Being Thin ≠ Being Healthy (Or Happy!)

0516c425c67a7e7188462cd28730e3a02ec607-wmAs of 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Over 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. With an expanding population in quantity AND SIZE, it should not be surprising the weight loss business has skyrocketed. The various industries participating in addressing this growing epidemic includes:

  • The food industry

  • The exercise industry

  • The lifestyle coaching industry

  • The health care industry

I can tell you from personal experience as a physician that successful, LONG TERM healthy weight loss is best achieved by those people focusing on pursuing a healthy BALANCED LIFESTYLE rather than focusing simply on weight loss. People need to understand that being overweight is a SYMPTOM of an underlying problem. It is the RESULT of a PROCESS that includes hormonal factors, behavioral factors, lifestyle factors and emotional factors. As everyone knows, treating symptoms doesn’t address the ROOT CAUSES of problems leading to recurring patterns of weight loss and weight gain. Breaking this cycle requires changing the mindset from a LIMITED, “I want to lose weight” perspective, to an ALL ENCOMPASSING, “I deserve to feel good AND enjoy life” perspective.

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Why is this perspective so important? The reality is:

  1. becoming thin does not equal happiness

  2. becoming thin does not equal good health

  3. becoming thin does not equal remaining thin

.

Becoming and maintaining a healthy well balanced weight:

IS A NATURAL RESULT OF LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND REMAINING COMMITTED TO SELF VALUE, SELF WORTH AND SELF RESPECT.

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Becoming THIN without understanding the various important components needed to accomplish this result can cause greater detriment if not approached in a SAFE and REALISTIC manner. To achieve the desired LONG TERM results, a person MUST be able to answer the following four points:

  1. When losing weight, are you losing body FAT or LEAN BODY MUSCLE? The scale only provides a number measuring TOTAL WEIGHT. It DOES NOT tell you whether you are losing fat or muscle (unless your scale includes a body composition analysis.) Some healthcare providers and most certified fitness trainers can help answer this question.

  2. Are you exercising as part of this lifestyle modification? Are you doing cardiovascular exercise or resistance exercise or both? Are you training at the right intensity for the right duration of time? Are you training at the right frequency? Certified trainers can help answer this question.

  3. What dietary LIFESTYLE changes have you made? Are these changes you can COMFORTABLY live with AND ACCEPT the rest of your life, or are they designed to reach a certain number on the scale? Has your doctor ordered a lab panel to determine if your dietary changes match the needs of your body? (Ex. blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammatory markers, hormones, electrolytes, etc…) Licensed health care professionals and certified nutritionists can help answer these questions.

  4. What are you doing to address the emotional component that commonly causes addictive behavior interfering with healthy lifestyle choices? Failing to address these interfering factors will compete with personal attempts to overcome weight issues. Certified health coaches and licensed counselors and therapists can help with this question.

As you can see, there are many factors people do not consider when attempting to lose weight. Focusing just on food (or the lack there of) will guarantee failure in almost every situation. Having greater understanding of the different components and using these recommendations will significantly improve your ability to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

AND WHAT DOES THIS LEAD TO?

A healthy body weight with the right composition of lean muscle and fat; a healthy blood chemistry profile; increased energy and improved function; an ability to channel unwanted stress and the desire and capability to live the QUALITY OF LIFE YOU CHOOSE!

NOT A BAD ALTERNATIVE FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF US!

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84 comments

  1. Yes this is an epidemic that needs to be addressed.

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. With your contributions and fellow bloggers that bring their expertise to the computer screen, our world will slowly continue to move forward in a BETTER DIRECTION.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Earlier in my life I actually used to feel that being thin is the only achievement I need to conquer until recently I realized how important it is to maintain a healthy body weight without compromising on a lot of factors that one shouldn’t really give up on. Your article gives an insight to the necessity of maintaining a heathy lifestyle in order to achieve a healthy BMI, rather than just cutting down on food.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad to see you understand the BIG PICTURE. Your thinking will benefit you and the health of your entire family.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. heartandsoul777 · · Reply

