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What Is Your First Straw?

Most of us have heard the expression:  “The Last Straw” or the variation, “The Final Straw”.  Here are the explanations/meanings of this: 

  • to be the last in a sequence of unpleasant things
  • to be the last tolerable thing after which something cannot be accepted 

Many people are motivated into a certain action upon experiencing this “last straw” sensation.  As an example, a person working in a fairly hostile work environment gets called in and told he/she now needs to work for the person in the office known to be the very worst person to work for.  This “final straw” will motivate the person to quit and find a new job.

Let’s move this discussion to the weight control arena (what a surprise, huh?).  Here are some examples of the “final straw” that drive a person into a weight loss effort or program:

  • You go to the doctor for a routine exam and are then told your labs show early diabetes
  • You go on a family trip with your kids and grandchildren and find you cannot keep up with them.
  • You go into your clothes closet and realize that nothing of style fits you anymore
  • A picture is taken at a holiday gathering and you look at this picture and did not realize how overweight you really are.

These “last straw” motivators can be quite powerful and help to get people focused and steadfast in their weight control efforts.  However, sometimes, waiting for the “last straw” can produce a situation where that “last straw” is dangerous:  

  • A heart attack
  • A cancer diagnosis linked to obesity
  • A chronic pain syndrome caused by weight related joint damage.

The point of this entry:  Do NOT wait for the “last straw” before springing into action.  It is best to “preempt” a dangerous “last straw” event by being proactive in shedding the weight as soon as possible.   Delaying preventative health measures, such as weight control, could prove catastrophic and the “last straw” could unfortunately lead to the “last rights”.  Act on the “first straw” or even earlier!

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