Friday, June 10, 2005

Friday Mythbustin': There's Nothing Wrong With Being Overweight

Myth: All this obesity and BMI stuff is way overblown. Being fat isn't nearly as big a deal as they say it is.

Fact: While much of the obesity epidemic is overstated, and BMI may be a gross oversimplification, that doesn't mean we can ignore our weight.

In case you hadn't noticed, the media are terribly hypocritical. The new big thing in the media? Headlines like "Is The Obesity Epidemic Overblown?" "Being Fat: Is It As Bad As They Thought?"

And here's the thing: It's not. A lot of the scientific data right now is reinforcing the idea that the obesity myth is just that--largely a myth.

Here's the problem, though. Who was it who overblew it?

The media themselves. They took valid scientific data and blew it out of all proportion in order to get you to "Tune in at 11."

And now, they're making the same mistake the other way. They're taking more valid scientific data and blowing it out of proportion again in order to get you to tune right back in. Only now, it's turned around--they're lulling everyone back into apathy.

Here's the thing--it's not the data that's wrong. It's the hype.

I don't need a scientific study to tell me that being overweight is bad for me. I didn't start this diet because of any scientific study. I did it because I was getting winded too easy. I did it because my knees were aching constantly, a pain I couldn't bear any more. I did it because I never had any energy.

Clearly, being overweight hurts. The "data" still supports this. Sure, some of the numbers may have been overblown. But even the true data, while it may not be "Tune in at 11" kind of exciting, well--let's just say it brings a smile to my face when I can walk three miles without noticing my knees.

So don't believe the hype. And don't believe the anti-hype. Do what's best for you.


Mab said...

Just want to cheer you on!! Don't get discouraged - I've been on my own journey for three years - since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Don't sweat the short-term dips and look at the big picture.

I initially lost 75 lbs (but put on 20 when I quit smoking in January- starting to go down again recently) - but the biggest gain is my glucose levels are excellent, I sent from barely being able to do 10 minutes on the treadmill to recently biking into work every day (1 - 1.5 hours each way). -

Keep it up!! I'll check in again to provide a cheering section

Erik said...

Thank you so much! That is so awesome that you're able to bike to work now.

I thought I was being generous, giving myself a full year, but now that this year is half over, I'm realizing more and more that lots of this stuff is life-long.

Your three-year journey sounds tremendous--life changing. Thanks for the inspiration and support!