When I was in first grade, my mom bought me the Harry Potter series because I was a little nearsighted nerd with a hyperactive imagination. As a little kid, I became obsessed with magic, spells, Hermione, and broomsticks. They were real in my mind and no one could convince me that my friends at Hogwarts were brilliantly conjured up by J.K. Rowling. I knew I was secretly a witch, and I held on to that knowledge for years.
My eleventh birthday was the day I learned the truth about myself. I don’t recall the presents I got or if I had a party or what kind of cake I had that day, but I do remember expecting my Hogwarts letter to show up any minute. I didn’t tell anyone about my secret hope, because my logical side knew that Harry Potter was fictional, but I still searched the skies every hour or so, looking for some sign of an owl. I even ran to the mailbox multiple times a day in hopes that maybe Hogwarts was in cahoots with the US Postal Service.
When it comes to getting healthy, one of the most common (and frankly LAMEST) excuses that we get is, “I just don’t have time!” Apparently most people believe that in order to drop a few pounds and get in shape, you have to dedicate hours and dollars to the gym and a personal trainer.
Let me clarify that misconception real quick: YOU DON’T. Of course exercise is key, but what you put into your body is more important than how you burn it off, especially when you’re first starting a fitness routine.
When you look at a flight of stairs, do you feel a lumpy dread hit your stomach? Do you pull out every piece of clothing you own each morning, just looking for something that fits and doesn’t make you feel chunky? Does your morning routine include handfuls of pills that only mask symptoms that plague you every day? Finally, does your doctor look over your charts with worry and plead with you to make changes?
As a society, we really like to measure things. We like to compare our own situations to the national average, our friends, or even imaginary ideals that are seriously impossible to reach. The weight loss industry capitalizes on this. Look around! They tell you to be within a certain weight range for your demographic. To lose it all because Marie Osmond could, or because the results on the Pinterest image are soooo impressive! That could be you--that ought to be you, right? No way.
Many different methods have been developed for measuring your overall fitness. One of them, the Body Mass Index (BMI), categorizes you as healthy, overweight, or obese based on your height-to-weight ratio. This index has been pretty widely accepted, but there’s a problem: it’s WRONG.
There’s a lot more to weight loss than a “calories in/calories out” mentality. Many people feel like trying to lose weight is resigning themselves to a lifestyle of misery, at least for 90 days or however long they think they need. The truth is that there are plenty of healthy ways to lose weight without starving yourself or even going hungry! If you go about it correctly, weight loss and maintenance will soon become part of your daily routine.
I recently worked as an intern in an office that was part of a large-scale corporation. At the end of my internship, corporate HR came around to our branch and gave out free health assessments to all of the employees on their insurance plan. After talking with the nurses, the head honchos determined that one of their greatest liabilities was—you guessed it—employee obesity.