Healthy Habits: More Than Just The Number On The Scale

I just came across Jess Weiner’s article in this month’s Glamour issue, Jess Weiner’s Weight Struggle: “Loving My Body Almost Killed Me”. In the article Jess explains how she was a spokesperson for loving yourself as you are. She was an advocate for accepting your body, a Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador, she’s been featured on Oprah and CNN, and she’s an author of two books: A Very Hungry Girl and Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Pounds From Now. With a resume like that you would imagine Weiner knew what consisted of a healthy lifestyle and how to make sure her body was on the right track.

However, at 250 pounds, she was happy and comfortable with who she was and with her weight. Her weight had not stood in the way of a successful career or of falling in love. But it did stand in the way of her health. After a doctor’s visit pointed out that her numbers were at risky levels, making her close to becoming diabetic, Jess had to make a change. She had to go against what she had always preached, about accepting yourself at any weight and that weight doesn’t determine who you are. She had to try to lose weight in order to change her cholesterol levels, sugar levels and blood pressure. After 18 months of healthy eating and some exercise, Weiner only lost 25 pounds but gained her health back.

I really encourage you to read this article. It’s really an eye-opener on how health is more than just the number on the scale. And even if you’re comfortable with the number on the scale, no matter how high it is, you still need to exercise and eat right in order to keep all the other numbers, which are just as crucial to your health in check. If you haven’t visited your doctor in a long time, I encourage you to schedule a check-up and make sure that all of your numbers, and not just your weight, are in a healthy range. Prevention is better than treatment.

I have diabetes all over my family history. My grandparents on both sides had it, my aunts have it, my mother recently found out she has it. It’s a disease that terrifies me. Although, it’s not a disease that will kill you quickly like cancer or many others can. It’s a disease that slowly starts tearing you down. It makes your body weak. Your body completely changes the way it looks, the way it reacts and it’s strength starts deteriorating. Diabetes terrifies me. Though, I’m not a size four or even a size six, I do try to make time for some exercise in order to prevent from falling into the same footsteps that so many in my family fell into. Diabetes can be passed down in your genes, it’s also more likely to affect Hispanics and African-Americans, or you can simply get it by having a diet that’s too high in sugars and fat. Your body can only break-down so much sugar before it starts harming itself. Being that I have this disease in my genes, I’m Hispanic and I have a huge sweet tooth, it’s something I try to keep in the back of my mind. My doctor gives me the warning signs to look for with every single visit. He freaks me out, each time I go. In retrospect, I must thank him. Because of his alarming warning signs, it’s in the back of my mind constantly and hopefully I won’t have to have a shocking reality call like Weiner had. She was just one number away from making her destined to diabetes. She was lucky to have had the courage and strength to work at it and turn her health around and regain the reins on her life. Although, by society’s measures, she might still be considered overweight at 225 pounds, all of her other numbers have given her a clear bill of health.

What do you do to keep healthy? Do you try to avoid any diseases that are in your family? If so, how? What would you have done if you were in Weiner’s shoes?

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