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 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.
Mindless eating is a major culprit in the obesity epidemic in the United States.
If you are tired, bored, stressed, anxious, mad, lazy, sad or even happy, you probably reach for the bag of potato chips that has been calling your name all afternoon. You decide to eat it while watching TV and before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bag of Cheetos!
Sound familiar? You are not alone!
Many people emotionally (over)eat (triggered by hormones) and don’t actually listen to their physical cues for hunger, such as needing fuel to begin your day, energy to have a productive day at work, and nutrients to power through your workout.