Here are some startling statistics: two out of five women and one out of five men would trade three to five years of their life to achieve their weight goals, according to the Eating Disorder Foundation. While it’s important to stay healthy and fit, many university studies and eating disorder advocacy groups have long pointed the finger for such extreme attitudes at the unrealistic body expectations portrayed by models, celebrities, and actors in magazines, TV shows, and films. How is one supposed to know what is a real, healthy body if we never see one (besides ourselves)? To that end, Glamour magazine found itself with an overflowing inbox after printing a picture of a model with a normal-looking belly alongside an article on feeling comfortable in your own body.
So what is a healthy body? The National Institute of Health provides a comprehensive online guide that easily lets you calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and examine other risk factors for disease. Better still it provides an easy-to-follow guide on how to change your lifestyle in order to manage a healthy weight. Remember that each person’s unique genetics determine how easy or hard it is to lose, maintain, or gain weight (a few people do have that problem!) and that weight alone is not the only indicator of good health. Eating sensibly, exercising regularly, and enjoying life is part of the equation.
– Pia Hinckle
Always consult your health practitioner before beginning any major diet or lifestyle changes.