    i would strongly suggest switch out the stack of cookies at bedtime for a sliced apple with a touch of peanut butter or i love apples w a dash of red wine vinegar! i had gained 30 pounds in the last couple of years due to emotional stress, grieving, and terrible eating habits. a new med i started taking for fibromyalgia wasnt doing me any favors either made me feel hungry constantly and not for anything healthy just all junk food. i cut back on the medication in order to gain control over the eating even though my pain was awful i knew i had to make a change and started keeping my apple slices or halo oranges next to my bed instead of cookies and candy. soon i started to crave the fruit and look at sugar like it is the enemy! my eating habits were actually easy to change once i decided exactly what i wanted for myself and physical therapy in a pool has been a true game changer as well. in just about 4 months ive lost 15 pounds i figure i didnt gain it over night im not gona lose it over night. my mood is much better im sure because ive taken control and made some steps in the right direction. the number on the scale going down is just a bonus i have alot of cute pants im excited to fit into again but becoming stronger and taking good care of me is more important now then anything else. i thank you for this post and the positive impact that you yourself have on the lives of others is just inspiring! if only ppl knew the less sweets you eat the less sugar the less you crave it. after a week of cutting way back its not hard to turn away from once you see how much better your body feels. i wish everyone that reads this good luck and determination to becoming a healthier you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your story. People need to see reality and you express it accurately. We are NOT DEFICIENT IN APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS. We are typically deficient in REAL FOOD and the NUTRIENTS our bodies need.
      Your approach to health sounds marvelous. As you see, the new lifestyle is RESULTING in a reducing weight scale number. The GOAL, however, is becoming HEALTHY. You have embraced this concept and will continue to follow this path toward a healthier lifestyle.
      I’m so proud of all your hard work and determination. Your story is truly inspiring. I look forward to hearing more about your journey if you are willing to share it.
      Wishing you continuing good health, joy and all the happiness possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. heartandsoul777 · · Reply

        thank you so much for that nice pat on the back! i really appreciate your words of encouragement sometimes a few kind words can keep a person motivated and what you do here for us all is just such a good thing! i can tell you ive also cut out drinking a can of soda every morning for my caffeine fix. and i was hooked on it! now i drink cinnamon tea that needs no sugar or cream and its lovely no kidding like drinking Christmas and it gives me my caffeine boost at the same time cuz well there are somethings im not willing to go without 🙂 Life is good yes?! i look at food now and think its this going to fuel my body or set off my fibro? like you said its all about choices!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You probably don’t realize how important your words are. Many followers will see how far you have come and will ride your “coat tails”to achieve their own success. I appreciate how much effort you have applied to achieving your own success. Don’t ever forget how much value you bring to this world. Be happy! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. heartandsoul777 · · Reply

            oh my goodness! i would love that! and ty for the positive energy truly it goes a long way with me! 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

  4. I loved this article, Jonathan! It wasn’t until I focused on eating and exercising for my health that I was able to maintain a slender body weight. Years of yo-yo dieting accomplished nothing but a big yo-yo effect on the scale and a gradual weight gain over the years. I have been a my healthy weight for several years now, but my focus is completely on good food and exercise. I only use the scale as a weekly check (in part, so I don’t lose any more weight…how ironic is that!)

