Category: Health

Believe In Yourself

We frequently tell you to create your life. You alone have administrative powers in your life. Regardless of your situation right now, you can create a vision of the life that you want. Once you have your vision, focus every thought and action towards achieving that life. We have never told you that it would be easy, only possible. It’s up to you. However, working through great difficulty is still easier than allowing your health to deteriorate and living as a chronically ill person. If you find yourself chronically ill today, listen to your medical doctor. Listen to everything he tells you. Don’t listen selectively to justify unhealthy habits.  Listen and do your part. Pursue health with everything in you. Envision yourself healthy and develop healthy habits. Your quality of life will be better. If you’re healthy now, your health will be even better when you focus all of your efforts on becoming your best self.

Fill your life with positive input in the form of people who encourage you to excel. Be pro-active in self advocacy. Champion your own cause. Never allow yourself to be manipulated by negative people and circumstances that do not have your best interest at heart. When the office doughnut pusher confronts you with a box of beautifully decorated doughnuts, smile and say, “No way!” That individual might be trying to keep you weaker than them. Rise up and do what’s best for you.

When you get your vision and pursue it with your whole heart, you will see a different life begin to unfold right before your eyes. Take control. You are the Boss.

MCT Oil For Weight Loss

Ladies, these adds piss me off, and being as they are targeted directly towards you, they should anger you too! 

These people are taking you for a fool, and are also taking advantage of those who are struggling with their weight!

And of course, there are multitudes of shysters getting in on this fraud upon vulnerable people desperate to lose weight.

If you were fit and trim in high school, you are going to have to be as fit and trim now as you were then if you want to burn calories like you did back in the day.

If you are only slightly overweight, or have been obese for several years, do you honestly believe there is anything that could possibly be healthy about a 30 pound fat loss in 3 weeks? 

Do you think that a 30 pound fat loss in 3 weeks will give you a nicer looking body?

It won’t!

First off, you will not be losing a great amount of weight simply by adding MCT oil to your diet. Secondly, if you could possibly lose 30 pounds of body fat in three weeks, you are going to have larger problems than being overweight or obese in the first place.

When people lose weight too quickly, they’re often not able to successfully keep it off. In fact, research has found that after losing weight, about two-thirds of dieters gain more than they initially dropped.

Many “quick” diets and eating plans cut out whole food groups, which means you could be missing out on key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you need to stay healthy. Dairy-free diets can result in a calcium deficiency while a diet that cuts carbs could mean you’re not getting enough fiber. Even on a lower-calorie diet, it’s important to get a range of nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, folate, and iron. In more extreme cases, malnutrition can result in a host of symptoms like decreased energy, generalized fatigue, anemia, brittle hair, and constipation.

When in doubt, pick an eating plan such as ours here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness.  that includes all of the key macronutrients — fat, carbohydrates, protein. The goal is to think about your plan as a lifestyle, not a diet. A diet is something you go on and something you go off. There is no start and end date. When we lose weight, we want to get rid of true adipose tissue, not muscle mass. When you cut calories too quickly, your muscle tone is guaranteed to also be lost along with the fat, as well, a loss in muscle mass will slow your metabolism. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. That means one pound of muscle burns more calories a day than one pound of fat. So, a loss of muscle means you’ll burn less calories a day!

Because of the water weight we all carry, it’s common to see slightly faster weight loss in the first two weeks, especially when on low-carb or no-carb diets. Exclusively, almost all the initial weight you will lose when first going on a weight loss plan is going to be water weight.

I can guarantee you the results are “NOT” that amazing!

I recently used myself as a test subject by using MCT oil to see if it made any difference to the amount of body fat I carry, or my weight. I used MCT oil for over a month while maintaining my diet of high protein, complex carbs and healthy fats coupled with a vigorous weight training regimen. The end result was no change in my body composition at all.

My weight remained the same, and so did my level of body fat!

I did exactly this! Two tablespoons per day!

Yes, fats are highly satiating when you eat them. I advocate that people keep healthy fats in their diet for this particular reason along with the fact that fats help our body to absorb the nutrients in the foods we eat.  However, if you are still eating refined sugars, or foods full of refined carbs, you will never quit having cravings for food. You will never feel satisfied after a meal for very long. Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, cookies and pretzels, may taste good, but they tend to make you feel hungry shortly after you eat them. Sugars and refined grains are digested rapidly, creating a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. In response, your body pumps out a large dose of the hormone insulin, which causes your blood sugar to drop quickly. This crash leaves you feeling sluggish and hungry, so you may crave more carbohydrates to replenish your energy. This can create a cycle of overeating that’s often difficult to break. I’m adding this about the carbs simply because some of these MCT oil product manufacturers imply you can continue to get the same results from their products even if you are still consuming carbs.

It is true that given the shorter chain length of MCTs, they are rapidly broken down and absorbed into the body. Unlike longer-chain fatty acids, MCTs go straight to your liver, where they can be used as an instant energy source or turned into ketones. Ketones are substances produced when the liver breaks down large amounts of fat. But here’s the rub, since MCT is digested quicker than  the LCT, it does get to be used as energy first. But, if there’s an excess of MCT, they too will eventually be stored as fat too. You can bet that if daily doses of MCT place you over your caloric needs to lose weight, you are not going to lose a single pound! MCT oil is approximately 130 calories per tablespoon. At two tablespoons per day, you have consumed 260 calories. If you exceed your caloric needs by 260 calories per day, then you can expect to actually gain one half pound of body fat per week! Please do not buy into the hype that MCT oil is going to cause your body to incinerate three times more calories over a six hour period. It is not going to happen unless you are at a caloric deficit.

But, there are indeed some benefits to using MCT.

While research is somewhat promising, there has still not been enough data to show that MCT oil will actually lead to weight loss.

MCT oil may help boost your strength if you’re elderly and weak. There’s also some evidence that MCT can raise the amount of energy used by your muscles. But other research shows it might not do that much to help get you through your workout.

MCT can help your body make ketones, an energy source for your brain that doesn’t have carbs. Some say drinking it will make your mind sharper. But if you don’t have a cognitive disorder, you aren’t likely to get a long-lasting brain boost just by adding some MCT oil.

MCT may also help soothe and treat skin infections. The lauric acid in MCT works as an antimicrobial, breaking down bacteria and virus walls to destroy them.

