February 27, 2012 | Comments: None Yet - Post a Comment
We hear it every day, “Americans are getting fatter.” All one has to do is look around the office to see that this is true. Americans consume more food than they ever have and we eat the least variety of food among developed nations. Is it all our fault? Are we a nation lacking willpower?
Some experts blame the sugar, salt and fat rampant in today’s processed foods, while others cite studies which indicate that 70% of our weight is determined by genetic factors no matter what we eat. It is easy to say that both of these views are right. Today’s world is attacking us from all sides with over-sized, bacon double-cheese burgers and 64-ounce sodas, so we eat too much and then crave more, which plays right into our genetic predisposition to hold on to extra calories.
You know why else we are getting fatter? The people who define overweight keep changing their minds. From Eat, Drink & Be Merry:
In the past, the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics set the overweight bar at [a Body Mass Index] of 27 for women and 28 for men. Then in June 1998, they lowered that bar to a gender-neutral 25 for all. From one day to the next, millions of Americans found themselves overweight.
Look at the chart below and you will see that is a 12 pound difference for a 5’5″ woman and a 21 pound difference for a 5’10” man! Overnight! How are we supposed to keep up with that? We can’t.
Weight doesn’t matter. Being healthy does. How about instead of looking at just how much we weigh, we look at how we feel, our body composition (how much of you is muscle versus fat?), and the healthy lifestyle choices we make. A person can be thin and not able to walk up a flight of stairs just as easily as a person can have an extra twenty pounds on their hips and finish a marathon. I’ve seen it.
You are beautiful just how you are. Truly. Are you healthy? I hope so. I hope that you are choosing lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats as the mainstays of your nutrition, and are exercising at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes. Are you happy? I hope so. I hope that you are allowing yourself to have that ice cream, piece of chocolate or well-marbled steak once in a while without thinking you are a horrible person afterwards. You aren’t. What’s the point if you can’t have a little fun once in a while? It’s about balance. If you are militantly strict with your nutrition and exercise, you are less likely to stick with your program. Why would you if it makes you miserable? If you aren’t healthy and happy, now is always a good time to start making the small changes that will bring you closer to these goals.
Every day we make choices that impact the rest of our lives. What choices will you make?