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Healthy is the New Wealthy

Health living is valuable, allowing you to enjoy life and have the stamina to seek success. Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne of WakeMed Bariatric Surgery & Medical Weight Loss discusses how to boost your health.
Healthy is the New Wealthy
Featuring:
Tiffany Lowe-Payne, DO
Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne is dually board-certified from the American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians as well as the American Board of Obesity Medicine. 

Learn more about Tiffany Lowe-Payne, DO
Transcription:

Prakash Chandran (Host): There’s a saying that goes Wealth Means Nothing Without Good Health. And isn’t that so true? It’s hard to bask in any type of success when you can’t physically enjoy it. So, let’s talk about it with Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne a board certified Obesity Medicine Specialist at WakeMed Health and Hospitals. This is WakeMed Voices the podcast from WakeMed Health and Hospitals. I’m Prakash Chandran. So, Dr. Lowe-Payne, I’d love to get into this. I love this Healthy Is the New Wealthy concept and I’d love to learn a little bit more about why you teach it.

Tiffany Lowe-Payne, DO (Guest): Absolutely Prakash. I teach Healthy Is the New Wealthy because people need to understand that healthy living is not just physical. It’s so much more than that. It actually starts from within. Many people think that if their blood pressure is great or if their blood sugars are good that then they are healthy but if their mental health, their spiritual health and emotional health are not in alignment with their physical health; then they are truly not healthy and whole.

So I like to teach people that healthy is the new wealthy because many people are out there, they are negating their emotional health, they are negating many things in. in their life they are out there on that quest for success but they are not recognizing that in the quest for success they are actually successing themselves to death as the things that they are doing to be successful is actually causing many of the medical issues that they have.

Host: Yeah, I definitely hear that, and I love how you kind of take this holistic approach and I’m guilty of this too. When I was kind of in my corporate life you work so hard to achieve this thing that society tells us about that you kind of neglect the thing that’s most important which is your mental health and even you physical health. So, can you talk a little bit more about the patients that you see and maybe the stresses that they go under as they are trying to climb that ladder?

Dr. Lowe-Payne: Absolutely. And you bring up a very good point. You are your greatest asset. Whenever you are out there and you are trying to do, trying to climb the ladder to get to success; one of the things to recognize is that you have to make self-care a major part of that. Many of the patients that I see who come into my clinic, they are highly successful by many accounts. They’ve climbed ladders, they’ve broken through glass ceilings but one of the things that they have forgotten about is themselves and the importance of self-care.

Because of that, many studies show that an overwhelming number of the chronic medical diseases that we see in our clinics is secondary to things like chronic stress. Obesity is on the rise. Over two thirds of the American population is overweight. Several are obese and we are seeing that because of issue of chronic stress, lack of self-care, lack of people really paying attention to what they are eating, how they are taking care of themselves and that is important for us to make sure that patients understand and make sure that patients realize that when they don’t take care of themselves effectively, they cannot take care of anyone else.

Host: That makes a lot of sense. So, you have mentioned the word self-care a couple of times. And I’d love to unpack that a little bit. What does self-care mean to you? Like does that mean going to the gym three times a week? Does that mean a healthy diet? Talk a little bit about that.

Dr. Lowe-Payne: I think that’s a great question. Self-care is just that. It’s self-care. It actually doesn’t look the same for any one person. Everybody’s going to have a different definition of what it means to take care of themselves. So, absolutely, it can mean that you go to the gym but for some people, it can mean reading a book or just sitting and looking at trees and having a session of mindfulness. Whatever it is, that’s going to restore you from an emotional standpoint and from a mental standpoint, whatever it is that’s going to help you essentially fill up your gas tank; that is your self-care. And you should practice it regularly.

Host: You know what I’m hearing from you is that it’s important to just really take time for yourself and do the thing that you really enjoy doing. Whether that be a walk on the beach or just being mindful of the fact that you don’t have to be on all the time. Isn’t that right?

Dr. Lowe-Payne: Absolutely. I tell many of my patients. I ask them one question. I said how many times a day do you eat? And many times they’ll say three times a day. I say okay. And how many times a week do you brush your teeth? Well I brush my teeth every day. That should be the same for how often we pay attention to our self-care. Self-care cannot be something that we do every so often. It has to be something that we make a priority in our lives, something that we schedule in regularly. Because when you take care of yourself; you can take care of everybody else.

Host: Yeah, you know another thing that you mentioned that resonated with me was just kind of around diet and how a lot of people are obese these days and I remember again, going back to my corporate life how sometimes I would be on the run and I would just grab something from the fridge downstairs or just grab like a really non healthy item just to kind of satiate myself as I was just really stressed out and moving. So, what do you tell people about diet and nutrition as a form of self-care?

Dr. Lowe-Payne: Well you are not alone. I will say that. Studies actually show that of people who have moderate to high stress levels; 75% of them participate in unhealthy behaviors because of their stress. One of those things is that they have that get up and go mentality and when you have the get up and go mentality, you are going to grab food that’s quick. Many times you are grabbing food that’s processed and it’s not always the healthiest choices. And so the result of that of course is the fact that we start to see people who have an unhealthy weight and many people like I said earlier, over two thirds of the American population is considered to be overweight.

Host: Yeah, it’s crazy to me how everything just ties together. If you are stressed mentally, then that’s going to lead to a lot of these physical symptoms that just – it’s just basically a domino effect isn’t it that just keeps making your life worse and worse so you can’t enjoy things for yourself or even take care of other people. Right?

