What is Obesity?

Overweight, obesity and morbid obesity result from the excessive accumulation of fat that exceeds the body's skeletal and physical standards. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase in 20 percent or more above your ideal body weight is the point at which excess weight becomes a health risk. Body Mass Index (BMI), a number calculated from a person’s weight and height, can reflect a person’s level of body fat. The formula for calculating BMI is a person’s weight (in pounds) divided by their height (in inches)² x 704. Using BMI, overweight is defined as 25-30, obesity is 30-40 and morbid obesity is BMI over 40.

Morbid Obesity

Obesity becomes "morbid" when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities) that result either in significant physical disability or even death. According to the National Institutes of Health, an increase in body weight of 20 percent or more above desirable weight is the point at which excess weight becomes an established health hazard.

As you read about morbid obesity you may also see the term "clinically severe obesity" used. Both are descriptions of the same condition and can be used interchangeably. Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 lbs. or more over ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher. According to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Report, morbid obesity is a serious disease and must be treated as such. It is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time.

Hi, I'm Rudy. It will be ten years on June 21, 2014 I started on a remarkable journey; I had gastric bypass surgery.
Five months before that day, I was at my primary care physician's and he asked me if I ever thought of having bypass surgery. I never gave it a thought. I was on three blood pressure medications, cholesterol medicine, and 100 units of insulin every day. I had trouble breathing, just walking up a slight grade I had to use an inhaler.
At the end of our conversation, the doctor said I would most likely have a heart attack or a stroke within five years. That was a real eye opener. I was just 53 years old and heart problems ran in the family. My Dad was 56 when he had his first heart attack. I could not lose weight. I had no will power. I kind of blamed by Mom for my weight problem. As a child I was taught to clean my plate, which I often over ate. That carried on into my adult years.
I was running out of medical insurance and wanted the surgery. All went well the first month. I went back to work and was losing weight. The second month I couldn't eat anything. The intestine scarred where it was joined to my pouch and shrunk shut. Nothing could pass through. I went from 283 lbs. To 137 lbs. in five months. I lived on banana popsicles. I got my medical insurance back; within two days I was in the hospital getting dilated. I could get food down for days then everything would shut down. I was dilated six times with no success.
I was getting for surgery to reconnect the intestine to my pouch when I got a bowel blockage. Out patient surgery took care of that problem. No more sever cramps. A month later I went in for the reconnection.
Before the surgery, Dr. Mike (Felix) remarked how calm I was. My wife was a nervous wreck; Dr. Mike was real concerned. He asked me why I was so calm. I said my wife was upset for the both of us. I had confidence in his skills; and there was nothing I could do anyhow except go along for the ride. So why worry about something you have no control over.
Surgery went well. Recovery didn't take long and I was eating real food. I've been around 180 lbs. for 10 years now. I went from a 44 inch waist to a 34 inch waist. I feel strong and I have a lot more energy.
I don't use an inhaler anymore. I'm off all my blood pressure medications, cholesterol medicine and I went from 100 units of insulin down to 20 units of insulin a day.
At my heaviest, I weighed 283 lbs. and I have managed to keep 100 lbs. off for 10 years.
One thing I've learned is that I can leave food on my plate when I'm full.

- Rudy

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