Some docs want better ways to gauge obesity and its effect. So, I was reading the stages in the Edmonton Obesity Staging System:
STAGE 0: Patient has no apparent obesity-related risk factors (e.g., blood pressure, serum lipids, fasting glucose, etc. within normal range), no physical symptoms, no psychopathology, no functional limitations and/or impairment of well being.
STAGE 1: Patient has obesity-related subclinical risk factor(s) (e.g., borderline hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, elevated liver enzymes, etc.), mild physical symptoms (e.g., dyspnea on moderate exertion, occasional aches and pains, fatigue, etc.), mild psychopathology, mild functional limitations and/or mild impairment of well being.
STAGE 2: Patient has established obesity-related chronic disease(s) (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, reflux disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, anxiety disorder, etc.), moderate limitations in activities of daily living and/or well being.
STAGE 3: Patient has established end-organ damage such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, diabetic complications, incapacitating osteoarthritis, significant psychopathology, significant functional limitation(s) and/or impairment of well being.
STAGE 4: Patient has severe (potentially end-stage) disability/ies from obesity-related chronic diseases, severe disabling psychopathology, severe functional limitation(s) and/or severe impairment of well being.
And I realized this:
At my very highest at just about 300 lbs, I would have to self-categorize myself as having dipped into Stage 3 for a spell. Not cause of organ damage (though I was damaging my liver, had elevated enzymes, Ultrasound showed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), but cause my activities were severely impacted. Movement...breathing...sleeping...and depression was rampant. "Impairment" of well-being, oh, yeah.
I spent most of my morbid obesity in Stage 2. No question about it.
I look over the criteria, and realize I'm a ZERO, just from how I feel and what doc says: Prediabetes resolved. No hypertension drug now. HDL and triglycerides, amazing. LDL higher, but good LDL particle size. Apnea pretty much gone, no waking up choking... though I'm asleep, so can't really tell for sure, hah. Reflux gone. Liver hasn't been rechecked via ultrasound, but I'm guessing way, way less fatty. Easier to move (exercise!). Energy high. Depression not in sight. Joy of life, even with its sad moments--considerable.
I do have damage--to skin, to joints, to liver, I'm sure--from having been obese for more than 2 decades. No joke. You pay a price! I suspect the longer one is obese, the more price to be paid. Some things are irrevocable. Lifespan may be impacted for sure. We can't know for certain. But I do suspect the longer you wait to fix the problem (don't be an ass like me), the less you get to live and the more you suffer down the line.
BUT....for today...for now...being a zero is nice.
I want to stay a big zero when it comes to this.
I can cross my legs. I can touch my head to my knees. I can go up a flight of stairs without being winded. I can walk and feel strong and buoyant, simultaneously. I take such joy in doing these things I could not do before.
And I"m still fat. Overweight.
Just not obese. :)
What stage are you in? Don't you wanna be a ZERO?