Other ways to assess health it’s not all about weight

To anyone who is focused on pounds lost or size, this Cosmo article might help to regain an alternate and in my opinion much more healthy focus.

It was so strange that I came across this on the same day that I had a huge debate with my son and Nick on the difference between healthy and thin.

In the end I had to really cut it to the bones to convince them that sometimes thin is not healthy at all. I suggested that a person who is maybe a few pounds overweight who eats three healthy, wholesome nutritional meals a day, who has adequate helpings of fruit and veg, oily fish, pulses, nuts, whole grains, a rich supply of antioxidants and lots of good quality water, who works out or just walks everywhere,, doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke and gets lots of rest, relaxation and sleep but who stuffs a couple of choc bars in the evening is hands down more healthy than a thin person who grabs a cheese burger for lunch and stuffs one choc bar in the evening, never goes to the gym, drinks herself to oblivion at the weekend and smokes ten a day.

But we are conditioned to see what is on the outside, we are conditioned to judge healthy by appearance and not by what is going on inside of our bodies. I have been overweight much of my life but I have always been active and I have always consumed good stuff daily as well as the rubbish, I find relaxation and sleep easy and I’ve never been a drinker and was an occasional smoker for a period of my life. My sister who has never gained an ounce in her life and is considered to therefore be more healthy than me, has never been to a gym or ridden a bike, never walks anywhere, smokes 20 a day, drinks to the limits of acceptable allowances, dines on cholesterol laden foods and is constantly in a sate of stress and anxiety.

All of our lives she has been seen as more healthy even though I could dance her and aerobics class her under the table. Even though she is always unwell and I never am. Just because I’m fat.

Guess which of us had the heart attack and has the clogged arteries and which has the cardio vascular system of a 17 year old? Healthy is not always slim and overweight is not always unhealthy. She was in the lower end of a normal healthy BMI, I was super  morbidly obese, we are the same age.

I’m not saying it is ideal to be over weight or something we should seek to achieve but we really need to redefine ‘health’ and use all of the various measures to assess what it is rather than just aligning it to size. I think if we can do that we will prevent more people from heading down the yo yo road and we’ll come close to breaking the yo yo for thousands of people by focusing on eating for health rather than for size, if we eat for health the reduced size is more likely to follow and we should see more people maintaining at the larger end of normal and the obese, morbidly obese and super morbidly obese becoming a thing of the past… arguably just as it was in days gone by.

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