It’s likely you know someone has either had, or is scheduled for, a hip or knee replacement. In the past, it was the exception, rather than the rule, that we would go under the knife to replace a joint. Today, it has become an all to frequent topic of conversation at cocktail parties, networking events and family gatherings as to who is undergoing these procedures.

“It is estimated that by 2030, the number of total knee replacements performed in the US will increase by more than 600 percent compared to 2005, while total hip replacements are expected to increase by almost 200 percent over the same time period.” David So, MD, orthopedic surgeon.
https://www.ucihealth.org/blog/2017/05/hip-knee-replacement)

The increase in the number of hip and knee replacements is directly proportionate to the rise in overall excess weight and obesity rates. Obesity rates are on the rise due to lifestyle choices including what we eat and choices of exercise, or lack thereof.

The more overweight someone is, the more pressure and wear and tear you put on these weight-bearing joints.

In addition to the rise in hip and knee replacement surgeries, there is also a shocking rise in out of control diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, high blood pressure (Hypertension), Type 2 diabetes, stroke, inflammation and some cancers.

Many people ignore the fact that many health challenges are often preventable through simple changes such as what we eat, how much exercise we get and finding ways to reduce stress.

This is NOT Body Shaming

So why is it that a great many people seem to be ignoring the obesity epidemic? One reason is the recent surge in proponents of the “love yourself the way you are” movement. If one dares to speak out about obesity, they may be viewed as someone who is body shaming others.

The issue of body shaming has become such a charged topic there are those who are keeping quiet about healthy weight simply because they fear backlash and being attacked for pointing out the truth.

It’s one thing to love ourselves as we are and a completely different conversation to talk about unhealthy weight.
Truth be told, as a nation, we are incredibly unhealthy compared to the past. We are becoming unhealthier by the day. Currently, one in five adolescents, ages 12–19; one in five kids, ages 6–11, and one in ten preschoolers, ages 2–5 are considered obese, not just overweight.

“I love myself just the way I am,” has become the battle cry of far too many people who carry around unhealthy weight that is causing irreversible damage that could have been prevented.

Healthcare Costs Are Out of Control

Healthcare costs are out of control and becoming more so every day. The obesity epidemic is putting an incredible burden on the American health care system with some estimates as high as nearly $200 billion a year in weight-related medical bills. (https://www.stateofobesity.org/healthcare-costs-obesity/)

"It's difficult to be optimistic at this point," said Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The trend of obesity has been steadily increasing in both children and adults despite many public health efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity."

Again, it’s one thing to love ourselves as is and something completely different to face the reality that we have minimized the overall quality of life due to what we consume.

One is left wondering what can be done to curtail the need for joint replacement and medications to manage health concerns that, in many cases, could have been prevented. The simplest solution? Our diet.

This is not about fad dieting. This is about true lifestyle changes that are a result of healthy food choices.

Easier said than done. Or is it? Armed with the right information, many people are taking control of their food choices, resulting in improved health.

Which Diet is Best?

Crash diets, starvation, high fat choices and deprivation are hardly sustainable choices when it comes to achieving a healthy weight.

It’s important to realize that a healthy weight is about what’s healthy for you. In addition to minimizing pressure on your joints, healthy weight minimizes your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

Yet, weight alone is not the indicator for quality of life. It’s the foods we consume that make a world of difference. Someone can be thin as a rail and still be at risk for many diseases.

Dr. Collin Campbell gave hard evidence as to the risks involved in consuming a diet rich in animal products, processed sugars and oils and added salt. In his groundbreaking book, The China Study, there is enough evidence to show that what we consume is directly related to our risks for many preventable diseases.

Granted, not everything can be prevented 100%. Yet, we can increase our quality of life by choosing a diet rich in plant-based foods including vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds and eliminating meats, fish, poultry and dairy.

Change Your Eating… Change Your Life

Making lifestyle changes is simple, but not always easy. The first thing to determine is the quality of life you are striving for.

If you’re happy (and healthy) the way you are, fantastic. If, on the other hand, you feel like you are missing out, setting yourself up for long-term medical problems and knowingly putting your health at risk, why not try changing things up for 30 days? It’s likely, when you give this a 100% sincere effort, you will be amazed at how great you feel.

1.Make a 100% commitment to eat clean for 30 days. This means whole food, plant-based with no added salt, processed oils or processed sugars.
2.Clean out your cabinets and refrigerator of any foods that will tempt you to nibble “just this once.”
3.Watch videos, read blogs, and listen to podcast shows that encourage a plant-based eating protocol.
4.Journal your process. The more you document your journey, the more evident the changes will be. Start by writing about why you are doing this including your goals, challenges, how you feel daily and what you hope to accomplish.

Bottom line is this; only you can determine the quality of your life. And isn’t it worth making the changes that will give you the highest quality possible?

Author's Bio: 

Kathleen Gage is a business strategist and marketing consultant specializing in helping clients gain visibility while increasing productivity, resulting in greater impact, influence and profit margins. As a keynote speaker and author, Kathleen is committed to increasing awareness of ethical food choices, compassion to animals and kindness to the planet.

Kathleen believes in shattering stereotypes and definitely NOT settling for the status quo. She participated in her first full marathon at the age of 61, her first sprint triathlon at 64 and is now an avid runner who participates in races of varying distances.

Access her ebook - Beginner’s Guide to Plant Based Eating at www.plantbasedeatingforhealth.com/guide