    Your body rewards you for making the right choices based on healthy living. Thank you so much for articles like this. I wish I would have had them years ago when I was struggling with it all.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You have discovered so many ideas that leads to healthy living. You are one of the most BALANCED people I have come across. Your positive attitude and lifestyle brings ENERGY to the lives of those around you. I am thankful and fortunate to have crossed your path and become a friend in the process. Stay healthy and happy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would say all those things to you also, my friend. I wasted a lot of time doing all the wrong things, and I am still learning. If anyone can benefit from those lessons, I will be elated. You stay healthy and happy also and keep posting these wonderful articles!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Such wise words and excellent advice, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah. People need to be made aware they are important and that good options for long term solutions exist. Getting people to recognize their own personal self value is a good starting point. Once accomplished, the path to healthy living becomes more attainable.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent post! The meme at the top says volumes in just a few words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Doctor Lynn. Helping people realize better options are available to help overcome disease and weight management problems is a central theme to my blog site. As doctors, our credibility increases as people become aware we really care about them and practice the principles we teach. It’s not complicated, but it does require commitment and desire to live a life of quality.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Most doctors do not address underlying motivations and root causes but just prescribe pills. And it’s a wonder that the majority of people – teens and adults – do not seem to understand the distinctions between health and beauty and of course weight.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Doctors are slowly beginning to wake up to the limitations their educations have provided them. Functional medicine is an up and coming trend that aims to treat their patients with a comprehensive approach to health and disease. My colleagues understand the validity in this approach and the need to modify a failed attempt to maintain chronic disease. They recognize weight management is not as simple as diet and exercise and that solutions will NEVER be found in a PILL. Integrative health care will offer a better treatment plan that will require more participation and responsibility from the patient as well.

      Like

  8. Too many people approach weight loss with aesthetics in mind and not health. That leads them to fad diets and approaches that doesn’t teach them how to lose weight (and keep it off) in a healthy way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Andrew. A large percentage of the population is in desperate need of guidance to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle that results in better weight management control over a lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Really good post! We need to refocus the mind on the positive of being healthy rather than the negative of losing weight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you Tony

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Longer and commented:
    This has some wonderful ideas in it. Once we refocus on the positive goal of living healthy, we never need to look back at the old losing weight situation. It will no longer exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tony for sharing this message

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Brilliant post Jonathan. Thank you !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lynne. I appreciate the encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. […] Being Thin ≠ Being Healthy (Or Happy!) […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this important message.

      Like

  13. I gained weight when I quit smoking, and it took a lifestyle change and years to figure out a balance that meant healthy. Yes, I wish I was a thin as I was in my twenties, but menopause meant hormone changes, and, as you point out, emotional upheaval of being a parental caregiver, wife, employee and the loss of a parent, played into finding a balance in order to function. I still want to lose weight, but I cut myself some slack on what else I’ve done to make things work for my family. Fortunately, everyday is a good day to find balance, and add in exercise or meditation, or healthy food.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Each of us must find our own sense of balance. It takes work, but is worth the effort.

      Like

  14. What social media describes as a healthy weight can be very different from our own. You are right, striving for their version of thin does not make us happy. We must find a balance within us first. I find when I understand this, my body and health respond in a positive way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make an excellent point. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thankyou Jonathan! I always appreciate your thoughts and wisdom. 🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Good Post….Its not about the size, but about being healthy….I am seeing my MD tomorrow and can’t wait to get my labs done….this will tell me how I am really doing!! thanks for the great information…..kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looking forward to hearing what the lab work reveals. Regardless, the effort you put in is of GREAT VALUE. Labs simply show us how to “tweak” our game plans.

      Like

      1. me too….gonna go check, but the lab tech thought it would be Monday ……kat

        Liked by 1 person

      2. just checked…no luck yet….

        Liked by 1 person

  16. This was very helpful, Jonathan. I’m on my journey to lose weight, have already shed some 15 kilos but there is still a long way to go. My weakness comes down to eating rice, although my mother cooks starch free rice but it not something very viable to eat while losing weight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can substitute vegetables cut and prepared to look like rice. Use a non fat Greek yogurt and spices as a sauce and you will have a delicious alternative.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay! I got something to grease my palate now. Thank you so much, Jonathan. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Always a pleasure! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Your articles are so informative and helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for all your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I had to add you separately because it is not coming through the reader. Anyhow I just have to check my list every now and then to see if you wrote something new. I am really doing better eating healthier and bringing my glucose numbers down, plus my dr adjusted my medications. Exercise is still a problem. My son is a personal trainer and nutrition coach. I should engage him. He needs to learn how to work with people like me. Not everyone is going to be fit. walking is still an issue although I can exercise my arms with light weights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Start doing what you can and gradually increase you can.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Slow and easy wins the race.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A statement I live my life by!!