Some research shows MCT oil may help ease problems with thinking, memory, or judgement. If you have Alzheimer’s disease, your brain may not use glucose well. Some experts think using ketones as an energy source instead may help your brain work better.

MCT oil in your diet can also help lower LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol while also increasing your HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.

However, since I am not a doctor, my recommendation for you is to always consult with your personal physician should you suffer from any of the above conditions, and please do not believe everything you read in a magazine or social media site.

And now for the bad effects MCT can cause you:

Stomach pain

Gas

Cramps

Bloating

Diarrhea

Vomiting

My personal adverse reactions to MCT use was I became terribly full of gas and bloating. I found that I would sometimes have to pass gas about every few minutes for up to several hours after taking my MCT oil. This was no matter if I took it straight from the spoon, mixed in a protein drink, pre-workout drink or even mixed into a bowl of oatmeal.

 

 

Foods That Help Blood Sugar

Are you prone to getting headaches on a regular basis?

Do you go through life feeling feeling sluggish and fatigued all the time?

If so,  these symptoms can be easily blamed on the day to day stress of work and raising a family, but there may be another cause to your daily misery. It is quite easy to place the blame for how you feel on outside stressors, but maybe you should take a look at yourself and what you feed your body with. If you fuel your body with bad fuel, it is going to be just like your car when it is fueled with bad gas. It is going to be under powered and it will run badly. Even if you are not diabetic, choosing poor foods to fuel your body is going to make you feel rundown over time. Hyperglycemia can, and does affect people who are not yet diabetic. When you begin your day with donuts and sugary coffee drinks, and then continue to snack on high carbohydrate foods during the day, you are setting yourself up to feeling like dirt after the initial feel good sensation that comes from the consumption of simple carbs.

When you give up eating high carb, low nutrition foods there will always be people who insist you should lighten up and enjoy life by having a slice of cake. These family and friends may have good intentions, but there is a  simple fact that escapes them. Maybe it is a concept they either can’t or possibly refuse to understand – for those of us who do not eat sugar filled foods, we actually do enjoy a better quality of life without sugar. If consuming something makes you feel bad, why the hell would you accept it in the first place. It’s like purposely hitting your own thumb with a hammer, it is not going to feel good and you did it to yourself!

There are lots of folks running around with their glucose levels spiking, and they don’t even know it.  These spikes are a problem because high blood sugar levels, especially when prolonged, can contribute to cardiovascular disease risk and a person’s tendencies to develop insulin resistance, which is a common precursor to diabetes. Often people who are prediabetic have no idea they’re prediabetic. In fact, this is the case about 90 percent of the time. It’s a big deal, as about 70 percent of people who are prediabetic will eventually develop the disease. Some doctors won’t tell you how important your blood glucose control is as a non-diabetic. I will.

The reason your doctor may fail to tell you this is mainly because it is generally thought that until a diagnosis of diabetes is made, you are assumed to be metabolically competent. And of course, many, if not most people will not pay heed until they feel they have to anyhow.

But that is not always the case.

In actual fact, this is the reason why a lot of prediabetes cases are missed. Prediabetes is the abnormal metabolic stage before type 2 diabetes actually bites.

Before the prediabetes stage, you also develop insulin resistance which is largely silent as well. Doctors don’t always pay enough attention to metabolic health in a run-of-the-mill consultation even if the consultation is for a wellness overview. The reality is, if you eat poorly and especially if you have a weight problem, you do not need a doctor to tell you this, deep down you know why you feel bad. It is up to you to make the personal choice to make yourself feel better, and here are some foods that will help you to get there:

Fatty fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel are great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have major benefits for heart health. Getting enough of these fats on a regular basis is especially important for those who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. DHA and EPA protect the cells that line your blood vessels, reduce markers of inflammation and improve the way your arteries function after eating. A number of observational studies suggest that people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart failure and are less likely to die from heart disease.

Leafy green vegetables are extremely nutritious and low in calories.

They’re also very low in digestible carbs, which raise your blood sugar levels. Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are good sources of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C.

In one study, increasing vitamin C intake reduced inflammatory markers and fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

In addition, leafy greens are good sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.

These antioxidants protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts, which are common diabetes complication.

Eggs provide amazing health benefits.

In fact, they’re one of the best foods for keeping you full for hours. Regular egg consumption may also reduce your heart disease risk in several ways. Eggs decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase your “good” HDL cholesterol levels and modify the size and shape of your “bad” LDL cholesterol. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 2 eggs daily as part of a high-protein diet had improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In addition, eggs are one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the eyes from disease.

Just be sure to eat whole eggs. The benefits of eggs are primarily due to nutrients found in the yolk rather than the white.

Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food made from oat groats, which are oat kernels with the husks removed.

Oatmeal is said to have a low glycemic index, which can help maintain blood sugar levels. Moreover, it can also reduce the amount of insulin a patient needs. Oat’s are a good source of long-term energy, and helps in regulating digestion, which is one of the most important factors in keeping blood sugar in check. They are also helpful in weight management, thanks to the presence of fiber, which is digested slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer, further preventing you from overeating.

Chia seeds are a wonderful food for people watching their blood sugar.

They’re extremely high in fiber, yet low in digestible carbs.In fact, 11 of the 12 grams of carbs in a 28-gram (1-oz) serving of chia seeds are fiber, which doesn’t raise blood sugar. The viscous fiber in chia seeds can actually lower your blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food moves through your gut and is absorbed. Chia seeds may help you achieve a healthy weight because fiber reduces hunger and makes you feel full. In addition, fiber can decrease the amount of calories you absorb from other foods eaten at the same meal. Additionally, chia seeds have been shown to reduce blood pressure and inflammatory markers.

Greek yogurt is a great dairy choice.

It’s been shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce heart disease risk, perhaps partly due to the probiotics it contains. Studies have found that yogurt and other dairy foods may lead to weight loss and improved body composition in people with type 2 diabetes.It’s believed that dairy’s high calcium and conjugated linolic acid (CLA) content may play a role.

What’s more, Greek yogurt contains only 6–8 grams of carbs per serving, which is lower than conventional yogurt. It’s also higher in protein, which promotes weight loss by reducing appetite and decreasing calorie intake.

Nuts are delicious and nutritious.

