Obesity is a chronic condition. That is, it lasts a long, long time. Some people are obese throughout their entire lives. People who are morbidly obese cannot take a break from their condition. The effects of obesity are with them every hour of every day.One of the ways that obesity interferes with people’s lives is that it robs them of their vitality. When obese teens report that they are in good health, they are referring to an absence of illness rather than the presence of the well being that truly healthy people enjoy.
Vitality is characterized by physical vigor and the energy to move about freely and quickly. People with obesity, on the other hand, often experience chronic fatigue. They walk with difficulty on swollen feet that were not designed to bear excessive weight.
Chronic fatigue robs people of mental alertness, stamina and the opportunity to participate in many activities that require endurance. Standing in line at the grocery store or at the movies becomes a problem. Walking through large warehouse stores or large parking lots brings more fatigue. Activities are often cut short prematurely because of chronic fatigue.
After a while, living with chronic fatigue becomes part of an obese person’s physical makeup. Seriously overweight people develop a labored, plodding walk, often accompanied by labored breathing because of the effort required.
Other Energy Robbing Effects of Obesity
Besides chronic fatigue, obese people tend to suffer from sleep apnea and other sleep disrupting disorders. Although we’ve seen fat men snoring in movies and TV ads, teens and women also develop these sleep problems.
Back problems are another major problem caused by carrying too much weight. Obese people have trouble stretching and bending because fat gets in the way, but the extra load on bones and joints also impairs their ability to move freely.
How Being Obese Feels
Obese people are tired. Our feet hurt. Our backs ache. We can’t sleep well.
Fat men and women who smile and get on with their lives, do so with effort and concentration. We cope with chronic fatigue by avoiding situations in which endurance is required.