A person’s health can easily get pushed to the wayside among the deadlines, meetings, and endless to-do lists at work. Granted, the wellness culture has definitely improved over just the past ten years as employers have realized taking care of their workers’ physical and mental health are important for workplace productivity, employee retention, and overall happiness. Even with this shift in thinking though, people still find it difficult to make their wellness a priority because we have access to an abundance of nutrition information which can make health and nutrition an overwhelming experience.
That is why I am sharing simple, actionable steps that you can incorporate into your daily life that considers your busy schedule at work AND your health and nutrition goals:
The workplace doesn’t have to be where your health and nutrition goals die. Try implementing 1-3 of these action items into your day and watch how your thoughts and mood shift!
ssI had an interesting conversation recently, and it compelled me to reflect and write about it. I don’t believe there is a simple answer to this question, or an answer to this question at all, because health is not black and white. There are many layers, and I won’t be able to uncover them all, but I figured I would start a conversation.
Isn’t there some merit to BMI - Body Mass Index?
According to the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, BMI is “a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.” (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm)
I invite you to listen to Steph Gaudrea’s podcast, Harder to Kill Radio: 6 Reasons BMI is Bullshit, for a more holistic/functional perspective on body mass index.
As discussed in the podcast mentioned above, I also believe that BMI does not give an accurate representation of one’s health status. What does the individual’s blood cholesterol levels, thyroid levels, insulin levels, inflammatory markers look like? What does the individual’s environment, stress levels, and mental health look like? A physician cannot make a blanket statement about a person’s health solely based on the BMI index.
Side note: BMI does not differentiate between body fat and lean muscle mass, so a person with a greater amount of muscle can be classified as “overweight” or “obese”. The trouble with the BMI index is that it can encourage negative body image based off a scale that does not consider any health markers.
Isn’t the body positivity movement praising women for being fat?
In the 1960s, the body positivity movement was created to end fat-shaming. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance was established with the mission to “eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and support.” (https://www.naafaonline.com/dev2/about/index.html). They aimed to discourage doctors from using metrics of BMI and weight to determine a person’s general wellness.
You cannot look at someone and decide if they are healthy are not. Important questions each individual should ask themselves are: What does my environment look like? Do I have a positive support system? What types of people am I surrounding myself with? If a person’s quality of life is less than optimal, regardless of their weight, then they probably need to dig deeper to find the root cause of their actions and feelings. People are likely to take an idea to the extreme when they skirt around the underlying issue.
This movement appears to be giving people an excuse to be overweight.
Words are powerful, and I believe the individual is responsible for taking the words they hear and exploring the true meaning behind them. History continues to show us that, no matter the viewpoint, anything can be taken to the extreme on either ends of the spectrum. However, there is a more recent social movement that has been popping up more frequently; body neutrality. It is the idea that what a person feels about their body has nothing to do with how they look. In other words, an individual’s worth and capabilities are not tied to their appearance. It is important to note that both movements are just ways to foster acceptance, or at least tolerance. It is trial and error, but I feel that these conversations only lead to a greater understanding of each other.
Takeaway Message -
“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” - Tony Schwartz