Thursday, October 6, 2011

Forgetting the Real Point

I just read an op-ed post discussing a recent Washington Post article.  The topic (of both the op-ed and the article) was Governor Chris Christie's weight -- and how that should be considered in light of the fact he may run for president.

Even if you're not really interested in politics, I think it's worth taking a look at how Travis, at Obesity Panacea, takes a stand about some long and closely held beliefs about weight.  Here's the highlights:

"...We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: weight ≠ health.  Obesity (as defined by body weight) is associated with increased health risks, but by no means are all obese individuals unhealthy."

"...all else being equal, lean individuals tend to be healthier than individuals with obesity.  But if a person is already healthy, then there is little or no medical reason for them to attempt to lose weight, especially given that many attempts at weight loss actually result in weight gain."

Should  we be having this discussion about this man's weight?  In my opinion, no.  But wait, you might say, if he could be our president, doesn't that mean we have the right to expect him to control his eating and not be obese?  Think about that line of reasoning, for a minute.

I want my president to be healthy.  He or she is going to need all the health they can muster to do a hugely difficult job for the next four years.  Stress is going to wreck havoc on them.  I don't want a president that is starting off in bad health. --But that isn't what I (or the article discusses).  It discusses Mr. Christie's weight -- not his health.  And if we continue to let the difference in these two things elude us, we are missing the point too.

I want you to be health -- I don't care what size your health comes in.  The whole world is not meant to look like Barbie or a Victoria's Secret Model.  That's not the way our species has developed (and that goodness for that!)

Focus on your health.  Focus on doing things that genuinely make you feel energized.  Focus on the insides (both your mental environment and your physical environment)

Move more to release the stress that gets stored in your muscles.  Eat nutritious foods that fuel you all day.  If you focus on these things, your weight may change, but more importantly, you'll be living healthier and feeling better.  And isn't that what most of us want anyway?

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