As women, we rely so readily on the number on the scale as an indicator for our good or bad health. After all, we’re weighed at every doctor visit, even if we’re being seen for a sore throat. And what a conversation is sparked around pregnancy weight gain!
If it’s a preventive health visit, we may even be “educated” about why we should lose weight. We’re told what’s a “normal” BMI, which is based on weight and height, and the narrow range we need to obtain to be “healthy.”
Then we stress endlessly about this particular weight range. Is our number too high? Too low? We try to exercise more or cut out certain food groups until our weight fits within that certain range. We even base our self-worth and confidence on this number and feel shitty when our bodies don’t give us the number we want. Seeing an undesirable number on the scale can ruin our day.
As a physician, I was also taught to educate my patients on healthy weight maintenance. I was told that people who weighed outside the range of “normal” were at risk for more health complications, particularly high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Sounds like common knowledge, right? But is it actually true, or are we unknowingly torturing ourselves with the scale?
Increasingly, it’s seeming not so true.
Who is “Healthy”?
a 2016 study found that nearly 50% of “overweight” and 30% of “obese” individuals were healthy in terms of blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. These markers and measurements are used to gauge risk for other health outcomes, like heart disease and stroke.
Yes – you read that right – nearly HALF of overweight and a THIRD of the obese folks were perfectly healthy from a cardiometabolic standpoint.
Also – get this – being “normal” weight doesn’t guarantee you squeaky clean lab results. At least 25% of people whose weight is “normal” range have aberrations in the markers above.
If you’ve been fooled into thinking a certain weight range means you’re healthy, you’re definitely not alone. Many women struggle with this myth and struggle to live a life not dominated by the scale.
The good news is that I can help! Call me or email me if you’d like to hear how therapy can help free you of false beliefs about your weight. Imagine what it would be like to feel healthy no matter the number on the scale. Email me today to schedule your free consultation!