Fat was not fun during the summer months, so I bid it farewell!

The official start of summer falls on a Wednesday this year, June 20th to be exact.  It’s a day that I look forward to every year.  I don’t know why it means so much to me; it’s just possible that there are a few adolescent memories inside of me that generate old feelings about summer being a load of fun!

There are also different memories that the word summer generates, memories that I have chosen to forget but are still there deep down inside of my memory vault.   The word summer used to mean that I couldn’t hide my corpulent body under big and baggy winter clothing.  It was a time when I felt extremely unattractive and focused on all of the fat that I was carrying around with me.  Sure, I knew my excess fat was there 365 days of the year but during the summer months I was forced to view it more frequently.   That was the part of summer I didn’t like.

The word fat is unappealing to the majority of the population.  I don’t like using it myself, but it’s said by millions of us whether we like it or not.  But fat is not only an unappealing word; fat can actually take 20 years off your life;  possibly making the time that you do have more painful both physically and emotionally; less healthy; less active; less productive and even less professionally or financially rewarding thanks to  weight discrimination.

As we know, being overweight contributes to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But there are even MORE reasons to keep your weight under control and the fat off of your body.  Fat is also bad for your brain.  Supposedly having fat arms may be more than just an issue of appearance, researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research  found that those with the fattest arms at ages 40 to 45 were 59 percent more likely to have dementia later in life.

Fat is also hard on your heart.  Did you realize that you are more likely to have a heart attack early in life, as much as 12 years sooner depending on how overweight you are? Carrying around excess fat also takes a toll on your joints, placing more stress on them.  Fat also can raise your risk of developing cancer .  Obesity researcher Dr. Barry Popkin says that obesity is the most preventable cause of cancer.

Being overweight causes exercise to be unappealing also.  It’s not just the thought of putting on spandex that keeps overweight people out of the gym, overweight people also have more aches and pains than people of normal weight.   Fat isn’t good for your organs either.  Swedish researchers found that simply being overweight can triple your risk of chronic renal failure, which is a gradual, irreversible loss of kidney function.  It also increases your risk of gallbladder disease, which is marked by gallstones, inflammation and infection of the gallbladder.  This is an important organ when it comes to helping your body digest fats.

Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help bring down your risk of developing both of these diseases So if you’re 200 pounds, that’s only 10 to 20 pounds.

And fat can actually cause sleep apnea.  Extra fat on the body in the chest and neck area can restrict air passages and lung function.  Sleep apnea is also linked with heart disease.  Basically fat can be considered a sneaky killer, which is one of the several reasons why I had to get rid of mine, all 162 pounds of the stuff.

When I began living a healthier lifestyle, all my fat slowly went away.  I think of my fat as taking an extended summer vacation.  Since I made sure to provide a one way ticket only out of my life, I know that extended vacation will be a life-long one.   Now that I bid my fat “farewell” I’m ready to say “hello” to summer with a smile … and have a load of fun once again!

Photo credit A. Blight

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