A Weighty Problem

Just read how Jackson is the most obese city in America. We’re #1 with gravy. Before I make any more jokes, though, I realize this is VERY serious business. Diabetes, heart disease, increasing risk of cancer are just a few of the side effects of being overweight. It’s a tough battle. Trust me, I know. I am a little over 6’1″ and weigh 215 pounds. I could very easily weigh 250. And I have weighed that before (I was miserable). My appetitive would gladly take me back there again (but I remember how miserable I was). It’s a tough battle. I self-medicate with food. I love food. I could eat until I exploded. And I live in a state with great food!

I exercise in some form six to seven days a week. I do it for mental and physical reasons. Exercise is just one component to staying healthy. But it’s an important one. I am 49 and am in good health. It’s a direct result of me getting up and crushing it in the morning. The 4 a.m. Wake-Up Club isn’t just because I have insomnia. I make fitness a daily commitment.

I’m sure I could take a pill and lose the weight. But I prefer the hard way. Good health is a holistic thing and the hard way gets you there more effectively. Exercise has great side effects, too. Did I mention I exercise for mental reasons, too?

I write this because today Congress is voting on a replacement for ObamaCare. The bottom line is this: No matter what happens, insurance is not going to get cheaper or better. I’ve watched my family’s plan’s cost soar and the coverage drop over the past 15 years. Co-pays and deductibles are shooting through the roof! Gone are the days of abusing your health and being able to walk into the doctor’s office for little money. We’re going to have to go Ben Franklin on this (a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.)

And in Mississippi, that’s a challenge. We have food deserts and exercise can be tough when you’re working two jobs and your neighborhood isn’t conducive for it. Sometimes Fast Food is the cheap and quick option for a family after a long day at work. Inexpensive processed food is chocked full of sugar. It seems overwhelming!

But the good news is that you don’t have to run a marathon to get healthy. You can start off by walking. Take baby steps when it comes to eating. Cut portions. Make better choices. It’s just up to you. We’re going to have to work harder at taking care of our own health.

My friend is a cardiologist. We were running one weekend and both agreed we lived in the perfect place for both of our careers.

I’d prefer for both of us to be bored.

About Marshall Ramsey