June 03, 2020

Sure, your doctor cares about the numbers, whether it’s your blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, waist circumference, or BMI (body mass index). And the reason they do is because medical research says if these numbers are too high, you’re at a higher risk of certain diseases. But, numbers — especially the ones on the scale — aren’t the only things that matter when it comes to your health.

Unfortunately, weight loss and weight management is a billion dollar industry that’s been built on fear. And not just fear of developing disease but of body shaming and ridicule that exists in our society. We’ve become obsessed with our weight and not in a good way. Fatphobia is real and rampant online and in real life. And on the other hand, others get shamed for being too thin or small.

While it is important to care about the quantitative health measures that doctors and researchers have identified (and you should have a physical every year to check these measures), we believe you should also be viewing your health from a wider lens. Weight is just one aspect of your physical health — it doesn’t show the whole picture.

It’s up to YOU to make your health a priority. But measuring your health by weight alone doesn’t tell you everything. How your body functions and how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally each day tells a better story. Are you measuring your own health from a holistic approach?

Here are 3 health measurements you may want to consider that aren’t your weight:

 

1. Physical Function & Daily Movement

How often and well you move is indicative of how your body functions. If it’s difficult to walk up a flight of stairs or you can’t bend over to tie your shoe, that tells you something. Our bodies are designed to move. Whether you think of yourself as athletic or not, you should be able to move your body in ways you enjoy. Dancing, walking, or really ANY form of movement is good for you.

If you have difficulty moving in a functional way such as completing normal everyday tasks, use this as one measurement of your physical health. If you can complete activities like getting up the stairs, carrying your groceries, or playing with your kids with ease, your body is functioning like it’s supposed to. Make note of any changes that happen over time.

 

2. Emotional & Mental Wellbeing

When we think of health, we tend to automatically think of it in physical terms. Getting sick means catching a cold, getting the flu, or being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Yet how you’re feeling mentally and emotionally are just as important as how you’re feeling physically.

An emotionally healthy person is in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. While you still feel negative emotions (hey, you’re human), being able to manage them and cope with life’s challenges is a sign of emotional well-being. Keeping a healthy perspective and being able to bounce back from life’s setbacks is a sign you’re in good health. Feeling good about yourself and maintaining strong, healthy relationships is just as important to your overall well-being as managing your physical health.

 

3. Energy & Vitality

Another way to measure your health is through your energy levels. Are you energized, engaged, and productive each day? Or are you struggling to get up every morning? While we all feel tired from time to time, chronic low energy may be a cause for concern. If you don’t have enough energy to get through the day, ask yourself why and discuss with your healthcare practitioner what you can do about it.

Your wellness routine should be motivated not just by how you look, but by how you feel! Following healthy habits like eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, drinking adequate water, and managing stress should support normal energy levels. Tuning in to your energy is another important way to measure your overall health and well-being.

 

As you can see, weight isn’t the only way to measure your health — far from it! What are other ways you use to measure your own health and wellness? Please share below and remember, that weight is just a number!


Leave a comment