All types of nuts contain fiber and are low in digestible carbs, although some have more than others. Here are the amounts of digestible carbs per 1-oz (28-gram) serving of nuts:

  • Almonds: 2.6 grams
  • Brazil nuts: 1.4 grams
  • Cashews: 7.7 grams
  • Hazelnuts: 2 grams
  • Macadamia: 1.5 grams
  • Pecans: 1.2 grams
  • Pistachios: 5 grams
  • Walnuts: 2 grams

Research on a variety of different nuts has shown that regular consumption may reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c and LDL levels.

Flaxseeds are an incredibly healthy food.

A portion of their insoluble fiber is made up of lignans, which can decrease heart disease risk and improve blood sugar control. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took flaxseed lignans for 12 weeks had a significant improvement in hemoglobin A1c. Flaxseeds are very high in viscous fiber, which improves gut health, insulin sensitivity and feelings of fullness.

Your body can’t absorb whole flaxseeds, so purchase ground seeds or grind them yourself. It’s also important to keep flaxseeds tightly covered in the refrigerator to prevent them from going rancid.

Strawberries are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat.

They’re high in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which give them their red color. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce cholesterol and insulin levels after a meal. They also improve blood sugar and heart disease risk factors in type 2 diabetes. A one-cup serving of strawberries contains 49 calories and 11 grams of carbs, three of which are fiber. This serving also provides more than 100% of the RDI for vitamin C, which provides additional anti-inflammatory benefits for heart health.

Garlic is a delicious herb with impressive health benefits.

Several studies have shown it can reduce inflammation, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also be very effective at reducing blood pressure.In one study, people with uncontrolled high blood pressure who took aged garlic for 12 weeks averaged a 10-point decrease in blood pressure.

One clove of raw garlic contains only 4 calories and 1 gram of carbs.

Squash is one of the healthiest vegetables around.

Winter varieties have a hard shell and include acorn, pumpkin and butternut. Summer squash has a soft peel that can be eaten. The most common types are zucchini and Italian squash. Like most vegetables, squash contains beneficial antioxidants. Many types of winter squash are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.

Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States—and studies show that deaths related to diabetes may be under-reported! Today, 1 in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes, and if trends continue, 1 in 5 will have it by 2025.

An additional 88 million U.S. adults – 1 in 3 – have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

 

Tips to Help Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Catch Some ZZZ’s

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can contribute to other serious health problems including daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver problems and complications with medications and surgery. If you snore loudly, are ever aware of cessation of respiration while you are trying to sleep, gasp for air, wake with a dry mouth or morning headache, have difficulty staying asleep, have excessive daytime sleepiness or attention problems or are irritable for no apparent reason you may have sleep apnea. It’s very important to see your doctor and discuss these symptoms. You can read about the different types in my article Sleep Apnea . There are some things that you can do that may help with this disorder but always seek medical attention if you suspect that you may have this dangerous disorder. The following tips may help you if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

1-Shed the Extra Pounds

Everyone with sleep apnea is not overweight but if you are, losing weight may make the condition more manageable. In one study, a large number of people with type 2 diabetes were noted to end the study with no symptoms of sleep apnea at all after having lost an average of nearly 24 pounds. (1)

2-Stop Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

Smoking can cause irritation and swelling in the airway and aggravate snoring and pauses in breathing. Alcohol relaxes the muscle in the back of the throat and that can cause a breathing obstruction.

3-Eat Healthy

There is some research that indicates that sleep apnea causes us to crave carbs due to a lack of sleep. When we don’t sleep well, we have changes in the hormones that control our appetite and feeling of fullness. If you allow these cravings to steer you off course in your nutrition and gain weight, the excess weight can complicate the sleep apnea.

4-Control Your Allergies

Uncontrolled allergic symptoms can cause the throat to swell and stuff up your nose. When you have less space to breath, it becomes harder. This can make sleep apnea worse. Talk to your doctor and see if a saline nasal spray or a nettie pot used before bed might be a good idea.

5-Find Your Best Sleeping Position

Most people with sleep apnea have more trouble breathing when they are laying on their backs. Try putting two tennis balls into a tube sock and pinning it in the back of your pajamas to help you stay off of your back throughout the night.

Central Sleep Apnea

These methods will not help you if you have Central Sleep Apnea. Your doctor can advise you on this entirely. It is caused by problems that are more complex than Obstructive Sleep Apnea and a CPAP machine or other more sophisticated medical interventions may be necessary. The CPAP machine can be used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea as well. Regardless of the type of sleep apnea that you may have , medical intervention is necessary to avoid dangerous complications of this common medical problem.

(1) https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/sleep-apnea-self-care

 

 

Mindset and Your Health

Half Full or Half Empty?

Have you ever known anyone who is constantly looking at the down side of everything? If someone walked up to them and handed them $1,000,000.00, they would bemoan the way that the gift might change their taxes and turn that windfall into a negative event. In some ways we’re all geared that way a little. It’s called the negativity bias. We are all hardwired to focus on the negative as a way to survive. In times past, the ability to focus on the negative was a way to stay safe in a dangerous environment. It’s the part of our brain that is aware of the lone predator under the bush when everything else around us looks just fine. Unfortunately, this pessimistic trait has been passed down to us because our ancestors who were a bit paranoid are the ones who survived to pass on their genes. We have a lot to overcome where perception is concerned, and the winning mindset is illustrated by something that David says, “It doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full, refill the glass.” In other words, take control of the situation.

“What Gets Fired, Gets Wired”

There is potential for this negative mindset to profoundly change our lives in a devastating way. Whatever we dwell on increases. This is called Hebb’s Rule in neurobiology. It’s explained as “What gets fired, get’s wired.” (2)Whenever we continually fire the same neurons in our brains, our brains begin to hardwire it in as our reality. This can be a disaster if we continually tell ourselves that we have bad health genetics or that we are unable to control our habits concerning food choices and exercise. If we tell ourselves over and over that we cannot positively impact our health, we will begin to believe just that. It will become our reality. We will not even attempt to make healthy choices and we will suffer the consequences. If we get anxious about our health and feel helpless to change, it will increase our cortisol levels which will drive our blood sugar up, cause an insulin dump into our bloodstream and a corresponding hunger. Anxiety and a negative mindset will almost always make most people overeat.

