Health

No Way Around It!

June 11, 2013

HealthyThe long term benefits of bypass surgery or using sleeve gastrectomy has recently come into question. Last week a comprehensive study on bariatric surgeries suggested that although the short term benefits, particularly for diabetics, were clear, what happens down the road wasn’t as certain.  The biggest find of the study seems to be that weight regain seems to happen more often than we first thought.

We all just need to acknowledge that there is no real shortcut to good health.

Let’s face it; making sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle is always going to be work.  It might be more difficult at the beginning to radically change habits and behaviors but after a few weeks of being in a routine the “work” of keeping up a healthy lifestyle becomes easier. The goal should be that once you start a routine you make sure to stick with it. Unfortunately, we live in the generation of “easy” and “shortcuts”.  We are always asking ourselves, “What is the easiest and fastest way to get things done?” and “Isn’t there a pill for this”?  But the truth of the matter is that there are no shortcuts or easy ways to good health.

The benefits of eating properly and exercising far outweighs the cost. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are conditions that are responsible for the enormous financial burden that comes with chronic disease, impaired physical function and an overall worse quality of life. At least 300,000 premature deaths and at least $90 billion direct health care costs annually in the United States alone could be avoided with better lifestyle choices. Couple all this with the rising premiums for solid, comprehensive health insurance and it becomes obvious that it pays to work out and be healthy. In addition, all of the drugs associated with illness due to poor health have pronounced side effects such as fatigue, lethargy, dizziness, nausea, muscle aches and pains, and impotence. Keeping all of this in mind can help you conquer the desires to be lazy.

Vigilance is required in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  If you are losing weight, weigh yourself several times a week to track your progress.  If you are trying to conquer diabetes and reduce or eliminate your diabetes medications or insulin, monitor your blood sugar levels often.  Also, make sure to have you blood pressure checked regularly.

Having been a personal fitness trainer for almost 18 years, and director of the Lose It! weight loss center for the last 4 years, I have experienced the nachas of watching people lose substantial weight, conquer medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and I have watched people truly change their lives for better in the areas of both physical and mental health.  Of those people, many have made the changes permanent, others have held on to some of those changes, and there are also those who unfortunately backslide.  What is the difference between someone who can hold on to all or most of their improvements, as opposed to those who can’t?

M was a woman in her 30’s who was obese and beginning to have multiple medical issues.  She came to us, did the program, lost more than 35 kilos, but then experienced an emotional upheaval in her life.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t make her health the priority it needed to be and regained most of her weigh.  She could not make the proper cost-benefit analysis and has let it all slip away. Then there is Z, a woman over 45 years old who has lost 40 kilo in our program.  She has never felt better in her adult life, she exercises every day for at least an hour, sees a personal trainer 2 or 3 times a week and is no longer a diabetic.  Her efforts in the gym and restraint at mealtime have gotten her off insulin and all other drugs.  She has never been happier and she is still determined to lose another 14-15 kilo.  She has succeeded in changing her life.

Short term successes are difficult enough to achieve, but long term successes are the real challenge.  It takes a constant awareness, work and never letting down your guard. There is nothing wrong with taking off a few days of exercise when it is planned or building a few treats into a food program, as long as you know how to get back on track.  Planning is vital to long term compliance.  Getting back on track when you go off is truly the secret to long-term accomplishments.

Staying vigilant will help you achieve and maintain successes which will “add hours to your day, days to your year, and years to your life.”  

Alan Freishtat is an A.C.E. CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER and a LIFESTYLE FITNESS COACH with over 17 years of professional experience. He is the co-director of the Jerusalem-based weight loss and stress reduction center Lose It! along with Linda Holtz M.Sc. and is available for private consultations, assessments and personalized workout programs. Alan also lectures and gives seminars and workshops. He can be reached at 02-651-8502 or 050-555-7175, or by email at alan@loseit.co.il   Check out the Lose It! web site – www.loseit.co.il    US Line: 516-568-5027