Dr. Lowe-Payne: You’re exactly right. One of the things that I do when I practice medicine is, I look at a healthy living from our biopsychosocial model. Recognizing that what affects you mentally or what affects you in your social arena also affects you physically. And we have to understand that all of those players have to be equal. When you look at your health, when you look at your overall health; you can’t just look at one aspect of it and so you are correct. One thing does play on another and when one of them is broken; everything else can break down as well.

Host: Yeah, I kind of equate it to like spinning plates and that’s just how we are in our life. We have to take care of our family, our self, that self-care that you are mentioning and it’s kind of like this yin and yang balance and everything needs to really be looked after for you to have a healthy life. At least that’s what I found.

Dr. Lowe-Payne: Absolutely. And when we talk about balance, especially when you are looking at things like work life balance; one of the things that people need to consider is that there’s never really a true state of balance. You’re always trying to capture balance. You are never going to actually achieve it and stay there. So, when you have one thing that gets on your plate, you’re going to have to take something else off. And that’s one of the things that I want to make sure that patients understand. I work with patients a lot on that. To make sure that they understand, and it’s not just work life balance but how do you integrate your work and your life together so that it all flows seamlessly?

Host: Totally. I’ve hear Jeff Bezos say that there’s this work life harmony concept and one of the things that I love that you said was it’s something constant. You have to constantly pay attention to it. You can’t just achieve what you feel like is balance and then let it go because something else is going to come up that throws it off balance. Isn’t that right?

Dr. Lowe-Payne: Absolutely and that’s why it’s important for us to make sure that we check in with ourselves regularly, make sure that I say date yourself because once you – when you don’t know exactly how you are feeling you are never going to know what you need to fix. So, it’s important for us to check in with ourselves regularly. See how you are doing. And if you are finding that your balance is off, then you need to start to look at some of the responsibilities that you have on your plate or some of the other things that you may be doing and you need to begin to shave off the unnecessary pieces of what you are doing so that you can make sure that you flourish in the things that are necessary.

Host: All right. So, as we wrap up here, I’d love to get some advice from you as to how people start. Because I hear some of my friends and I’ve even done this myself, they are like well I’m going to down load an app, a meditation app and I guess I will start using that. But it seems like there needs to be some more sense of like a wellness plan or something to really instill or implement in your life so can you talk a little bit about how people get started with this?

Dr. Lowe-Payne: Well the first thing is to realize that yes, healthy living does start from within and you have to know where you are, so we talked about earlier that you have to identify it. That is the first thing. And then you develop a strategic plan for success. If you are finding that you’re stressed, or you are off balance or if you are not happy with the state of your health then say something about it. Go talk to someone about it.

I firmly encourage every listener not to suffer in silence. If you are feeling that your weight is off or that your blood pressure or you have diabetes and its uncontrolled; make sure that you’re going and seeing your doctor or seeing someone who can help you with that. After that, you got to develop that strategic plan and you got to do something about it. You have to be a participant in your own rescue. So, what are some of the things that you can do?

Mindfulness techniques are amazing. Studies show that people who engage in mindfulness techniques not only lower their stress levels, but they also can lower their blood pressure and improve their overall health. They can improve their focus. And they just feel better overall. Eating heathy is very important. We are truly what we eat, and our bodies need good fuel. So as we eat healthy, that can help you not only get through the course of your day, but it can also help you maintain a much healthier weight. And then be able to do things like manage your time and control those chronic medical conditions that you have.

Host: Final question just in wrapping up here. There’s going to be people listening to this that have been struggling with their weight for along time and they may feel like it’s an insurmountable challenge to even try to practice self-care. So, maybe talk a little bit about what you might say to them and maybe some of the statistics and the improvements that you’ve seen working with your patients today.

Dr. Lowe-Payne: I would tell every listener who wants to lose weight and who feels a little discouraged at the fact that they may not have been able to do it to try again. To try again but now try again with a strategic plan. Have a coach. Every person needs a coach when they are trying to make a lifestyle change. Come in and talk to someone so that they can sit down and really get to the root cause of why you’re having issues with your weight. There’s always a why behind the what.

Many times if we just give people medication or if we just put them on a diet plan and we don’t attack the root cause of why someone is gaining weight like emotional eating or nighttime eating or the fact that they are always hungry; then you are never really getting to why they are having issues in the first place. So, have a coach. Have somebody who can help you empower yourself to be able to do it, lose the weight and keep it off.

Host: And you believe that once they identify possible underlying issues, you can help get them to their goal weight?

Dr. Lowe-Payne: You know I am able to help people lose a significant amount of weight by just looking at that root cause, by helping them to get to the root cause. Many of our patients lose anywhere between five to ten percent of their body weight and many of them are not even on medications for it. It’s just getting to the root cause and then helping them to make lifestyle modifications.

Host: Well I really feel like that’s the perfect place to end Dr. Lowe-Payne. Really getting down to the root cause or the why you as a patient might be feeling this way. That’s Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne, a board-certified Obesity Medicine Specialist at WakeMed Health and Hospitals. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about weightloss services visit www.wakemed.org/weightloss. If you found this podcast helpful, please share it on your social channels. We would love that. And be sure to check out the entire podcast library of topics of interest to you. I’m Prakash Chandran with WakeMed Voices brought to you by WakeMed Health and Hospitals in Raleigh, North Carolina. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you next time.