Positive Aspects of Hebb’s Rule

Just as the brain begins to accept negative programming as fact when it is programmed with it continually, it will also begin to accept positive programming when we make a conscious effort to fill our minds with positive thoughts. As we change our thinking, our thinking changes everything about us. In a study by Crum in 2007, (3) mindset was shown to cause positive changes in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio and BMI. This is believed to have happened as a result of the placebo effect and showed the profound impact that mindset has on our health. Sometimes if we believe that we are making healthier choices, and begin to see positive changes, we will develop momentum to continue with more positive decisions.

Change Your Brain

You may say that you’ve been trying to do that for years with no success but there are ways to sway a negative mindset.

  • Have a positivity stockpile. Fill a jar with written memories of instant mood boosters such as a favorite vacation, pictures of you at your best weight or encouraging quotes to spur you on in your journey to health.
  • Question and reframe your negative thoughts. This is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. If you have a thought that says that you will never lose the weight ask yourself why? Ask if that’s an opinion or a fact. Ask if you would tell someone else that same thing and then come up with a better response to the negative thought. You may be able to reprogram your brain with this method alone.
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Dump the negative people who are constantly trying to pull you down. You might read my article Osmosis to read about a phenomenon called “social contagion” that can be deadly.
  • Focus on what you CAN control and do just that. We are more powerful than we know. If we exercise control where we can, we will become more confident and adept at correcting even our most negative thoughts and habits.
  • Use “Failure” as a stepping stone. In weightlifting. I face a lot of “fails”. There are many times that I just can’t get one more. David reminds me that although I may fail at some point, I have still gotten a great workout in the attempt. Everything is that way. We grow from the attempt as much as the mastery of anything. It is the sincere, grinding attempt that makes us strong and teaches us where we are missing the mark. Whenever you fall back into negative thinking, remember where you went wrong and avoid that pitfall the next time.
  • Seek calm. Whenever the urge to panic or become distressed sets in, remember that you have to remain calm to be in control. When you are calm, you can make rational decisions about food choices and exercise. Anxiety and panic cause emotional eating. Avoid drama at all costs.
  • Seek clarity. State your goals clearly and execute your plan to move towards them. If we don’t clarify our goals we will be confused and discouraged. Always move in the right direction. Every bite of food that you eat should benefit your body. Live with purpose.
  • Concentrate. Focus on your health and to Hell with everything else.
  • Stand Your Ground. Be your own best advocate. The World will tell you that you are self-centered. That’s okay. You will be healthy when they’re all dead. Remember, it’s up to you.

CREATE YOUR LIFE

(1) (2) https://www.psycom.net/positive-thinking

(3) https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3196007/Langer_ExcersisePlaceboEffect.pdf?sequence=1#:~:text=These%20results%20support%20the%20hypothesis,(mindless%20beliefs%20and%20expectations).

Lose Weight During the Winter

Worldwide Phenomenon

You know how it goes, you put your summer clothes away and pull out your sweats and eat your way through the Winter. The holidays come and go, filled with rich food that you only eat during this time. You go to special events and gatherings, all of which are centered around that festive, fattening food. The excuses to overeat are as rampant as the buttercream frosting. Well, summer is over, I don’t have to worry about that damn swimsuit, this holiday only comes once a year, she made this just for me, I don’t want to hurt her feelings and it’s my FAVORITE thing! There’s always an excuse for bad behavior but that’s what they are, excuses. There is not a good reason to pile on the pounds. The average person gains about 5-7 pounds during this season but that’s only an average. A lot of people gain a lot more.

Year of Debauchery

Because I was always on a “diet” before I came to David’s Way, I conducted experiments on myself through the years trying to figure out how to navigate the landmines of gluttony. I lived through one year of making no changes to offset the seasonal weight gain. I ate whatever I wanted during all of the holidays and other special occasions throughout a year. I gained about 40 pounds that year. What I discovered is that when I let my guard down for special occasions, my habits got progressively worse all year long. As a result, by the end of that year, I was in a terrible mess! Not only was I 40 pounds heavier, my habits were horrendous. I had become accustomed to instant gratification and giving that up was very similar to drug withdrawal. I thought that when I began that experiment that I would just switch over to “good habits” for the next year of the experiment. I did switch over to good habits but with intense agony. I was so depressed that I went to the doctor for medication. Then the medication caused more weight gain. That year of re-establishing good habits was possibly the most difficult year of my life. I finally restructured my life but it was unpleasant to say the least. One of the most important things that I discovered as a result of that year was actually rather obvious. Don’t develop bad habits. If you already have them, do everything in your power to change them. Otherwise, they will destroy you. I was already fighting weight gain before I threw caution to the wind and after a year of indulgence, the fight was a struggle to survive because during that year I had developed high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and back problems. The road back to health was a hard one but I learned a few things. The next year during the Winter holidays, I got to the weight goal that I had set for myself at that time. Here’s how I managed to do that.