          Liked by 1 person

  19. Once again, your approach to offering support, information, and suggestions is steeped in compassion, positive regard, and a recognition of human dignity and worth….you are a Godsend and such a wonderful person….this post is just so affirming and you are so encouraging, inspiring….and you are trust worthy…thank you for all that you do and give… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all live in this melting pot together. Each of us brings attributes and talents that can enhance the quality of all our lives. It is so much easier to bring joy and happiness, than to live in misery filling the contemptuous need to make everyone suffer. I find the vast majority of people that blog are truly good people.
      Thank you as always for being so supportive and expressive. Your essence enriches the lives of so many people. I am truly blessed to call you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you….your comment touched my heart….you have the soul of a poet and a heart of gold…when I read “I am truly blessed to call you my friend”, it made me tear up with overwhelming gratitude….you honour me…thank you so much for seeing the best in me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I did not realize the obesity levels were so high. Having a balanced lifestyle is important for our health and well-being

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …and the levels will continue to rise because the mechanisms that lead to this problem continue to go unaddressed…

      Like

  22. the three points are so important! We have lost what being healthy actually means! Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very good things to hear!

        Like

  23. As a young-ish woman, I’m not going to say that I don’t care about being thin because I do. I was happier and more confident when I was thin and I really miss those feelings and level of comfort with myself. However, I am focusing on making healthy and sustainable changes, which means that I’m losing weight much slower than I’d like (in my past life, I would have just crash dieted my way out of this mess and ruined my metabolism in the process), but it’s staying off! That’s the most important part 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Realize, if it’s staying off, you’re following the path of success. Some may lose all the desired weight, some may lose some of the desired weight, but 95% of those who lose weight are unable to KEEP THE LOST WEIGHT OFF! This is THE most difficult part for most people. Stay focused on the LIFESTYLE and the rest will fall in place. BTW- You may want to consider discussing your Thyroid situation with a CERTIFIED FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE doctor. I’m attaching a You Tube video of a doctor in my state to give you a feel of how they approach health and thyroid disease differently than traditional allopaths.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. In my experience if you are trying to lose weight to “fit” into something or to hit a “magic number” you are not likely to maintain your weight loss as that is what I call the “diet mentality” not the lifestyle change mentality. When I began my journey it was solely to regain my health, not to lose a hundred pounds, wear single digit sizes, appear on national television or write a book it was for my health! Now the awesome by-product of changing how I ate and building movement into my life on a daily basis all those other things have followed…BONUS! But the PURPOSE was to feel better and avoid what I saw as an impending heart attack and possible early death! I do not consider myself thin, but happy and healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I “preach” your message regarding “hitting a number” all the time. Those committed to focusing on HEALTHY LIFESTYLES achieve them with a wonderful SIDE BENEFIT of losing unhealthy weight. It is simply a RESULT of the PROCESS.
      In addition, body COMPOSITION is significantly more important than body WEIGHT.
      You should be very proud of all you have achieved for yourself AND the PUBLIC. You are a true source of inspiration!

      Like

  25. Wow, I have watched this blog grow and with these type of impactful, meaningful and life affirming posts, it’s no wonder why! Light and Love, Shona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your kind words Shona.
      Stay healthy and happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. nursing nomad · · Reply

    I 100% believe what you’re saying, but as a young woman who has never been “thin” but always athletic and active, and as someone who struggles from severe anxiety and body image issues, being thin WOULD make me happier. I’m currently starting the “flexible dieting” thing…I like how it’s easy to sustain, since you just meet your goal macros, and can sacrifice carbs/fats when you go over. Here’s hoping it works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing you may consider is the physiological limitations created from emotional challenges. Anxiety causes hormonal imbalances which lead to various detrimental outcomes. Food, in most cases, is not the UNDERLYING PROBLEM. It is the OBJECT we turn to to reduce hormones from temporarily exciting our anxieties. Regardless of any nutritional approach, FIXING the emotional imbalance leads to healthier function which leads to healthier eating habits without the feelings of deprivation. If you can remember to address the ROOT CAUSE, you will likely achieve a healthier and more satisfying outcome.

