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What Does Healthy Look Like?


The doctor says, “According to my chart, you should be weighing in at 150.”

Then you ask. . .”But why?”  The doctor hesitates and then calmly tells you the risks of not losing weight.  You are still puzzled by this fact and so you rephrase the question, “Why by your standards, numbers that are listed on a chart, do I have to weigh this much?”  Who actually came up with the weighing chart?  Through extensive research, I found that Met Life Insurance company came up with this idea in 1940 to assess health risk factors and was later revised in 1983.

In dealing with this chart every individual is different and one size doesn’t fit all.  Not every person who is 5’4 should weigh the same.  The doctors state by the chart that your age, height and BMI (Body Mass Index) also factor into what you should weigh.  I was speaking with a very good friend of mine, who is a life coach, through a video conference and we were talking about my health issues, weight and what I was doing to lose it.

Since we are all made differently, the question came up, what does healthy look like?

It’s really hard to say what it looks like, feels like or really supposed to be just as long as you are comfortable in your own skin.

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, the author of “The Invisible Weight of Whiteness: the Racial Grammar of Everyday Life in Contemporary America”, stated that he was part of the Weight Watchers group and had to begin their diet, so he and his wife decided to go to GNC and weigh themselves on the scale.  You all remember the scale standing in front of the GNC store that tells your weight?  In  this story, Mr. Siva says that the machine printed out that he needed to lose 50 lbs.  Granted that he states that he is a tall, muscular large framed man, the verdict from the piece of paper was wrong, or didn’t seem correct to him.  Even though he felt that 50 lbs was too much to lose, he knew he needed to lose it.  Then he wondered if his African ancestry had anything to do with it.  He was a black man living in Puerto Rico.

He asked this question that many of us would have never thought of asking:  how does a scale determine an ideal weight?

Researchers found that African-American bone density is between 5 to 15 % more than in white men and 1 to 7 % in women.  So, my new question posed is this: are blacks to remain at a heavier state or do we need our own chart?  When I went to the doctor many years ago, I was concerned about my weight because everything on me seemed to hurt all the time.

He said that if I got down 170 lbs that I would be out of the danger zone of having diabetes, stroke, heart attack and heart disease but I found it difficult.  In Janet Jackson’s recent book, “True You”, a section in her book speaks on her problems dealing with weight.  She was told initially to stop exercising, concentrate on eating and sleeping for three weeks and then start an exercise regimen.  Now, does this work for everybody-or should I say every body?  In my opinion, it doesn’t because every body isn’t built the same. I am Janet’s height but I don’t have her body frame.  I am a bit larger in the shoulder area so, the program she was on would not work for me.  She was at her heaviest and in three weeks she was down to 170 lbs {my goal weight} all without exercise.

Healthy, in my opinion, is all about how you cook your foods, what type of job you have and if you stick to a workout regimen.  Find the exercises that you like to do so that you won’t hit a plateau.  Also, find someone who is willing to become your work out partner so you can keep the momentum going.  As a friend once told me, “Don’t rush it, you are not running a race.  Take these steps one day at a time.”  Then, I can look in the mirror one day and say, “This is what healthy looks like.”

Read more posts by Stacey Barlow.  Stacey is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.


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