What You Need to Know About Obesity

A healthy lifestyle is a concept many doctors and health professionals are constantly stressing to their patients and overall communities. In a time where most of us lead chaotic and busy lives, it is easy to make the wrong choices on a daily basis. Moreover, junk food is often readily available and its low cost, when compared to high-quality food, makes it easily accessible to the majority of people.

This, along with leading a sedentary lifestyle, sitting at a desk all day at work, or playing video games instead of exercising outside can result in weight problems that can be seriously detrimental to the individual's health. In this article, we will discuss a few things you need to know about obesity.

Causes of Obesity

1. Physical inactivity

Weight gain is caused by ingesting more calories than one burn through physical exercise. If someone is eating frequently, a lack of exercise will most likely result in significant weight gain.

2. Overeating

Everyone is different, and some have metabolisms that allow them to eat as frequently as they want without gaining a concerning amount of weight. However, no one should eat more than what they need, and a healthy diet should be preferred over fast food.

3. Genetics

This plays a role in obesity – research shows that a child is likely to become obese when both parents are obese as genetics influence fat regulating hormones. This, however, could also be due to learned behavior as if both parents have unhealthy habits, they are likely to pass these on to their offspring.

4. Medications

Studies have shown that certain medications, such as antidepressants even oral contraceptives contribute to significant weight gain. This is something a doctor can explore with your doctor if you are concerned about medications you are currently taking.

5. Psychological factors

Certain processed foods are created in a way to make us feel better emotionally, such as chocolate. Emotional issues such as sadness or stress may cause an individual to develop serious unhealthy eating habits associated with obesity.

Effects of Obesity

1. Obesity Causes Serious Health Issues

Obesity is associated with serious underlying health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer. Obesity must be taken seriously, as it can eventually lead to the obese individual's death.

2. Obesity Negatively Impacts your Overall Life

When an individual experiences obesity, it has significant effects on the life you live and it will restrict you from fully enjoying yourself. You may not be able to physically move without additional support. And this may affect you in such a way that the relationships you have with loved ones are affected too. This is particularly important if you have young children who need you, as you may not be able to properly look after them.

How to treat Obesity

1. Know Your Body Mass Index

Your BMI is a number indicative of the correlation between your weight and your height, and it is a commonly used tool to diagnose obesity. This is important to know, particularly if you are unsure whether you are suffering from being overweight or obese, which are two different conditions. If your BMI is 30 or higher, you are considered obese.

2. Educate Yourself on the Condition

There are many factors associated with obesity and this is a challenging health condition to overcome. Not everyone is equal and what works for other people may not necessarily work for you. For this reason, educate yourself on this issue and, with the guidance from a health professional, explore what factors may be contributing to your obesity and the best available treatment for you.

3. Bariatric surgery

A more drastic but effective method to treat obesity is to undergo Bariatric surgery. This entails different types of operations that support you to lose weight by modifying your digestive system. Bariatric surgery may be a choice if you are suffering from extreme obesity and have tried different methods that have been unsuccessful.

Bariatric surgery also may be available to you at lower levels of obesity if you suffer from serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea, associated with obesity. If you are considering this, be aware that there may be side effects, as with any surgeries, therefore consult trusted experts beforehand so that you can make an informed decision. Bariatric surgery can help not only with weight loss but also with many of the medical conditions associated with obesity.

4. Weight-Management Programs

Overcoming obesity is a long-term process and something that will require discipline. By entering a weight-management program, you can work with trained specialists, who will offer you tailored advice and a plan for you to follow rigorously. These plans majorly focus on healthy and balanced diets, increasing your physical activity, and lead an overall healthy lifestyle. Your qualified specialist will maintain regular contact with you to ensure that you stick to the plan to treat obesity and improve the condition of your health.

Obesity is not always down to a lack of willpower. Although overeating indeed contributes to obesity, many other factors cause this condition that is out of the individual's control. Even though this is a challenging condition to overcome, with the right support and determination in place, this can be achieved.

5 min read

Lessons Learned and the Power of Turning 50

Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.

I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.

I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.

Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.

My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.

I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.

When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.

So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.

Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.

And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.

This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.

I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.

I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.