WELLNESS--As more and more people are considered “overweight” in our country there are a few things happening. On one hand, the battle cry over the bulge seems to get louder and doctors and health officials are yelling from the mountaintops that people need to lose weight. On the other hand, as a culture we are getting used to having so many people in this situation that it is becoming more socially acceptable.
At first glance one may think this becoming accustomed to the added weight of people around us is a bad thing, but it’s not that simple. We are walking a fine line between healthy body diversity and an unhealthy lifestyle. Not all people that outsize the medical BMI charts are actually unhealthy. Those charts are outdated and don’t take into account many important components like waist size compared to hips. There are also heavily muscled athletes that are considered unhealthy when taking the BMI measurements. About 20 percent of people measured with the BMI procedure get misguided results.
If you’re reading this and you’re one of these people that have always been larger than everyone else, you may be nodding your head. There are those people that no matter what they eat and how much they exercise they will simply never be the skinny cover girl or guy on the magazine. The fact remains that each body is different. We have different skeletons, and nervous systems and tendons and ligaments and at the root of all of this is our DNA which varies widely from body to body.
Doctors are often doing more damage than good when they tell a larger person over and over again through many years that they are overweight and need to lose the pounds. If you have been overweight your entire life and have tried everything to slim down, then it’s quite possible the best thing you can do is make healthy choices then accept your body the way it is. I can already imagine the tomatoes being thrown in my direction and the upheaval with comments like “what kind of advice is that?”
Getting people to focus on wellness and health instead of the way they look and what the scale tells them proves more effective. If someone has always been on the larger side we need to accept that they will probably always be big and always considered overweight when the BMI chart is used. These people along with all of us need to eat as healthy as as can and move our bodies. The fat shaming that takes place in this country causes people that are considered overweight to not want to go to the gym or even for a walk, so the problem persists and worsens.
If someone is obese and they are not taking care of themselves and eating junk food and fast food, this is something they need to come to grips with and most likely get help. There are these cases, and food addiction is a very painful and challenging problem equally challenging to any other addiction. Shaming people who have challenges and addictions with food simply pushes them further into the shadows. There is help out there including Overeaters Anonymous.
If, on the other hand you are someone that eats well and walks and exercises on a regular basis and your still large, celebrate yourself. Keep moving your body and making healthy food choices and don’t let the haters get you down.
Trust me when I tell you everyone has something they are struggling with. If it’s not an unhealthy addiction to food or substances, it’s a challenging relationship they can’t get away from or a terrible boss or pain they can’t explain or … you get the idea. If you want to get outside and walk and go to restaurants like everyone else, don’t let anyone stop you from making healthy decisions.
(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA www.AcupuncturebyChristian.com TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 310.909.6956 twitter: @CristianoWFR
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