We all seem to make goals at the start of the new year. It just seems to be the right time. All of these new year goals seem to deal with quitting, or at least reducing, the harmful things we do and starting, or increasing, the things that benefit our mental or physical self. I would speculate that the most common new year’s goal has to do with losing weight and I would also go out on a limb and say that it is the one goal that we fail at the quickest.
It’s no secret that Americans, compared to other countries, are overweight. American men rank as the 14th most overweight in the world. The 13 countries where the men are more overweight than the U.S are all islands in the South Pacific. I’ve always conjectured that we are victims of our own hard work and prosperity. We strive to attain the American dream and when we are successful, we eat. We are always in a hurry, so we eat fast food. We reward ourselves with food. We do all those things that make us overweight, and we don’t even get to enjoy the paradise of a South Seas island. What’s the answer? . . . I’m so glad you asked.
This week is Healthy Weight Week. I’m sure it is strategically placed at the third week in January to help us as we struggle with our weight loss goals. I’m also pretty sure that you’ve tried to lose weight or get healthy before. I also think that we are facing an even bigger challenge than the usual holiday gain of 5 or 10 pounds. We’ve had 2 years of isolation due to the pandemic. One of the worst places we could go was to the gym. We couldn’t play many team sports. The swimming pools, one of the places that older Americans often frequented, was also off limits. Our 5 or 10 pounds may have turned into 10 or 20 pounds. If any of you fit this description, it’s time to take action.
The good news is that many insurance companies are recognizing the impact that being overweight has on your long-term health. Medicare itself is beginning to pay for weight loss programs and physician-guided programs. Medicare Advantage insurance plans (of which I’m a member) offers many programs, like SilverSneakers, that help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It just takes some research to find out about programs that fit you and are easily accessible.
Being a veteran, I try to stay updated on what is going on in the veteran community. I found a program that could be very helpful in attaining your healthy weight goals, even if you’re not a veteran. It’s called the Move! Weight Management Program. MOVE!’s core ideas—encouraging healthy eating behavior, increasing physical activity, and promoting even small weight losses—are easy to follow and based on the latest in nutrition science. This program takes you through a questionnaire and then offers information and programs based on your individual needs as reflected in the questionnaire. It even has an app that will guide you and help track your progress. It’s a really interesting program; it’s worth the time to look into the many aspects of Move! Go to this link to access the questionnaire. When you are done, you can print out the reports which give you access to information and programs that are tailored to the results of your questionnaire. You can also click here to get access to the Move! Coach app for your smart phone.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Change is tough, but the rewards are huge. Getting yourself to a healthy weight improves almost every aspect of your health. If not now, when? I’ve often felt that the healthcare system is so complicated and hard to navigate. It didn’t seem like I had any control over what the system was doing to me. Taking charge of getting to a healthy weight is something that you can control. It’s a change worth striving for.