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January 2006: A New Resolution

Here we are, again, beginning a new year!

            That can be daunting, especially following the holidays in which perhaps we may not have exercised as much and may have eaten far more!

            January 15th to the 21st is Healthy Weight Week.

            What does that mean?

            In recent research, a person can be “overweight” for their height, sex, age or build but still be healthy.  How is this possible?  First, let’s assume a person acknowledges that they are overweight or obese.  This takes some reflection, (mirrors help! So do scales – more on those later), and self-acceptance, of course, but most of us will admit to it in time.  Second, the road to recovery is going to have to be paved with effort.  Yes, if you know you are overweight, you can still exercise, eat more nutritiously and judiciously, and learn to live in a new way.  While you are doing this, you will surprise yourself with the fact that you aren’t just losing pounds but gaining heart health.  Therefore, yes! You can be overweight and healthy, and you can make as your prime goal your “healthiest” weight, not “anorexic” weight or “good enough for me” weight.  That goal is best determined with a health care provider’s advice and monitoring.

            Remember:  the best “diet” is no diet – just watching (Weight Watchers and similar programs seem to work best for the long haul).  Movement is the key to healthy weight.  What is healthy for you might actually be 10 pounds heavier than someone else your height/age/build.  As long as you are eating well and properly and exercising (just 20-30 minutes of walking on a daily basis can do it – whether you are of normal weight or overweight – it’s the greatest and safest exercise for most people). 

            This month, January, is also National Volunteer Blood Donor Month.  Please take time to do this.  Some agencies will pay you; others just feed you!  Especially if you know you have a rare blood type, consider this gift to others and offer it once a year.

            Finally, National Birth Defects Prevention and National Glaucoma Awareness are also part of January 2006.  The key to both is to have regular checkups if you are at risk for either.