Last Friday was my yearly physical and today I got the blood test results.
According to every BMI chart out there, my 5’9″ 231 pound solid self falls on the obese side of the algorithm.
According to my primary doctor’s observational evaluation and “superb” blood test results with “good, if not better, numbers than my previous results,” I am metabolically healthy.
I am more than a number. I am an ongoing work in progress. I’m not saying weight doesn’t have anything to do with your health, it clearly does. But, it is not everything.
I stand by the belief that not every thin person is healthy, and not every obese person is unhealthy. There are many factors that play into health, but numbers on a scale and coordinating charts do not define your lifestyle. You define your lifestyle and the blood tests confirm it. What you put into your body and how often you move your body is ultimately what makes you “healthy” or “unhealthy” as far as diet. It’s a pretty simple formula.
There is a little debate about the term “metabolically healthy obese” but more and more people are starting to understand that it’s not all about weight. “It’s much easier to get a fat person fit than it is to get a fat person thin,” states Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., an exercise and wellness professor at Arizona State University. My experience focusing on weight alone has led to a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and depression, fueling my hatred for TV Shows like The Biggest Loser. Since changing my mindset to focus on strength and fitness, I’ve never felt better in this “obese” body and I’ve tried to make it easier for others to accept their own natural healthy size.
I dreaded these annual physicals in previous years due to my elevated weight, poor eating habits, and fear of needles. 2 years ago and 48 pounds heavier, I knew it was time to change & take control of my health no matter how difficult. I wanted to feel better in my skin while improving my overall quality of life. My primary doctor’s tactful bedside manner and compassion for my weight struggles had a large part of helping me get started in making the right food and exercise choices. Being lambasted by primarily older doctors in the past about my weight would send me spiraling deeper into a depression and avoiding check ups on the regular in fear of “failing”. With my current physician it’s a team effort and I never feel judged. That’s the way it should be.
This is why I cannot express enough how finding a support system that you trust, and who builds you up instead of tearing you down, is very important in reaching your health goals. I tried to do it on my own in the past, but I knew that I needed guidance from someone who I could be completely honest with this time around. Not only did I find a wonderful Primary doctor, but I found an excellent therapist who I saw regularly over these past years. I now only call her if I need her and I have not seen her in over 2 months. It’s nice to know professional resources are there when I need a little extra support, ongoing or temporary, and that they will help guide me back into a positive and encouraging mindset.
I understand not everyone has access to these resources but sometimes we all just need to find that one person in your life (a partner, sibling, parent, child, co-worker, friend, blogger, etc.) who will be there to urge and support you as you transition your existence into something meaningful and long-lasting. I want to let you all know that it’s OK to ask for help and you are not alone in your struggles to find that healthy balance in your life.