Here’s the Skinny…
I have a bone to pick with modern Western culture.
I’m SO tired of people thinking, saying and acting like skinny (as in a healthy BMI) equals healthy. Ha!
No, it’s habits that are or aren’t healthy. A target BMI should be viewed as a RESULT of doing healthy things. Not necessarily a measure of being healthy. Let me tell you why.
From ages 0-32 – I had a perfectly on-target BMI. I was always the thin, gorgeous chick all the overweight women envied. I never lacked for a date. Even being curvy, as my build always showed off my perfect hourglass shape, I wore sizes six or eight depending on the manufacturer. I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce. I didn’t really have to exercise. Being active (as in going about my day-to-day life) seemed to be enough to maintain that firm, sexy little body.
As I began aging my metabolism, like so many other people’s, began slowing down. Then slowly, over the period of the next seven years, I found myself overweight. It started when I decided to quit smoking. That’s what threw me into the obese category. It went downhill from there, casting a spotlight of shame on all the unhealthy habits I’d been nurturing since I was a teenager. Retraining yourself to healthy habits takes time and taking off weight takes time, too. After all – no one becomes overweight over night. It’s gradual and slow. The process of removing it can be just as slow.
So those of you who think skinny automatically equals healthy, think again. Most overweight people don’t start out overweight (unless there’s an underlying health issue). A lot of people’s weight issues may be caused by other health factors. But ultimately – you may be skinny now and have an awesome metabolism, but not everyone maintains that as they age. If you have unhealthy habits – you’re pretty much screwed. So if you’re young — start learning healthy eating habits and portion control now. Start exercising regularly now. Sure – you think you’re skinny body will last forever, but with unhealthy habits it likely won’t.
On that note I actually had two friends who went for a four mile walk not too long ago. One of them is about thirty pounds overweight. The other has a model body with a perfect BMI. Guess who finished the walk without cramps, exhaustion, and lots of panting? It wasn’t the skinny chick. Our overweight friend is in better physical shape (and eats better, too).
So skinny or being within a target BMI does not necessarily mean healthy.
Consider this the next time you look in the mirror to admire your great body just before Pizza Hut arrives with the stuffed crust you ordered, or when you eat that salad and do your two hours of exercise, but are frustrated at being 50 pounds overweight. Being healthy is about choices. Not how much you weigh and being within a target BMI. Make healthy choices and eventually you’ll fall into your target BMI (or stay there) as a natural result. Make crappy choices and eventually that target BMI will be a distant memory (or an unattainable goal) as a natural result.
BTW – I’m still overweight, but I bet my diet is a lot healthier than most peoples and it’s also likely that, give it a few months, there are some skinny people who can’t keep up with me on a one mile walk. ::shrug:: I used to be one of those “skinny” people. 🙂