Better thinking about body ‘weight’ and health

It can be a challenge to cope with body and health change over time and not to see this as solely a weight gain issue to be ‘fixed’ with a diet. The current western culture is confusing re food and health advice and choices –  and with busy, demanding lives, time for you to sort through this can be hard to prioritize.  The extra challenge at the moment is a very perfectionistic and moral view of what ‘health’ is and means.

The most sensible goal for your body is usually for stability over time, acceptance of usual age or life related change, and holding a focus of being ‘healthy enough’ –  and to resist trying to make it something that is unrealistic and unsustainable by changing body ‘weight’.

The problem with focusing on weight loss, apart from the fact it doesn’t work after the first few weeks, is that you totally miss that actually you are doing well just being healthy and stable. It can also prevent you from appreciating other things that may be changing and are more meaningful, like blood pressure, sleep or mood.

Shape change is inevitable and normal throughout life, but particularly noticeable at times like pregnancy, menopause and older age. Studies have shown for a long time that being about 10% overweight  is associated with better health and living longer (even though I never recommend comparing yourself to population based measures like BMI and I acknowledge the weight stigma and bias in our literature and science).

So occasionally check in with yourself, look at the big picture about your health and lifestyle and reorganize your lifestyle if you need to. Heath at all ages, shapes and weights comes first and deserves all your appreciation and respect  – and some time. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough.

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