  • As previously stated, don’t let your habits deteriorate during the Winter. Spring is coming and you won’t lose that Winter fat quickly. Your habits will insure that it’s still there on the 4th of July!
  • Don’t buy those seasonal treats in the grocery store. They start showing up in August and they’re abundant til January. In that period of time you can gain a lot of weight and become profoundly sugar-addicted.
  • Don’t resign yourself to sweatpants all season. They are too slouchy and allow for huge weight gains. They make you feel that the fat is hidden, but it’s not. When you work out, wear form-fitting work-out clothes. Get rid of those sweats!
  • Don’t let the shorter, darker days make you less active. Sometimes when the light levels are low, we tend to be lethargic. We may sleep more and skip workouts. Actively fight against that. If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder you might want to get a special light that’s made to keep your circadian rhythms more normal.
  • Be pro-active at special meals. Carry healthy food that you can eat without packing on the pounds. We have a healthy recipe for almost anything that you might like. If you want something that you don’t find, just tell us what recipe that you would like to have and we’ll either create a healthy version or find one. You might want to try https://davidsway.blog/2019/10/16/sugar-free-red-velvet-cake/ for a healthy version of the seasonal favorite, Red Velvet Cake.
  • Wear snug-fitting clothes to dinners and other events involving food. You won’t eat nearly as  much.
  • Stay well-hydrated. When you’re full of water, you will eat less and have fewer cravings. You won’t bloat as much from fluid retention or constipation. The only exception to this is if you are fluid-restricted by your medical doctor.
  • Eat breakfast. Your blood sugar will be more stable all day long and that means less binge eating. Pack in some protein and a good dose of complex carbs like eggs and oats and you will be less likely to overeat later in the day. 
  • Have a small healthy snack just before the event. Include protein and fiber from complex carbs. An apple with a couple of Tablespoons of peanut butter or an apple with cheese sticks are good to curb cravings and stabilize your blood sugar to avoid being overly hungry.
  • When you get to the meal, avoid the heavy appetizers. Hydrate with a 0-calorie drink and get involved in socializing.
  • If you are in a room where you can walk away from the food, do so. I know you have seen the people who hover right next to the dessert table. Don’t be one of them. Stay away from the food if you can until it’s time to eat and then move in and fix a healthy plate and move to the other side of the room.
  • Avoid alcohol. It will pack in the calories and lower your inhibitions and cause you to overeat.
  • Avoid the sugary concoctions that people are calling coffee. If it has a boatload of sugar in it, it’s dessert.
  • Go outside if at all possible. A walk in the fresh air will clear your head and allow you to refocus on your goals.
  • Avoid sugar. Again, carry a healthy alternative. If you are determined to have a particular dessert, have one serving and be done. We strongly encourage you to avoid sugar. It is hard to stop that habit and it fills your body with empty calories. Nothing good can come of it. 
  • BUY GOOD, HEALTHY FOOD. You may say that you can’t afford it. While you might be able to find cheap, processed, unhealthy ‘food” that will stave off hunger for a little while, it won’t satisfy you for very long. Your body will make you hungry over and over until you have eaten way too many calories when you try to live on low-quality food. As your health deteriorates, the doctor’s visits and medications will get more expensive than any food that you might buy.
  • Whenever possible, eat at home. You might be able to eat at home and then join the group for an outing. We will almost always eat better if we eat at home. 
  • Make sure to keep up a good workout schedule all Winter. Try upping your effort and if you keep your nutrition good, you may drop a few pounds! Visit the https://davidsway.blog/calorie-counter-pro-free-calorie-calculator/ to get a free individualized calorie count just for you. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program. We advise you to try to lose only 1 pound per week. The Calorie Counter Pro will also give you the calorie count to gain or maintain.

With mindfulness and minimal effort, you can avoid weight gain this Winter and drop a few pounds to greet the Spring.

 

 

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Nutrition

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Symptoms

PCOS is a condition where the ovaries produce too much of the male sex hormones. While women do have these same hormones in very small amounts, too much can cause misery. The symptoms may include:

  • Missed periods, irregular periods, or very light periods
  • Ovaries that are large or have many cysts
  • Excess body hair, including the chest, stomach, and back (hirsutism)
  • Weight gain, especially around the belly (abdomen)
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
  • Infertility
  • Small pieces of excess skin on the neck or armpits (skin tags)
  • Dark or thick skin patches on the back of the neck, in the armpits, and under the breasts (1)

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Contributing Factors

While the specific cause is unclear, PCOS often accompanies insulin resistance. As the inability to use insulin efficiently increases, even higher androgen levels occur. Obesity and poor nutrition can add to the problem and the patient’s condition continues to get worse. This tendency seems to run in families but like other disorders of the body, these tendencies can be affected negatively or positively by our habits. Nutrition is a key influence in PCOS. Insulin resistance and obesity increase your risk of developing this painful syndrome. By being pro-active to fight PCOS, you may avoid diabetes.

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Your Part

One of the key components of treatment is a change in diet and activity. By following a healthy diet and increasing your level of activity, you can lose weight and that will reduce your symptoms. You will use insulin more efficiently and lower your blood sugar levels which will help to restore a more normal ovulation cycle, which is missing in PCOS. There are medications which your doctor can prescribe that can help but he can’t make the lifestyle changes needed to improve this condition. Only you can do that. A good doctor is a Blessing from Heaven but he can only do so much. Unless we are willing to take personal responsibility for our health, most of the time, his hands are tied. So far, I have not found a doctor with a magic wand that he could wave over me and fix my problems. I have to do my part.

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Choices

I have known women who thought that living with PCOS was easier than taking personal responsibility to try to change it. I don’t agree with that. There are life-threatening complications associated with PCOS including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and uterine cancer. PCOS can also make it very hard to get pregnant. If you are at all concerned about having a baby, you need to get this under control. I once knew a 13 year old girl with this condition who was morbidly obese. Unfortunately, her mother who was also morbidly obese, refused to accept the cold hard truth that obesity was contributing to the girl’s problem and she never addressed the weight. As an adult now, her daughter has been unable to have children, which was really all that this young woman ever wanted in life. She also has the excess facial and body hair and acne that is so often a part of this crippling malady. The medications have helped some but her doctors continue to try to steer her to lose weight to no avail.

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A healthy eating plan for women with PCOS includes:

  • Four to five meals or snacks every day, including breakfast. Don’t skip meals.
  • A variety of foods from all the MyPlate food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Moderate portions of healthy fats, such as olive and canola oils, walnuts, almonds and avocados.
  • Protein in all meals and snacks. Try nut butters, lean meats, fish, tofu, beans, lentils and low-fat dairy products with all meals and snacks.
  • Healthy beverages such as water, low-fat or fat-free milk or soy beverage or 100 percent fruit juice (2)

Fill Up On The Good Stuff!

Notice the abundance of food that you need to eat to help combat PCOS. I promise you, if you concentrate on eating all of the nutritious, whole foods listed here, you won’t have room for very many empty calories. We strongly advise you to avoid added sugars and processed foods while you are fighting PCOS. They will only make weight management harder and cause additional inflammation in your body. If you have cravings for sweet foods, go to our Menu and select Recipes and Cakes and Brownies, Sugar-Free Pies and Misc. or Sugar-Free Cookies. You can find a healthy recipe for almost any food that you may desire. Here’s a link to a wonderful Low-Carb Breakfast Lemon-Blueberry Bread that’s made from almond flour. If you have a specific recipe that you would like to have, you can leave it in the comments or at our Contact Button and we will either create or find one for you.

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Get active!

