Yes! That’s what you want to hear, right? Well, I can’t give you a black and white, yes or no answer because it’s different for everyone. In order to assess this conundrum, you must first accept the true elements of health. To determine what the answer is for you, be sure to take the time to confidentially respond to the questions at the end. You may be surprised at what you discover.
Science Says Being “Obese” Isn’t The Biggest Problem
What does the word obese mean anyway? The BMI (Body Mass Index) considers height and weight to categorize and classify you as underweight, normal, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. Despite research finding that other calculation methods are better indicators of health risk, it seems BMI and it’s classifications are here to stay.
Surprisingly, someone who isn’t considered “obese” could actually have a higher health risk than someone much larger than them! So what in the world could be a bigger problem than obesity? Location of the fat. Where the fat is distributed is more important than how much of it you have. Are you biggest in the midsection? If so, you’re likely at a higher physical health risk than your neighbor carrying most of the weight in her legs. More abdominal fat around your waistline equates to a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, metabolic issues, stroke, dyslipidemia and chronic kidney disease.
So you’ve inherited a large waistline, does the conversation end here? No. The status of your mental health plays a larger role in your physical health than you may think.
Your Worth is Not Measured by Your Weight
The number on the scale in no way defines who you are. Relying on a number to determine your value for the day is minimizing your worth as the beautiful person you are. Weighing yourself may seem like a healthy habit to practice, but in all actuality, it’s quite dangerous. Rejoicing in weight lost is the same hazard as becoming depressed when you “fail” losing the pounds you said you would. No matter the reason for the weigh-in, you’re allowing a number to determine your worth.
No scale or individual has the right to judge you for how much you weigh! Your weight is the result of many factors outside of over-eating and under-moving. Genetics, effects of medications taken, mental health status, hormone levels, time restraints and abilities to be physically active all influence weight and health status. Unfortunately, weight stigma is one of the biggest inequities that plagues the modern world today. It’s not only “fat” people who are discriminated against. Thin people are often judged more frequently than those who are overweight. What’s ironic is that the judgement is usually passed by those hoping to not be judged themselves.
Health is More Than Just Absence of Disease
The idea of health is in the eye of the beholder. True health, or well-being, encompasses social, spiritual, intellectual and emotional aspects which are often more important than your physical measures. And no, this is not just a bunch of hoopla to take the focus off diet and exercise. Fostering positivity is shown to have the ability to enhance your immune system, cut risk of mental and physical disease, increase productivity, improve relationships, boost healthy behaviors and lengthen your lifespan. Positive emotions are not just the opposite of negative emotions, they are their own independent being. Do yourself a favor and plant some seeds of positivity. If watered and nurtured, you’ll end up with a beautiful and healthy harvest.
Is Your Weight Affecting Your Well-Being?
- Do you feel depressed because of your weight?
- Does the scale determine your mood for the day?
- Are you embarrassed of your size?
- Do you judge others based on their size?
- Are negative thoughts about your looks drowning the positive ones?
- Do you feel unfulfilled in life because of your weight?
- Are your relationships affected because of the negativity that stems from the unhappiness about your weight?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you’re letting your weight effect your well-being. Therefore, no matter how much you weigh, your health is compromised.
What to do:
Start thinking positively about yourself regardless of your weight. Throw out the scale and believe that your size doesn’t determine who you are as a person. Work your way up to seeing yourself in a more positive light; a dietitian can help you navigate this journey.
I wish you happiness and health in this journey we call life. And always remember you are beautiful and worthy – don’t let anyone tell you you’re not.
Jessa Nowak is a credentialed Registered Dietitian, new mom and co-founder of InWealthandHealth.com with her husband. She is passionate about good food, family and fostering positivity to inspire others to live a happier life. She would love to connect with you personally on Facebook and Pinterest.