A Healthy Weight?

Dare I use the term healthy weight? Is there a such thing? What about being thin, or reaching your ideal weight?

Does being thin equal being healthy?
Let’s get right to the point. Being thin does not necessarily translate into healthy. Being slightly overweight does not translate into an undeniable risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. At my heaviest weight, I never had high blood pressure, a high fasting blood glucose, nor high triglycerides. It wasn’t because my eating habits were stellar a couple of weeks leading up to my exams because the A1c (examines insulin levels over time) don’t lie.

While my blood work didn’t reveal I was on the fast track to diabetes or some other chronic disease, it didn’t mean that my joints didn’t suffer as my knees and spine carried my weight. My weight was a source of contention for many years, affecting every aspect of my life, from my ability to climb several flights of stairs without feeling like I was headed into cardiac arrest to how I felt internally about myself.

The great disconnect
There is a disconnect between what is a reasonable and achievable weight that reduces risk for chronic disease, such as diabetes, and what we desire to emulate. What is undeniable is that we often times conflate beauty with health, and will often times do nearly anything to look like someone we admire. There is nothing wrong with having a vision of what you want and how you want to feel. Sometimes it’s those very things that inspire us to change our lifestyle habits.

Small steps can lead to massive changes
Nearly everyone has quoted that “losing just 5-10% of your excess weight can translate into huge benefits for your health” – and dare I say – your self-esteem. What is important is that we take small steps and implement small lifestyle changes, whether it is every week, or every month. The point is not to strive to reach an ideal weight on a chart to align with what you believe is thin and beautiful. If you have more lean body mass than fat mass and weighed 153lbs, would you care about the number revealed on the scale?

After all, it’s just a number!
I have worked with women who have a number in mind that they want to see on a scale, and become incredibly frustrated when that designated number is not achieved. Some have gone to great lengths to restrict food groups, food intake and even water to achieve a certain number of pounds on the scale. I have often wondered, where did she learn that she absolutely must weigh 121lbs? There are so many physiological factors that affect the number on the scale that it makes me wonder if we should just throw the scale out. However, I am not sure I am ready to go that far yet. The scale may offer some valuable information, but it ceases to be valuable when it adds stress to the healthy weight adventure.

Perfection, Smerfection
Don’t strive for perfection – and don’t live in a black or white world. Things are rarely black and white. (Physiology can be complicated.) Instead, envision what it feels like to have a life full of vitality doing the things you enjoy. Strive for those things as opposed to a number from a chart, or a symbol of beauty that distorts your idea of a healthy weight looks like.

You don’t have to go it alone. If you are ready to begin your adventure to reaching a healthy weight, click here.

It’s up to you to begin the adventure you never want to abandon.