Regular exercise can help you shed the pounds and feel better while doing it. Always get your doctor’s approval before beginning any exercise program. The general guideline for PCOS is to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. David discusses the different levels of exercise in this article Out Exercise a Bad Diet? You’re Funny! Strength training at whatever level that your doctor approves will build lean muscle mass and give you faster and better results.

So much of our health is based on our decisions. Make good ones and have a rich, long, healthy life.

(1) https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos#:~:text=Polycystic%20ovary%20syndrome%20(PCOS)%20is,that%20form%20in%20the%20ovaries.

(2) https://www.eatright.org/health/pregnancy/fertility-and-reproduction/polycystic-ovarian-syndrome#:~:text=Diet%20and%20PCOS,insulin%20and%20normalize%20hormone%20levels.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

How much abuse do you find acceptable?

Do you find it reprehensible when the innocent among us are abused?

I am sure you do.

How much abuse do you find acceptable for yourself?

I would hope that you do not find abuse of any sort to be acceptable for yourself, yet, people accept it everyday by actually abusing their own body’s through food and drink.

Our liver quietly takes this abuse with no complaints, and then one day it rebels against what we are doing to it. Like an individual, once the liver has had enough, it is very often permanently damaged for the remainder of our lives. It cannot take anymore of the beatings we dole out to it.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease!

(NAFLD)

You might be the most sober individual person you know and mistakenly believe that your liver is at little to no risk from your habits and lifestyle. Yet, you could not be more mistaken my friends. NAFLD is becoming increasingly common around the world, especially in Western nations. In the United States, it is the most common form of chronic liver disease, affecting about one-quarter of the population.

One quarter of our population is roughly 82,500,000 people who have this preventable disease!

Some individuals with NAFLD can develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, referred to as NASH,  which is a very aggressive form of fatty liver disease that results in liver inflammation and may progress to advanced scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure. This damage is really no different than the damage experienced by alcoholics through heavy alcohol use. You better be thinking about issues like this as you are stuffing foods of little to no nutritional value down your throats. A good part of that tummy you are building may be your liver and not typical belly fat.

Being as NAFLD usually causes no signs and symptoms, you are likely to have a false sense of comfort that your health is good despite carrying a little extra weight. Quite often, as this disease is progressing you might only feel fatigued with possible pain or discomfort in your upper right abdomen.

Life is grand until…

Your diseased liver which has been quietly taking it’s abuse and has now progressed to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and advanced scarring (cirrhosis). Symptoms include:

Abdominal swelling (ascites) 

Ascites occurs when fluid accumulates in the abdomen. This buildup occurs between two membrane layers that together make up the peritoneum, a smooth sac that contains the body’s organs. Ascites is often painful and typically causes a person to feel:

  • nauseated
  • less hungry than usual
  • tired
  • breathless
  • urinary urgency and constipation

Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface

Enlarged spleen 

Your spleen is extremely important in your body’s fight against infection because it’s the source of two types of white blood cells: B cells and T cells. White blood cells protect your body from bacteria and infections. The spleen is usually about the size of your fist, but when enlarged, it can become much bigger. It is not uncommon that some people with an enlarged spleen will experience no symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, you will experience a feeling of pain or discomfort in the upper left side of abdomen, where the spleen is located. It is possible you might also begin feeling full after only consuming  small amounts of food. This is a result when the spleen has become enlarged to the point that it actually presses on your stomach. If your spleen starts to press on other organs, it can start to affect the blood flow to the spleen. This could cause your spleen to not be able to filter your blood properly. If your spleen becomes too big, it can start to remove too many red blood cells from your blood. Not having enough red blood cells can lead to a condition called anemia.

Red palms

Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Jaundice can occur when the liver can no longer work to efficiently process red blood cells as they break down. It’s normal in healthy newborns and usually clears on its own. At other ages, it may signal infection or liver disease.

NAFLD and NASH are both linked to the following:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Insulin resistance, in which your cells don’t take up sugar in response to the hormone insulin
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia), indicating prediabetes or type 2 diabetes
  • High levels of fats, particularly triglycerides, in the blood

These combined health problems are known to promote the deposit of fat in the liver. For some people, this excess fat acts as a toxin to liver cells, causing liver inflammation and NASH, which may lead to a buildup of scar tissue in the liver. Risk factors include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High levels of triglycerides in the blood
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity, particularly when fat is concentrated in the abdomen
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Underactive pituitary gland (hypopituitarism)

My personal experience as a caretaker of one with a diseased liver.

Most people will often assume they can just go about life eating and drinking whatever they please and that it is no business of anyone else as long as they are working and paying their bills for themselves.  This would be true, unless the individual arrives to a point where they can no longer work and pay their own bills. It becomes the business of others when an individual can no longer take care of their basic needs for living, when they can no longer cook or clean for themselves, when they require assistance with bathing and personal hygiene, when they need assistance just to get dressed, or to change their clothing after soiling themselves.

As many of my long time readers and subscribers already know, I was a caretaker for my terminally ill brother in law, who was also my best friend, who passed away from liver disease just last February. A few weeks before Howard passed away, he asked me if I could write about some of his experience with liver disease in order to help others. This was something I was already doing in regards to my beautiful wife and her battle with breast cancer on my No Hill For a Climber Series.  Naturally, I told Howard I would, but this is still quite a painful subject for me to address, it brings tears to my eyes writing this.

Howard’s end stage liver disease and cancer had multiple causes including the use of alcohol. Nevertheless,  the end result of liver disease from any cause ends with the same results – sickness and death. We took him in one year before he passed away and kept him in our loving care until 3 days prior to his death when he was checked into palliative care at KU Medical Center in Kansas City where he passed away peacefully in his sleep with Loraine and I at his bedside.

Being a caretaker, even for a loved one can become a challenge, yet this is a labor of love I am glad we were able to provide for Howard. We expected the obvious tasks such as cleaning and cooking for him, doing his laundry and so forth. But there was a lot more to learn and experience through that year of caretaking. One of the first things that struck me was how our downstairs bathroom had begun to always have a sour odor to it, even hours after it had been used. This odor is just a part of the territory with liver disease. It is one I had to get used to as there were times when I had to help Howard with cleaning up after he had had bowel movements since he was not always capable of this task which is not even a thought for most of us. He was on a strong laxative called Lactulose which is  used to reduce the amount of ammonia in the blood of patients with liver disease, hence the odor. One side effect of Lactulose is the sudden urge to defecate with explosive diarrhea. Lactulose is a horrible necessity for one suffering from liver disease in order to assist with their ability to remember, along with their ability to think and reason.

