Friday, April 05, 2013
Our society has two major messages when it comes to your body and your health.
1. Be yourself! Fat, thin, short, tall, brown-haired or blue-haired, be the person you want to be and don't let anyone make you change!
2. Be ideal! See this supermodel on the cover of Vogue? Or how about Angelina Jolie? OK, maybe you shouldn't be like these women, but you are overweight and fat. You need to lose weight at the very least!
A lot of times, I feel Number 2 is a lot more prominent. It's hard to go anywhere and not see these beautiful, thin women staring out at you, as if they are saying, "You aren't pretty enough - look like me and you'll have everything you want!"
There is also the very real fact that so much of the American adult population is overweight and obese and that does influence health. Diabetes, heart problems, cholesterol - how heavy you are and what you eat DOES influence these.
And yet, there is the other camp that tells you to be yourself. Don't go on diets - they are just proposed by the diet industry to make money! Don't be ashamed of how fat or thin you are!
So where is the balance? Do I lose weight to be healthy...or is that flying in the face of the "Be Yourself" camp? Am I not "being myself" if I want to lose weight to make myself healthy?
And then a brilliant idea came to me, just moments before I sat to write this: BOTH ARE RIGHT! How is that possible? Listen for a just a moment if you don't mind...
My weight is at an unhealthy level. When I started my weight loss journey in November, I was 268 pounds. For 5'6", that means a 43.26 BMI! Not to mention, most of my meals were Dairy Queen burgers or Panera Bread, and I didn't really exercise or drink a whole lot of water.
THIS me, the me of the past, was NOT ME. It was not MY ideal. I wasn't living the life I wanted, nor was I healthy. I needed to change - I needed to lose weight to be healthy and to enjoy my life the way I wanted to.
And that I think is the key - don't look to the ideal that society sets, the size 0 woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. Look to YOUR ideal. And I wouldn't be surprised if sometimes it doesn't match with what the scale says or your BMI says - YOUR ideal is when you are:
+ Eating healthy (it doesn't mean you can't have ANY chocolate, but to eat in moderation and to make you feel energized)
+ Drinking enough water
+ Exercising (it doesn't have to be mountain climbing or cross country racing, even a simple walk would do!)
+ Getting adequate sleep
+ Feeling great in your clothes (your clothes don't have to be size 0)
+ Able to do what you want in life (whether it is to parachute or bungee jump or ride on an amusement park ride or just walk around the store with your kids)
THIS is the ideal we should live up to. Not a pretend, fairy-tale, white-washed, Photoshopped image on a magazine, but what our bodies, our minds, and our souls tell us.
Don't be society's ideal; be YOUR ideal!