Have you ever used the expression, “The Final Straw”? This phrase refers to the latest in a series of unpleasant or difficult events that makes you feel that you cannot tolerate a situation any longer. Personally, I used this expression recently, referring to a situation where I tried everything I could think of to fix a household item, and my “final straw”, before hiring a professional, was wasting more money at Home Depot attempting to do the “fix” on my own.
Now, let’s turn to the weight control arena: There are many patients that come to our office for the first time describing some “final straw” that compelled them to call our office. Some of these “final straws” include:
- Seeing a recent picture of themselves and being shocked about how heavy they looked.
- Trying to get into a certain item of clothing they wanted to wear and the clothes did not fit.
- Having their doctors tell them that their blood sugar or blood pressure is so high that prescription medications will now be needed.
- Going on some activity trip with their families and find themselves out of breath and not able to keep up.
These events or others may be the “final straw” motivating people to finally become serious of embarking on a weight loss effort.
I am imploring people to NOT wait for a “final straw” to become serious about losing weight. By the time “final straws” may be taking place, too much damage may already be done that cannot be totally reversed by the weight loss. Some of the obesity-related co-morbidities, such as breast, colon, pancreatic or stomach cancer can unfortunately be quite progressive before diagnosis. Dementia (another co-morbidity of poor weight control) may also not be reversible by losing weight.
Please do not wait for any “straws” to occur before acting on your weight control. The sooner the better. The “first straw” should be getting on your scale and seeing an unhealthy number. Act NOW!