As a result of severe liver disease, you develop Hepatic encephalopathy which is a decline in brain function, it causes a form of dementia. With end stage liver disease, your liver can no longer adequately remove toxins from your blood. This causes a buildup of toxins in your bloodstream, which can lead to brain damage. When you have reached this stage, you are going to have to rely on others for your care, whether it be from loved ones in their home, or strangers in a nursing home. Think about this as you are going about your merry way cramming food and drink down your throat which you know to have zero nutritional value for your health. It does get this serious.

The maddening part of being a caretaker for one with end stage liver disease who is taking lactulose to rid their body of ammonia and other toxins is not so much with helping them with their personal hygiene. No, the maddening part is their mental state will always keep you off balance. You never know for sure who or what you are going to be dealing with. Sometimes Howard was the mature rational man, my best friend, who I had known all my life. Then other times, he was like a rebellious teenager, then maybe a five year old, and sometimes he would just sit and mumble about God knows what. He would be unintelligible almost daily for a few hours. His mental state was all dependent on if he was taking his lactulose as prescribed, which he did not always do. Sometimes, because of the hepatic encephalopathy he would simply forget, then other times he would not take it because he needed a break from unexpected, explosive diarrhea. It was maybe 10 to 12 feet from his chair to the toilet, yet sometimes the distance might as well have been 1000 to 1200 feet from the toilet. Friends, this is a miserable condition to find yourself in.

Symptoms and signs of moderate hepatic encephalopathy may include:

  • difficulty thinking
  • personality changes
  • poor concentration
  • problems with handwriting or loss of other small hand movements
  • confusion
  • forgetfulness
  • poor judgment
  • a musty or sweet breath odor

Symptoms of severe hepatic encephalopathy, which Howard had, are:

  • confusion
  • drowsiness or lethargy
  • anxiety
  • seizures
  • severe personality changes
  • fatigue
  • confused speech
  • shaky hands
  • slow movements

My friends, taking care of your liver is no joking matter.

  • Choose a healthy, nutritious diet. Choose a healthy diet that’s rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Try our free weight loss/management plan at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. We will never charge you a single cent for going with us.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, reduce the number of calories you eat each day and get more exercise. If you are at a healthy weight, work to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet coupled with exercise. You can figure out your daily caloric needs for free with our Calorie Counter Pro feature.
  • Exercise. Exercise most days of the week. Get an OK from your doctor first if you haven’t been exercising regularly.

Wednesday, February 19th 2020, Howard turned as jaundiced as the picture of the gentleman above. We knew he had taken a turn for the worse.

Friday, February 21st 2020, I took Howard to his final appointment with his doctor. It was at this appointment his doctor informed him he could do nothing further for him. The doctor advised Howard that palliative care through Hospice should now be considered. The staff set up a room at KU Medical Center for Howard and I took him there where Loraine and their other brother met us. While waiting on the room to be cleaned, we had lunch in the hospital cafeteria, while making small talk. I do not know if it was fear, wishful thinking, or the hepatic encephalopathy that had Howard hopeful they were going to figure out how to get him better by next week. This was right after his doctor had told him how he would peacefully slip off to sleep to never awaken again.

Howard had his favorite foods in that cafeteria, which turned out to be his last meal of pizza, a cheeseburger and fries, a Coke and a chocolate dessert. We then went up to his prepared room where we sat and visited until Howard drifted off to sleep. Other than for a moment when he got sick during that night, Howard never woke up again. Sunday, as Loraine and I sat next to his bed, I watched as my best friend, a man I loved with all my heart, took his last breath and passed peacefully on.

Howard, with tears in my eyes, I pray this is the story you wanted told in order to help others. I love and miss you my brother. Until we meet again…

How to Do Hard Things

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The Most Common Statement

Sometimes when people ask us questions about controlling their weight, regardless of what we tell them, they will inevitably say, “But, it’s SO HARD!” No matter how hard you perceive it to be, it’s easier than staying obese when you consider the consequences. While no one wants to do hard things, there are things that you can do to make it more likely that you will be successful in a difficult taskwp-15982276175617220010816211388207.png

1-Focus on the outcome rather than the difficulty of the moment.

When I feel the weight of a heavy bar of iron pressing on my shoulders, everything in me says to ditch that bar and run. However, failure is not an option for me until I know that I have exhausted every effort to successfully stand back up with that bar. I focus on my goal of having a fit, healthy body. Nothing will increase my lean muscle or shape my body like that heavy iron. As hard as life can get, nothing is any harder than standing up under that load. Focusing on my goal, makes me much more likely to successfully complete a set under the iron. That same strategy works for other things. When my job is so stressful that it seems almost impossible, I employ the same strategy. I just do what I know to do. The hard part will pass and I will accomplish what I set out to do. When I first quit eating sugar, the struggle with walking away from the dessert buffet was nothing compared to the victory of watching the scale plummet and my body being reshaped. The hard factor is relative. It begins to dwindle in the presence of victory.

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2-Choose your mood.

When we are confronted with difficult tasks, we are inclined to go with our initial feelings and be miserable throughout the task. That will short circuit our efforts and cause us to quit before we reach our goal. Instead of dwelling on the misery of the task, choose your thoughts. If you cannot change the discourse in your mind, you might need professional help. When faced with a hard thing, instead of hating every moment of your existence during your execution of the task, think about something that makes you feel good. It could be an old memory, or new plans for something special. If you’re using your mind, use it to your betterment, not your demise. When I’m under the iron, I focus on my goal, the body that I want. I think about the benefits of continuing to earn a good income rather than the mediocre finances of retirement. I think about good times with friends and plan my healthy menus. When I struggle the hardest, I remind myself that I have chosen to do this. I have chosen my path. If you genuinely don’t like the path that you’re on, go a different way. Make your world small and there’s less junk to distract you. The difficult task may not be the cause of your agony. It may be your life. Fix it.

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3-KEEP RECORDS!!!

