⚖Body weight vs health🩺
This is often a touchy, touchy subject.
And with these I find that it often helps looking at them in an
objective non-emotional way.
At facts and key infos that will make us understand and comprehend topics without associating ourselves with them or getting too caught up (can help, doesn’t have to).
Now, first I want to get the notion out of the way that calculating body weight or percentages will give a complete insight into someone’s health.
actual physical health,
perceived health and well-being,
physical and emotional abilities and strength.
Someone’s body weight can have an effect on all of these things.
But there isn’t just one way to determine someone’s “ideal” weight and what it will mean for this person’s life (if it is even necessary to determine a "goal" weight).
Let’s talk about a basic way to categorize and asses someone’s body weight.
The BMI (body mass index)
It is used to determine the relationship between body weight and height in the most basic way.
It does not take into consideration body composition.
So, the proportion of lean tissue to body-fat tissue.
It therefore will often unfairly categorize people in labeling them:
“underweight”, “normal weight”, “overweight”,…
⚖A person who is relatively short but very muscular could be unfairly categorized as “overweight” or even “obese”.
⚖While an older adult with decreased muscle mass and excess fat could be categorized as “normal”.
So there goes a very unsure way of telling someone’s physical condition in regards to weight.
The more important factor is someone’s body composition.
Body composition, again, is the proportion of lean tissue to body-fat tissue.
Lean body mass is made up of connective tissue, bones, blood, nervous tissue,…
so tissue that is metabolically active (needs energy to “work”).
The other part, adipose tissue (body fat) is essential for insulation, temperature regulation and the maintenance of certain body functions.
🧐You can of course measure those percentages and in combination with other vital signs and information about the person, get a pretty clear picture of their health and make suggestions in order to improve on it if necessary.
So using body weight and composition can aid in improving one’s health but it is certainly not the most important part.
💚There are so many factors that influence health like:
the environment, genetics, activity level, social contacts, self perception,….
they all play a big role.
🌱So judging one’s health in its entirety, body and soul, solely by their body weight is a very unreliable method.🤸🏼♂️
Take for example my aunt: she weighs herself only when she is feeling like she has had a negative change in mental status.
She always says that she has a weight at which she feels her best,
mentally and physically.
For her it can change quite rapidly and whenever she gains or loses weight it shows in her mental state/mood.
And that is not necessarily a weight that has been calculated to be her "ideal weight."
I have personally had struggles with anxiety a lot.
Then came a time where I was at a low body weight and only when my life had changed in many ways and I had gained some weight,
I noticed that I felt differently.
I wasn’t so anxious anymore and I didn’t feel as fragile.
I felt like I was calmer all around, like I was stronger and could handle obstacles with more confidence.
Because weight and mental changes can influence each other both ways.
Considering differences in gaining or loosing fat/ and or muscle.
And it is not just necessary or better for everyone to gain just muscle.
For some people gaining fat is crucial in improving their health.
⚖Body weight is NOT a one size fits all and can not always just be calculated.
It is very individual and is only one factor in an accumulation of factors to determine health status.
🔊Many people struggle with a very warped perception of what body weight means due to the influences of society.
Thankfully that has been changing, positively, in many ways and people have changed their outlook on this matter.
❤Body weight does not determine one’s worth or happiness.
If you are struggling with this topic, know that you are not alone and that help can be found in many places.👨👨👧👦👭
And although this particular struggle is often considered as “normal”,
because it is so common, it is in fact not normal.
🦾It shows strength to ask for help in tackling these struggles and I hope anyone who feels addressed by this can also find a little bit of comfort in knowing that nothing is eternal,
things change, people change, times change.
💜Stay strong and try to remember that health is more important than societal constructs and controlling parts of life that don’t need that type of control.
Thank you for reading💚
Until next time👋🏼
(my usual ending didn’t feel right after this kind of emotional ending🙂)