Let’s face it, we all know there is an obesity epidemic in the US. News media blasts our television screens with statistics and images of overweight people almost every day. Diet advertisements pepper print media publications, as well as infiltrate daytime and late night hours of television programming. Regardless of the supposed effectiveness of it all, there is a dangerous lesson being taught here. The focus on obesity and weight loss does not separate the reality of good weight and bad weight.
There are cultural groups in which a short stature, thick limbs and round physique are the norm. Likewise there are cultural groups in which people are naturally long, lean and not necessarily muscular. In between those two extremes there are those of average height, build, bone density and muscular make-up. Everyone starts out their life with a particular body type, how we choose to live with that body is where things go haywire. Perhaps we grew learning to eat from all four food groups each day, and to engage in some sort of active pursuit on a regular basis. On the other hand, maybe we learned to eat anything that tasted good and only occupied ourselves with activities that were sedentary. No matter what body type you were born with, the latter of these two lifestyles will have an adverse impact on your health.
There are some of us who carry extra weight, yet we eat moderately and from all food groups. Even those who live an active life and eat well can carry extra weight, but that doesn’t mean it is bad weight. If they are living healthfully, without engaging in unhealthy behaviors, and are still considered overweight, then there is no reason to lump them into the category of bad weight. When we feed our bodies all the vitamins and minerals naturally available in whole foods, then we have the tools to fight disease. Our muscles are stronger, blood is healthier, cell growth is stimulated, the immune system is better able to fight disease, fats and toxins are flushed more easily and our brain is more alert. Living actively has many of the same results, but more so. By increasing the heart rate on a regular basis, we are oxygenating the blood, exercising our heart muscle, strengthening the lungs, building muscle strength and maintaining flexibility.
One of the characteristics of bad weight is the onset of immobility because of the weight. Bad weight prevents the normal everyday tasks of life, either through physical movements or respiratory impairment. Bad weight is easily caused by poor nutrition and a lack of regular activity. Low oxygenation of the blood (due to lack of movement) leads to lethargy, which just continues the self-defeating cycle. Poor nutrition neglects to feed our immune system, so permanent auto-immune illnesses such as diabetes develop.
Despite the images projected by all forms of media, not all weight is bad weight. Not everyone who is overweight is ill or lazy or costing society millions of dollars in medical expenses. Yet for all those who never learned how to make healthy choices in life, now is the time to make the changes. Everyone can learn new ways to live and be healthy, but not every person who is fat is unhealthy. Be honest with yourself about which category you fall into.