As the founder of Institute for Global Cause, Inc. which focuses on global initiatives, I found my passion in the area of obesity. Approximately 39% of the US population has been diagnosed as clinically obese or overweight. This STRUGGLE impacts so many families - dialysis, heart stints, pacemakers, and even death for many who have left this Earth too soon. Children left without parents and parents without children due to the complications of obesity and a lack of general wellness.
Cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of mobility, heart disease including stroke and heart attack are just a few complications of obesity.
I have a parent with a pacemaker, lost my father three yers agos, and in the last two years I have lost 8 additional family members to a myriad of cancers, heart disease, diabetes related complications. I wonder when will this stop. I realized, it's not just physical activity. It's not just food. It's the combination of food, physical, activity, and mental health. When I say mental health, I mean the traumas I myself have experienced by these losses that have lead me, someone who knows what to do to, into emotional eating.
All of my life I have struggled with my weight, I have done it all but there was nothing that really worked until I participated in a Collaborative Community Health Partnership weight loss program that addressed the mental, physical, and nutritional components of the weightloss struggle. Although this is not a new concept, the participants, women with a BMI > 40, including myself, found that when the three tools are combined the impact is significant.
The most amzing aspect of the journey was seeing morbidly obese women lose A.K.A. Curvy Queens lose over 60 inches and 35 pounds in the first week (excluding my weight loss since I was facilitating the program). To listen to the conversations the Curvy Queens had with the counselors and trainers was encouraging, enlightening, and empowering. They highlighted the everyday mental struggle that plagues individuals who suffer from obesity. This struggles spills over into their nutritional and physical activity choices.
As I listened to the comments from the debriefing session at the end of the program the hairs on my arm stood high. The energy in the room was positive and mood stimulating.
With that, Institute for Global Cause, Inc. decided that a fomal Collaborative Community Health Partnership called North Carolina Obesity Recovery Program initiative was in order. This is a Residential Wellness Program that allows individuals diagnosed as obese to join others in a controlled environment and begin to peel back the onion and discover the root cause of their decisions, learn ways to self-regulate, and incorporate better choices for mental, physical, and nutritional health.
As of now, Institute for Global Cause has been gifted a house and land use for a residential program. The home will require renovations to ensure it is ADA compliant and configured for maximum program use. We have set a $1M goal to support education, research, and grants and scholarships for individuals anywhere in the country who require economic assistance to participate in the program. Every dollar helps. We are also seeking sponsorships to purchase/lease additional commercial equipment that will support up to 1000lbs. All donations are tax-deductible.