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OCD – Health Wise

Posted Nov 16 2009 10:02pm

by Brett Blumenthal

Recently, I have been hearing about a lot of adults who obsess over some aspect of their health.  I’m talking about adults that fall into the age group of 40 something to 60 something.  I’m also talking about individuals whom most would perceive to be ‘perfectly healthy and fit’…individuals, that if I looked at, I’d say, ‘They are in good shape.’  I guess, for some reason, I always assumed that this type of obsessive behavior around weight, eating and exercise was mostly prevalent among people in their teens and early 20s.  I never really associated this kind of behavior with adults in a mature age group.

I personally know many individuals who at some point, struggled with their weight, were bulemic or anorexic or would work out extensively to ‘work off their calories’.  Many of these individuals eventually saw the light and have overcome these problems, but many, unfortunately haven’t.  It isn’t easy.  Whether it be stress induced, peer pressure or an emotional response, many people have an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise.  As a result, some become obsessed.  It is terribly disturbing and for them, it is terribly frustrating. 

One individual I know, would exercise in the morning, at lunch and at night.  That is three times in one day!  And she would do this at least six days a week.  I know another individual who did the same thing throughout her whole pregnancy.  Unfortunately, her baby was born with health issues and retardation.  The doctors believe that this was attributed to her over-exercising throughout her pregnancy.  I also know individuals who look great and keep cutting things out of their diet so that they can lose more weight.  Yet, they can’t.  I know women who at one point were anorexic and have messed up their metabolisms for the rest of their lives. 

It is hard to maintain our weight and make sure we get our daily activity in, but when we do, and we are truly mindful of how we are eating and living, it is important to remind ourselves that our bodies have a way of knowing what is healthy.  If we aren’t being healthy, our bodies will find a way to let us know.  It is important to pay attention to how our bodies communicate with us…in a sense, they are our health compasses.

If you are dieting and you are doing all of the things you are supposed to be doing, but you can’t lose any more weight, sit back and really think about the reality of the situation.  If you are being honest with yourself, there is a chance that your body doesn’t need to lose any more weight.  If, however, you journal your food intake and exercise, and you find that in reality, you are eating more calories than you should, or you are depriving yourself of the right nutrients, or you are over-training, there is a good chance that you won’t see any more results.  How often you eat, what you eat and when you eat are all very important to maintaining a healthy diet. 

The same can be said for exercising.  Over training (exercising more than you need to or should), as well as under training can be just as detrimental to your health and balance.  There is very little reason for any individual to have to exercise three times a day.  Unless you are an athlete, professional exercise instructor or training for a competition, one really productive workout should be enough. 

Obsessing about your health is just as detrimental as neglecting your health.  Be an informed consumer.  Understand good nutrition and understand effective exercise programs.  Set realistic goals and listen to your body.  It will tell you what is working and what isn’t. 

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