      Think about it, do you believe the source of anxiety will dissipate once you achieve a “thin” appearance? Thin becomes a new source of anxiety and body image distortion can sometimes become worse. Focus instead on achieving physical AND emotional BALANCE and watch most things fall into place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nursing nomad · · Reply

        Very true. Something I need to look deeper in to.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Another thought provoking article. I’ve been a little MIA, but when I do make it back, I enjoy reading your posts. Keep on speaking the truth! Cheers, Koko:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always glad to see your return. I know you lead a very busy life. Welcome back! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I quite like reading an article that will make people think.
    Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

    Like

  29. I love that your blog states several facts and also encourages positive thinking no matter what size one might be. Above all else, health should be considered. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to see your positive response. Pointing fingers and blame doesn’t help anyone overcome hardships especially emotional ones. Reaching out and offering assistance while teaching people the facts associated with their concerns is an important responsibility. Everyone benefits when REALISTIC ideas are shared with potential action plans.

      Like

  30. Thank you so much for this post, It is so important for young people to realise that skinny does not equate to health and happiness. These are some great tips to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle!

    We are constantly lured to take shortcuts in life, particularly to do with our food and diet. However, many famous diet trends and products have a range of side effects that are unknown and are an unsustainable way to lose weight.

    Trendtealife is a campaign that aims to raise awareness amongst young people about the risk of trendy diet products such as Teatoxes, to prevent young people from pursuing these commercial weight loss goods.

    Please support our campaign and share your amusing stories with diet trends! We would also love to share your tips and articles in return to strive for a healthy and balanced community.
    A little bit of your time can make a big change. – FW

    https://www.facebook.com/trendtealife/?fref=nf
    https://trendtealife.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a growing problem in our society today. Children, young adults, and adults all suffer from lifestyle deficiencies that result in weight gain and ultimately diseases. The answer will NEVER be found in a PILL, a DIET or a DETOXIFICATION process. The answer will only be found in correcting the lifestyle deficiency(s).

      I hope your work and that of trendtealife helps clarify this message to your generation. The future health and well being of all nations rely on people becoming more responsible for their lifestyle decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, it is so appreciated. Keep doing what you do, it’s fantastic!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am excited to see someone as young as you are full of passion and purposeful living. It will serve you well as you find your path in life. Feel free to add your perspective to any of my posts. As multi-generations participate we all benefit!
          Stay healthy and happy! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  31. Reblogged this on TrendTea life and commented:
    BEING THIN ≠ BEING HEALTHY (OR HAPPY!)

    Liked by 1 person

  32. […] via Being Thin ≠ Being Healthy (Or Happy!) — All About Healthy Choices […]

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I obsess over the things I love about myself all the time! That’s a good thing right? I mean it sure feels right haha! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The definition of obsessed is, “preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.” I’ll bet you experience GREAT JOY and SATISFACTION when you reflect on your qualities that help you LOVE YOURSELF. This is definitely a positive thing!! It “feeds” ongoing passion for life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I do feel Joy and satisfaction daily Jonathan! I knew you would understand! 🙂 Feeding my passion is on the top of my list of things to do each and every day! Having a healthy admiration for myself keeps me creative and I love that so much! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. …and you should!… You are an example of what many people aspire to, yet come up short. Your words and emotions will help these same people navigate their obstacles and achieve their goals. How I wish more people experienced your passion for life!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Funny thing is I was just thinking that same thing about you! If only more people had even half the passion you have for life and living a healthy productive life style oh my goodness what a wonderful world it would be!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. and truly thank you so much for saying this to me…your words are always very much appreciated! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  34. I actually read this report and it is very informative and most inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you had a chance to read this. Your comment is greatly appreciated.

      Like

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