Ask anyone what they think is the biggest threat to America’s health and what do you think the answer will be? Obesity or Exhaustion? Fat or Fat-igue?
Right! Obesity wins hands down!
And who’s to blame if you’re too fat? You are.
And who’s to blame if you’re just totally and completely draggin’-ass exhausted? Stress caused by your job, your long work hours, your horrible boss, your long commute, your lack of a job, your lack of money, your family, your relationship or lack of a relationship, etc, etc.
Amazing how fat is your fault and fatigue isn’t. Fat is a character flaw and fatigue is practically a badge of honor.
Take a moment and consider what makes you gain weight. Then consider the factors that exhaust you: lack of sleep, stress, lack of exercise, boredom, frustration, medications, well.. you get the idea.
So why the hell do we continue to place blame and shame on an individual who is overweight? Do we shame those who look bedraggled and haggard because they just had to work a double-shift? We get tired and we get fat from pretty much the same causes – so why do we view them so differently?
I have a proposition to make. Why don’t we turn the focus away from scale weight and turn it towards energy level? What if we measured our health by how much energy we feel we have.. like a personal fuel gauge for our bodies?
Let’s suppose you wake up each morning and instead of stepping on the scale, take a little self-assessment about how much energy you have to go about your life. Are you feeling energetic enough to face the kids, drive to work, play a pick-up game of basketball?
I propose a zero to ten (0-10) scale that describes how much fuel (energy) you feel you have in your body. Make sense? 0 is nada, no energy to spare, no energy to give, depleted. 10 is enthusiastic, ready to go, ready for whatever the day may bring your way, full of energy, like a puppy after a nap.
Seriously, doesn’t it make more sense to determine how much energy we have and use that as a measure of health and well-being? Why is the bathroom scale any measure of health at all? It can only measure our relationship with gravity. Seems to me that my idea of a personal energy assessment just makes a lot more sense.
Then, if you feel you lack energy, then find ways to restore it. Engage in an activity that brings you joy. Take a deep breath and notice the beauty of the morning sunrise. Sing a song, dance, play, laugh… starting to get the picture?
Sometimes getting your energy back means going to bed early to catch up on sleep. Sometimes getting your energy back means saying “no” when you need to say “no”. Sometimes getting your energy back means stop worrying about what tomorrow might bring, when your attention needs to be in the here and now.
When we feel depleted, it’s perfectly normal to want to reach for food to fill the void. Who hasn’t grabbed a candy bar when they felt they needed a “pick-me-up”? But have you ever eaten because you were tired and not because you were hungry? What’s that all about? The food and your craving it – or your feeling of depletion?
I’m liking this concept a lot. I hope you are as well. Let’s re-think how we measure health, not by a number on the bathroom scale, but on how much energy we have in our “energy tanks”.
A New BMI is my answer to the inadequacy of the old method that really has very little to do with how healthy we are. I developed an 8 week program called Body Mind Intentions (BMI) as an action plan for having more energy and feeling healthier. It’s about moving the body and quieting the mind as a way to achieve optimal health and well-being.
I want to start a revolution! Let’s stop believing that our weight is the best measure of our health. Let’s start paying attention to our bodies and the message that it’s sending to us when we feel tired and depleted. Let’s stop blaming ourselves for our weight and start taking care of our bodies and our selves.
It’s time for A New BMI. Viva la revolution!!