There’s a lot of buzz lately around whether or not an individual can be both healthy AND fat. We can thank Barbara Walters, Governor Chris Christie, David Letterman, and our own thoughts, hopes and fears for this electric dialogue. It’s probably a topic that comes up more often than we can imagine. And, when a strong leader makes the bold statement “I’m the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life,” does it make the public feel affirmed or confused? Does it make dietitians, personal trainers, the entire medical community look like a bunch of liars?
If my cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars are in a normal range – does it really matter if my weight is not?
As we often tell our patients in Weight Management, the scale is not the only indicator of just how well someone is doing…currently…in this moment. The scale helps manage us, coach us, correct us – but it doesn’t tell the full story. It doesn’t affirm the full five cups of fruits and vegetables I ate yesterday. It doesn’t show that my calorie burn this week was more than I’ve ever expended in one week in my entire adult life. It doesn’t celebrate the spiritual victory I had on Monday that helped me see I deserve a healthy, balanced life.
Yet, our weight (and the scale) tells a very important part of the story. It speaks to our journey and helps us tell the truth. It keeps us from hiding and helps us take authentic action. And even if our blood pressure is normal, we still need to know our weight to know more about our own mortality.
When David Letterman asked Gov Christie about his health, he said it is “startlingly good, Dave... But I just turned 50, and the doctors are now telling me that things are gonna start falling off me if I don’t get it together.”