Thursday, June 20, 2013

Honeymoon Ideas and AMA Declares Obesity a 'Disease'?

So, whats the most fun thing about planning your wedding? Well I would have to say that aside from all the great family and friend stuff you get to do, the best part is looking at honeymoon options! We started in the last few weeks looking at a few options including Disney cruises or potentially some great beaches. I really want to find a place that I have never been to before, possibly in another country because I don't have that much international travel experience and that is something I definitely want. We have a lot of time to figure it out but the problem is there are so many wonderful options! I want to go everywhere - Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, Spain, a cruise, etc. I am the type of person that does not like having a lot of options like with my wedding gown for example. (which I get back in July after 1st round of alterations-eeee!) I only wanted to go to 3-4 bridal stores at the maximum because if I went to 15 different stores it would make it that much harder to pick something because I will constantly be thinking "well, what if the next store has something better?" I prefer to narrow it down and just choose and I feel like I need to do this with the honeymoon too.

Have you had a honeymoon? Where did you go? Do you have any suggestions for magical places?

The other half of this blog that I just had to write about when I saw it, is that the AMA (American Medical Association) had their annual meeting in Chicago in the past week and one of the big revelations that came out of it was that they are officially classifying obesity as a disease. Read the article here.

Now, this I am torn about and I understand that it's a difference in opinion or definition of disease but for me, I don't think of obesity as a disease. A medical condition - yes, a problem - yes, of course but I think of diseases as more malfunctions of the body that are usually not brought on through your own action. I understand this is not an across the board definition but simply how I think about it.

The medical definition of a disease is
1. (Medicine / Pathology) any impairment of normal physiological function affecting all or part of an organism, esp a specific pathological change caused by infection, stress, etc., producing characteristic symptoms; illness or sickness in general

Now this definition is pretty general, especially when you consider the "etc" they threw in there which means that basically a disease can be caused by anything. Here is the issue that I take with defining 'obesity' as a disease; the reasoning that brought this vote up was that if obesity was defined as a disease, than it would be "de-stigmatized" and would be more widely covered by health insurance for its treatment, drugs could be pushed through and is supposed to create better health care outcomes. Now, let's take a look at this - this is for the treatment of obesity,  meaning that for a person to get treatment under insurance or get any of the benefits they are hoping for, the person already has to be considered obese. So, we are treating the disease but not the cause? Would it not be better to create programs and legislation that PREVENTS obesity instead of making it easier to treat once its already a problem? Studies have shown that even for those who lose weight, even a small portion of your life being obese can have severe impacts on your health down the road so it would stand to reason that it would be better to just never be at that point to begin with, right?

Also, and I understand that this may be controversial and I am sorry to offend if it is, but in most cases health issues and weight are a direct results of the choices we make everyday. We choose to reach for an apple and not a candy bar, we choose to get up early and go to the gym or sit on the couch, and we choose to take control of our health or not before it gets out of control. I do understand that there are some people for whom this is not the case and there are real physiological reasons for weight gain, addiction or perhaps it is brought on by the side effects of medication but for most, it's a personal lifestyle issue.  Can it be dangerous to tell people, "oh it isn't your fault - you have a disease"? Would this way of thinking exacerbate the problem more by telling people that it's something that happened TO them and not "BECAUSE" of them?

There is an article in Time Magazine (an opinion piece) that explains this much better than I can.

I think that the best snippit that speaks to what I am trying to say is this:

"In addition, incorrectly categorizing people who can control their lifestyle by changing their diet or becoming more physically active as being unable to do so without medical help could lead to unnecessary surgery, drug treatments and other interventions that come with side effects and complications. College binge drinkers typically cut down on their own after graduation; similarly, most people with mild weight problems do not require medical attention"

I understand there are benefits and consequences of this classification and I just wonder what will happen in this country if we don't start making preventative medicine and healthy lifestyles a part of our ingrained culture. Will we destroy ourselves? or continue to make excuses for our excess?

What are your thoughts?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Staying Healthy in Boston Pt 2

Hi all! (just a disclaimer, this post spans like 3 days-LOL)

Its my last day in Boston and I have a few minutes before heading over to complete my last little bit of work before my flight back to Charlotte. I am excited to go back and enjoy what will be left of my weekend. I do have to say that this trip wasn't nearly as exhausting as most trips are for work. I think its because the group of people was smaller.

Anyway, I said I would break my Boston experience into two parts and so here we are! Unfortunately, this blog post comes with a confession. I did not reach the 30 days with no alcohol mark - I made it to 20 days! Last night a local brew was calling my name and so I gave in but I have to say, sometimes the experiences you get the opportunity to have when you travel shouldn't be missed. You should eat the local fair and drink the local drinks so I did and it was delicious!

I will be happy to not get back to not having to eat out for every meal when I get home. No matter how hard you try, constantly eating out at restaurants will always be more energy dense than making your own meals at home. I have tried my best to eat the healthiest things on the menus and yesterday was no exception. We went to the waterfront in Boston and watched the boats go through the marina while I had a delicious turkey burger and fruit. MMM.. and look at our view!

When I got back into the city I went straight to a going away party for my friend Melissa. She is moving to Washington DC to start a new chapter in her life. I am sad to see her leave but it's awesome that my friends are doing such amazing things! After that long day, I was elated to spend my Sunday doing absolutely nothing that wasn't necessary. Luckily, I had an awesome opportunity to go to the grand opening of a Krav Maga style gym in Charlotte!
I had been to this gym before because I am a huge fan of fighting style work outs. They are usually high intensity circuit training style workouts and they are amazing stress busters! This gym has recently doubled in size and so they were having a grand opening with free classes to introduce the space to everyone.
I highly suggest this place! I forgot to take photos but if you want to check it out, here is their website.
It was only a 30 minute workout but it was full of frog jumps, bounding, medicine balls throws and more and I can tell you that my core is sore today! However, I am back to the usual routine this morning and will be hitting the gym as hard as possible today.  I am realizing that the countdown is on for the wedding with only 9 months (give or take) being left until the big day! We are looking more and more at tropical destinations for our honeymoon and the Spartan Race coming up next month. I have so many things to focus on my health and fitness for in the next year.