While this blog is about health, not necessarily about weight loss, it is important to establish our starting point and goals early on. It’s also impossible to ignore weight as a factor in “being healthy.” Hopefully you’ve already got a few weeks under your belt just tracking where you are in food consumption. Hopefully you’ve started drinking more water, and hopefully you are consciously moving a bit more. Our first few weeks really focused on awareness. Now, let’s get serious.
To start, calculate your BMI here.
The same article goes on to give you two options to measure whether your weight is in a healthy zone. For some, BMI is not accurate enough. If measuring BMI is not for you,” including people who have more muscle mass (like athletes), seniors with less muscle mass or people under 5 feet tall.” Note that this site is put on by the cancer research institute (read: You are at higher risk of Cancer and many other health problems if you are overweight.) Read here for more details about the link to cancer and other diseases.
Now, were you surprised? Over one third of our country is considered obese and that percentage is climbing. So if you are in the red or orange zone, you are not alone. It’s easy to see how we got to this point. Watch TV and it’s like every restaurant is trying to one-up each other in the “who-has-the-most-delicious-looking-least-nutritious-food” department. Just TRY to make healthy choices at a fast food restaurant… it’s HARD. Restaurants like Panera masquerade themselves as healthy, but it’s almost easier to make unhealthy food choices there because you THINK you are doing better than you probably are!
Food is a central part of our social structure, seemingly urging us to eat, eat, eat. It’s just what we do when we get together, right? Additionally, eating rich foods actually triggers a pleasure center in the brain, which, according to a recent New York Times article can become an addiction just like alcohol or substance abuse. And there’s no help for that. People with most addictions can just quit, but people with food issues still have to eat. (Note: I am NOT suggesting ANY addicts have it easy!) Moderation is a tough thing to achieve.
So, now that we know our starting point, what does your goal to get healthy look like? Is it to lose weight? Are you in the green zone, but want to tone up? Drop that last 5-10 lbs? Based on the BMI calculator, what would a healthy weight for YOU look like? Your challenge this week: Define your weight goal.