According to a recent Gallup poll, just a mere handful of Americans (18 percent, to be exact) currently weigh in at their ideal body weight. Meanwhile, a full 57 percent of women and 46 percent of men say they want to lose weight, which even includes those who are not considered to be medically “overweight.”
These statistics perfectly highlight today’s societal confusion over what it means to be healthy, even though another Gallup poll states that these same adults rely on their doctors for health advice. Clearly, it has become necessary to dig deeper to discover what it means today to have a “healthy image.”
Ideal Body Weight Explained
Medical News Daily explains what the term “ideal body weight” truly means. The most important point that is made is that each person’s ideal body weight is unique to that person. There is no standard of ideal body weight that applies to everyone.
In the same way, comparing your body to someone else’s body, whether it is your sibling or a model in a magazine, is not a good way to clear up confusion about ideal body weight. There are so many factors that go into determining your particular ideal body weight, and none of them fare well with comparison.
These unique factors include the following:
– Your gender.
– Your age.
– Your fitness level (muscle weighs more than fat).
– Your height.
– Your bone structure (fine-boned versus stockier).
Self-Descriptive Terms That Mean Nothing
Imagine you were going to meet someone at a cafe and you had only ever talked on the phone. How would you describe yourself to the other person so they would know who to look for? How does your own description make you feel about yourself? Is it kind or harsh, and either way, why do you think that is the case?
If you are like many people today, you might have noticed yourself choosing to use descriptive terms like “skinny” or “plus size,” or even “curvy” or “size challenged,” all of which have been introduced to us via pop culture to describe various so-called flaws or faults that are in need of fixing. None of these are medical or health terms. They are made-up terms that have no meaning in the medical or health fields.
Rather, these terms are used solely as marketing tools to try to shame, coerce or convince people to buy diet and weight loss products, to the tune of $64 billion dollar a year. So of course the diet industry wants to do everything it can to sell more of these products to you. But this marketing tactic has nothing to do with your health or with helping you develop a healthy image.
A True Healthy Image Starts Here
If you are truly in search of health in image and in fact, then the first thing you need to do is stop listening to pop culture’s advice about how to get it. Rather, you can simply begin eating healthy lean meals, drinking plenty of water, saying kind things to yourself, getting enough rest at night, seeking work-life balance and spending the rest of your energy enjoying family, friends and all that life has to offer.
If you do qualify as overweight, you can seek out the help of your doctor and a dietitian (a professional trained and licensed to offer dietary guidance) to make meal and snack choices that are supportive of your physical health goals. With their help and guidance, you can achieve your personal unique ideal body weight.
This is true health. The people who have the healthiest image are rarely ever those that meet pop culture’s made-up image of “health.” Rather, they are the ones who decided to chart their own course towards health by listening to their body, loving themselves and saying “yes” to peace and joy in life.