Take the following two women. Susan is 5' 4" and weighs 140 lbs; Mary is 5' 6" and weighs 120 lbs. Who is healthier? Almost everyone would say Mary. However, what if Susan has a cholesterol level of 150 (well below normal) and runs half marathons while Mary's cholesterol is extremely high and she's never worked out a day in her life? Now tell me who is healthier? Health happens on the inside, not the outside. It's about having the energy you need to get through another day. It's about getting the nutrients you need to keep your body systems functioning properly. It's about strengthening your muscles and entire body so you can live a longer and fuller life. It is not about wearing a size 00. Now, that's not to say that a person's weight can't be an indicator of health because it often is. Extremely high or low weight can be dangerous and a cause of concern Rather, we should not view the two as having a direct relationship nor should we fall victim to the belief that skinnier is always healthier.
So how else can you measure your health, if weight and size really aren't cutting it? Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
- How do you feel in your body? Energized or sluggish?
- How do you feel after you eat? Bloated and uncomfortably full/still hungry or simply satisfied?
- Are you able to physical tasks with ease? Can you walk around campus without getting winded? How easy are the stairs? Can you do beginner level cardio or lifting activities with relative ease?
A healthy weight” is “the natural weight the body adopts when given a healthy diet and meaningful level of physical activity." In short, if we want to get healthy, the goal should be to focus on living healthy. How great would that be to never have to WORRY and DWELL on body size, because you know your living a balanced and active lifestyle? So short, tall, round, curvy, skinny, or whatever shape your body takes, realize it's what's on the INSIDE that counts when it comes to health.