Oh, my goodness! When we’re engaged in a hard thing that’s going to take a long time to accomplish, it’s easy to get discouraged and think that we’re not making progress. Sometimes we lose ground, especially if you’re a heavy weight trainer. I do believe that Satan created the Overhead Press just to give me bad days. Too bad, it didn’t work. I make progress and lose a little progress, one pound up and 3/4 of a pound back. It would be so easy to think that I’m not getting anywhere with that damn lift except for my written records. I can go back and see where I’ve come from since I pushed that standard bar over my head the first time. I use an Olympic bar now with more weight. David taught me to keep records before I did my first lift and it makes all the difference in the World when the going gets tough. In some endeavors, the going is always tough.

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4-Be aware of your position in the task.

When I first begin a difficult lifting session or any other hard thing, I go into it just because I have chosen to do it. If the “hard factor” persists well into the task, at some point, I will begin to look forward. I remind myself that I have already done the hardest part, I started. I made the initial commitment to begin. Once you begin, you will walk through a lot of your task by rote memory. Everything is more effective if you focus on the activity, especially lifting, but if you are having trouble with your focus, just do it anyway. At some point, the focus will kick in and time will pass. Then you can tell yourself that you’re almost finished! If looking forward to completion is not applicable, such as in long-term goals like weight management, you can still look forward to finishing THIS workout or navigating THIS meal or this day. Break your long-term goals up into short term goals and when you reach those milestones, it will give you the boost you need to keep going.

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5-Add something positive to the task.

Adding something that you enjoy to any task makes it easier. That’s why so many people listen to music when they’re cleaning the house or digging a ditch. Weight trainers do the same thing but loud, aggressive music actually increases dopamine production which is conducive to picking up heavy stuff with better focus. The dopamine also helps us to remember all of the prompts that we need to recall to perform at our best. I recently bought new workout clothes so that I feel like a Diva when I lift. Don’t judge me. It helps. Whatever will give you a positive re-enforcement during the performance of your task is what will work for you. It may be music, conversation, clothing or even pictures of what you’re trying to accomplish. Just make it something that gives you a mental boost.

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6-Remember where you started.

Unless you make a constant effort to keep your momentum going in the right direction, gravity will slow you down and then, without fail, you will lose ground until you are right back where you started. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fitness program or cleaning your house. This is a fact. If the thought of going back to where you started is terrifying, that should give you a little boost. For me, I was working for a major weight loss company, riding around to meetings and missing workouts. I was also losing muscle and strength. My muscle loss had become so profound that, although I was at the goal weight that they prescribed, I was beginning to lose mobility. There was more than one time that I almost fell going out my back door as I rushed to my car to drive 300 miles in one day to tell people how to lose weight. There was something missing, it was commitment to health. I had forgotten why I began that journey and did not have the proper tools to get myself back on track until I came to David’s Way. Remember your beginning and don’t ever go back. There’s nothing back there for you. Health is almost always yours for the taking. Push ahead and put as much distance between yourself and the beginning of a hard task as possible. Before you know it, the hard thing will be your new normal.

 

 

Who Is Responsible For Your Health?

When it comes to your health, where do you place the responsibility for maintaining it?

Is it your responsibility?

Is it the responsibility of your doctor?

Is it the responsibility of your insurance provider or the government?

You would assume the answer would be clearly the responsibility for an individuals health would lie squarely on the individual. Yet, it is clearly obvious that we have far too many in society who take zero responsibility while expecting others to jump through hoops to make them well once they become sick. For instance, I was speaking with a home health care provider yesterday who was telling me about a client who had just checked their blood sugar with a reading of 400 mg/dl.  With a dangerously high level of blood sugar, this individual then proceeded to fill a bowl full of ice cream for an evening snack.

His health care needs are provided by the government on the taxpayers dime.

Are taxpayers responsible to this self destructive behaviour?

This individual has a doctor who can advise him and prescribe medications as required, but is his doctor responsible when the client has a medical emergency simply because he either could not, or would not follow directions?

Just where and when does the individual become responsible for their own health?

This topic is not just in regards to unhealthy diets, but can also be applied to other habits such as smoking, drinking and drug abuse. These habits all bring about self inflicted medical conditions that can be entirely avoided through living a healthy lifestyle. In America, we bring about most of our own misery, we have become too spoiled to “the good life”.

Obesity is a self inflicted pre-existing condition!

Let’s be real, the consumption of too many sweets and other unhealthy foods has turned us into a nation with an obesity epidemic. As we have written here before, in fact in several articles, we begin seasonal eating in the fall and then it seems to last all year.

While the American Medical Association has declared obesity a disease, it would be more accurate to describe obesity as a contributor to diseases. Obesity raises your risk of premature death through heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, breathing problems, certain cancers, and osteoarthritis. Certainly, obesity can result from certain uncommon diseases and hereditary factors, but most people become obese simply because they eat too many unhealthy foods and do not exercise. I find it sad that in western society, we have created a cultural normalization of obesity with lingerie models, singers, and television shows celebrating fatness.

Do we high-five people with other lifestyle related conditions such as alcoholism, emphysema, or coronary artery disease?

Of course not.

To compound problems that have arisen from obesity, the obese have become easy targets for  peddlers of quick fixes who want to extract money from third-party payors. U.S. pharmaceutical companies spent $6.1 billion on direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising in 2017. Many ads feature chunky type 2 diabetics happily frolicking about, thanks to the drug company’s magic pill.

The ads might as well say, “pass the chocolate cupcakes with statin sprinkles drizzled with a good dose of insulin.”

Let’s confront the elephant in the room. In America, we have the constant debate over healthcare policy and who should pay for our care. Healthcare policy should promote personal responsibility, rather than encourage free riders.

From the Center of Disease Control (CDC)

Obesity affects almost 1 in 5 children and 1 in 3 adults, putting people at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Over a quarter of all Americans 17 to 24 years are too heavy to join the military. Obesity costs the US healthcare system $147 billion a year.

More than 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, and another 88 million adults in the United States have a condition called prediabetes, which puts them at risk for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause serious complications, including heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. In 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes was $327

Nothing kills more Americans than heart disease and stroke. More than 859,000 Americans die of heart disease or stroke every year—that’s one-third of all deaths. These diseases take an economic toll, as well, costing our health care system $199 billion per year and causing $131 billion in lost productivity on the job.

In America we are free to overeat and under-exercise, but do we have a right to make innocent bystanders pay for the consequences?

What is your opinion?