Have you ever wondered who comes up with the catchy phrases we throw around and why some stick and others don’t?
“Laughter is the best medicine“…”Rome wasn’t built in a day“….”A happy wife is a happy life” ( I hear that one muttered quite frequently).
How do you feel about “You can never get enough of a good thing“? Yes! That sounds about right doesn’t it?? Who doesn’t want more of a good thing? And then more and then some more!!!!
Think of your 5 favorite “good things” (this sounding a bit ‘Martha-ish’…I bet she would say ‘staying out of prison’).
It didn’t take me long to come up with mine: family, friends, warm weather (it’s the first of many…many…many cold days to come), good food, good health. (And if I could sneak in a sixth it would most definitely be chocolate…and I mean rich expensive milk, not that healthy dark crap). Yup I admit it, a simple soul am I. Then I thought ‘can I get too much of these things‘?
Well…I suspect after the upcoming long holiday season I will answer loudly ‘YES’ to both numbers one and two. (Don’t give me that shocked look…I love my little darlings and jovial friends as much as the next person but don’t we all crave some alone time by the beginning of January?!) What about warm weather? Well actually although I crave the sun and love the hot hazy days of summer…I would miss terribly the change of seasons and the anticipation we feel as the blossoming month of May sets in. Good food…well again let’s reminisce back to that first week of January. I can already feel my pants getting snug. I think the only one that I can admit that we can’t get too much of is good health.
So having said that, just as we all have different views of what is say, good politics so too do we all have slightly different versions of what constitutes ‘good health’.
Good health to the average Joe likely means a healthy heart, good blood work, healthy joints, optimal energy, minimal pain and healthy weight.
Good health to the person going through another round of chemotherapy may mean a decent white blood cell count, minimal pain, minimal nausea and vomiting and a bit more energy.
Good health to the person who suffers daily with COPD? Perhaps being able to breathe comfortably, being able to walk up the stairs without oxygen or to carry out their activities of daily living. It’s all relative isn’t it?
Good health to the person who suffers with obesity?
Number one answer I hear will nearly always be “weight loss“.
We all know that for most people who undergo bariatric surgery, weight loss is the primary goal. With weight loss comes a whole slew of other healthy benefits: lowered cholesterol, improved blood sugars, less pain, fertility (ok maybe for some not a ‘benefit’ :)), improved joints and mobility, improved self-esteem, the list goes on and on. But can we get TOO MUCH of this good thing known as ‘weight loss’. The answer is a resounding YES.
It is SO important to recognize what is ‘healthy’ weight loss and what is starting to become ‘dangerous’ weight loss. I don’t profess in any way to be a psychologist or psychiatrist however with the number of patients I have counseled in my years as a lapband educator and as a Registered Nurse I can confidently say that I can recognize when someone has tipped the scale in the wrong direction. That is the easy part. The hard part is convincing the patient of this.
Obesity and weight loss are emotional issues. People who, after a lifetime of fighting this sh*tty disease finally start to win the battle, have told me that they would rather LOSE A LIMB than go back to being obese again. Doesn’t that speak volumes for how awful a disease this is??
Sometimes people unfortunately don’t recognize the signs that they are getting into the unhealthy range of weight loss. Or they do but they just so don’t want to go ‘back there’. Believe me however it is JUST as dangerous to be severely underweight as it is to be severely overweight. I’ve had patients who have been too tight for years yet avoided coming into the clinic for a defill because they were afraid they would gain weight and go ‘back there’. This is an understandable fear. And it scares me to think of how many people may be out there right now in just this situation.
With weight loss there can without a doubt be ‘too much of a good thing’. Please take note of some of the indicators below that may show that you are getting into the danger zone.
First: BMI. Don’t rely on the standard BMI scale as a measurement of a healthy weight for you. I hate the BMI scale as there is no ‘one size fits all’. We all have unique body types, bone densities, muscle mass that will influence what a healthy weight for each of us will be. You can have a perfectly healthy person who is feeling great, has excellent health, looks wonderful but who by the BMI scale still falls into the ‘overweight’ category…it means nada.
Second: look at your diet. Are you able to comfortably consume a wide variety of healthy solid foods…and are you consuming them? Are you slipping into a maladaptive eating pattern, going for the softer/mushier foods because the solids aren’t going down? Are you experiencing other symptoms of being in the red zone such as heartburn, reflux of fluid up your throat at night? Are you skipping too many meals because of extreme lack of hunger?
Third: how do you look? How is you skin? Your hair? Your nails? Are they flaky? Dry? Brittle?
Fourth: how do you feel? Do you have lots of energy or are you finding yourself more and more lethargic? How is your iron supply? When did you last have blood work or a physical done?
Fifth: what are people telling you? Are you still getting the “Wow! You look awesome!”? Or are loved ones starting to express concern?
Working in this field has been the most rewarding, incredible experience in my career as a RN. The people who have changed their lives for the better..because of their choice to have the lapband and to live well with the lapband, well it makes coming to work everyday worthwhile. But I say “living well” with the lapband. Yes there can definitely be too much of a good thing with weight loss. Having the band is one thing and using it properly is an entirely different thing. IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE SLIPPED INTO THE UNHEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS CATEGORY PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CLINIC ASAP. Remember, you have this band for the rest of your life. Success is not all about the scale. It’s about feeling good, enjoying good health and living life to the best of your potential.
Yours in Health and Wellness,