Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's about health

Technically, my father's cousin would be my first cousin once removed. But she is like a sister to my aunt, and therefore more of an aunt to me than a cousin at all. I care about her a lot, and it was hard for me growing up because she was a smoker and very over-weight. I was concerned about the choices she was making with her life because I loved her very much and wanted her to stick around for a long time to come, you know?

When she told me a few years ago that she had quit smoking, I was thrilled! This was a huge step for her and I couldn't have been happier. Unfortionately, she already struggled with her weight and quitting smoking was not helping things. After another year or two, she decided to have obesity surgery, which kind of took me off guard. I had always thought that was for people who were horribly vain (like movie stars) or people who were so obese that they couldn't even walk.

My cousin was neither of these, but her doctor agreed it would be in her best interests to do something about her weight. Extra weight creates a ton of health problems and risks, like heart trouble and such.

It was another year before I saw her again (we were living in Idaho when all this happened) and I couldn't believe how amazing she looked! Not model skinny, but huggable and rounded, instead of well, fat. I hate that word, but that's where she was headed before she decided to take charge of her health. It's now been several years more and I'm so impressed at how healthy she looks and how she's managed to keep the weight off.

Trust me, I learned from my cousin, the doctors can give you the starting point you need, but YOU are the one who has to do the hard work. Watching what you eat becomes vital when overeating causes you to throw up and get really sick. This is not something you want to be trying to do on your own. So if you're obese and are looking into getting surgery, check out this Web site, which offers support boards, insurance information, recipes and more.

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