What is Your “Last Straw”

I believe the expression  “Last Straw” is used much more by Baby Boomers such as myself as opposed to younger people.  Also, given the disappearing act of straws in general due to environmental reasons, this expression may hold some true literal meaning soon, as someone, will in fact, use the “last straw”.  

Returning to the figurative meaning, the term “Last Straw” usually refers to some event or occurrence that results in a person/people taking a definitive action.  For example, if a person has been putting up with a number of bad experiences at his/her current workplace, being told by a supervisor that the person must work weekends for the next year may be the inciting event to have the person quit the job.  Another example:  a smoker, who for years has had multiple cases of bronchitis develops a bad case of pneumonia requiring hospitalization.   The scare of the serious infection is the “last straw” finally leading to the person to quit the smoking.

Let’s now turn to the weight control arena.  I have heard many “last straw” reasons for people coming through our doors and joining the SP Program.  One patient told me that her daughter denied her the opportunity to be a chaperone on a school skiing trip because the daughter felt her mother’s weight was an embarrassment.  That was the “last straw” for the patient to come in for our help.  A number of patients have told me the reason they picked the phone up to call us was because a special item of clothes could no longer fit.  The majority of people that mention a “last straw” event point towards a recent medical diagnosis requiring medication, such as hypertension or diabetes.  The medical diagnosis was a sort of awakening of the definite need to shed the weight.

My advice: Do not wait for a “Last Straw” event to occur that propels you into action.  Use the first few straws to provide the major reasons why it is so important for you to rid yourself of the unhealthy/unhappy weight.   When the “last straw” is something catastrophic, by then, it is too late.

Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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