like? Perhaps some of the priorities on your list may include (not necessarily in order):
- Providing (emotionally and monetarily) for your loved ones.
- Having professional satisfaction.
- Having time for your hobbies (golf, hiking, photographing birds, or other)
- Traveling to destinations you have never been to or revisiting places you love.
- Saving enough $$$ for retirement
- Being committed to faith and religion
This list will go on and on, and each person will have a different level of “priority” attached to each of them. So, here begs the question: Concerning the “priority” of your health: Where is it on the hierarchy of your priority list? Is it number 1? Is it at the bottom of the lost? Did it even appear on your list before I brought it up?
Many of our patients, especially professional females, often have their own health at the bottom of their priority list. Sorry to sound old school about gender differences, but as a member of the animal species, we are prone to similar behavioral patterns as other animals: Females tend to be the “nurturing” gender and therefore, others’ needs, especially the children, will take a much higher priority. This is one of my theories as to why the obesity epidemic has exploded over the last 30-40 years: Many more females have become responsible for driving 50% or more of the family income and that additional stress/responsibility, often precludes focusing on “self”.
You hear on the airlines before take-off: “Place the oxygen mask on yourself and then place it on your children.” The reason? If you do not stay alive/healthy you will not be in the position to help anyone else.
The point of this entry: Weight control requires a strong element of “prioritizing” your health and focusing on the steps needed to shed the weight. Please do not allow this to fall to the very end of your priority list. If you want to continue to nurture and provide for others, you must be healthy. Successful weight control will get you there. Make this a priority.