Weight Does Not Equal Health

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There’s this pervasive idea that seems to permeate any discussion about health, and it drives me up the wall.

It’s the idea that people at their “ideal” weight are automatically healthy.

Diet studies do this over and over again. They put people on a diet for 30 days, and the participants lose weight. Conclusion: The diet is healthy.

But is it?

Image copyright Marco Verch. Click to view original image.

Image copyright Marco Verch. Click to view original image.

 

Health is a Spectrum

Image copyright  www.inkmedia.eu . Click to view original image.

Image copyright www.inkmedia.eu. Click to view original image.

We know that there’s more to health than weight. Even if you’re not at your “ideal” weight, we could look at your emotional wellbeing, your mental health, whether you have any physical illnesses, and more. Different organizations classify dimensions of health in different ways, but here’s one example: https://www.whatismyhealth.com/the-8-dimensions-of-health

We can't tell how healthy someone is or isn't just by looking at them. You never know what someone is going through, so don't judge them. (Side note: This applies to all aspects of someone's life, not just their health.)

 
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Health is a spectrum. You’re not “healthy” or “unhealthy” - you’re a little bit of both all the time.

For example, you could have great mental and social health, and you could live in an area without access to clean drinking water. Are you healthy? Well, again, it’s a spectrum.

I doubt any of us can ever be 100% healthy in all aspects of our lives, but it’s most certainly worth it for us to continually aspire to better health - for ourselves as well as for those around us.

 

Loving Our Bodies

Sometimes loving our bodies can be hard. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent nitpicking and criticizing my body for not looking “perfect” (whatever that means). So many of us have experienced deep shame around our bodies, and many of us lash out at our bodies with unhealthy behaviors.

Image copyright spurekar. Click to view original image.

Image copyright spurekar. Click to view original image.

We deserve better. We deserve to love our bodies, exactly as they are.

Maybe you need this reminder today? You, exactly as you are right now, are valuable. You are worthy of love, respect and dignity. And your body is amazing, so treat it with that same love, respect, and dignity.

I love the tip in this article to “treat yourself the way you’d treat someone you love.” https://tinybuddha.com/blog/learning-to-love-your-body-4-steps-to-self-care/

 

But Will I Lose Weight?

Many people lose weight with plant-based eating. Some people don’t. That’s not the focus here at Rooted. If you’re looking for a weight-loss plan, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The focus here is health.

Plant-based eating is a shift in your eating habits to prioritize healthy, plant-based foods over other choices. This is why I try to avoid using the term “plant-based diet.” Even though people use the word “diet” in that context to mean a “way of eating,” it’s often heard as, “a temporary restriction of calories.” And that’s not at all what this is about. Eating plant-based is about making consistent, positive changes to your eating habits that integrate into your life.

Image copyright US Department of Education. Click to view original image.

Image copyright US Department of Education. Click to view original image.

Now, it’s true that plant-based eating may help your body find its ideal weight, especially if you’re eating nourishing, mostly unprocessed plant foods. But more importantly than that, there’s a ton of research to suggest that plant-based eating actually prevents and reverses many chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. (We’ll dive into the research in a future post.)

This is big news!

This isn’t another 30-day weight loss plan. This is nourishing your body so that you can live a long, healthy, and whole life. When you see it that way, your whole perspective changes.

 

A Month of Health

In the blogs this month, we’ll be looking at different aspects of health and nutrition. We’ll take a look at things like macros (protein, carbs, fats), the research on plant-based eating, and the foods that we do want to consume. Be sure to keep an eye out for those upcoming posts.

Image copyright Mike Baird. Click to view original image.

Image copyright Mike Baird. Click to view original image.

Before we get into those posts, though, I thought it was important to address this issue of weight and health, because regardless of your weight, there are so many things you can do to improve your overall health. I hope you choose to prioritize your health in all its intricacies because you deserve it.

Our time here on this earth is precious. Let’s make the most of it.

From my table to yours,
Kara

 
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P.S. Have We Met?

My name is Kara, and I’m here to help you prepare plants in a way you’ll LOVE.

Want to get started in your own kitchen? Download the Quick & Easy Guide: