Healthy Is An Inside Job

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I have heard women compliment each other by saying, “You look so healthy!”  That statement is usually followed by a question like, “Did you lose weight?” “Are you following a new diet?” “Have you been working out?”  It’s so strange to me to think that you can tell someone’s health by how they look.  If someone’s “outside” is smaller, it does not necessarily mean that they have been taking steps to make their “insides” healthier.  Sometimes, it can be from an illness, disordered eating, or an eating disorder.  Yet, in our society, we praise those who have managed to make their bodies smaller and deem them “healthy.”  As the saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” and the same can be said for people.

Healthy is an inside job.

What indicates a person’s actual health status is their metabolic health.  Metabolic health is the optimal functioning of your cells and organs, as indicated by blood tests, urine tests, physical examinations, and blood pressure testing. These measurements determine your risk for chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.  Your body size cannot indicate your risk of any disease.  You may have heard that “obesity” causes disease, but there just is no proof. Here’s a challenge for you:

Name one disease that afflicts only fat people?  Nope.  Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer afflict all bodies.  

Even if our outsides could determine our disease risk, and we were successful at getting every body’s weight down to the “thin ideal,” there would still be an issue: Our health is not entirely in our control.   Let’s not forget that genetics, environment, and socioeconomic status plays a role.  Those who live in smaller bodies are still at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  That is why it is so important to shift our focus from the outside to the inside.

Healthy is an inside job.

With this knowledge, you can now shift your focus away from restricting calories, diets, and detoxes to nourishing your body with foods that support your health.  For instance, if you have diabetes, eating foods that support your effort to manage your blood sugar is more effective, safe, and attainable than dieting and exercise to reach optimal health.  If you do not have a chronic disease, you can still do your part (remember about that part that is not in your control) to care for your insides by listening to and honoring your hunger and your body’s needs.

Movement is essential to keeping your body working at its optimal level, but it doesn’t need to be crushing, brutal, or even sweaty.  You can be active in your everyday life, by participating in activities you enjoy, to reap the benefits of exercise. Movement not only maintains your body’s efficiency, it’s a mood-booster and a stress-reducer.  If you don’t feel happier and less stressed with the workout you are doing, change your workout!  The point is to choose activities that are sustainable because regular movement keeps your insides functioning, and that’s integral to our existence.

So the next time someone tells you that you “look” healthy, ask them if they have seen your latest lab reports, interrogate them to find out if your doctor has violated your HIPAA rights, or quiz them on how they developed x-ray vision.  ;-)  Seriously though, unless we change the conversation from what we look like to how we feel, the focus of our culture will continue to be on our outsides.  But now, you are smarter than that!  You now know this:

Healthy is an inside job.



My gift to you during “National Dieting Month” is the opportunity to have a free, one-on-one call with me in January!  I have opened 10 spots and they are filling up.  To apply, fill out this short form. The deadline to apply is 1/6/17.  If you think you know someone who would benefit from getting some guidance getting off of the vicious cycle of dieting, feel free to share the link with them!


Edit:  Although the opportunity has passed, you can still add your name to the hat for a monthly drawing for a free call.  If you have filled out the short form before, your name is already in there and this may be your month!  If you want to work with now, you can connect with me here.

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  1. Pingback: Podcast Episode 070: Diet-Free Living – Beth Rosen - Sound Bites RD

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