When I moved to Boston a few years ago, I was really happy with my health and well-being. I was active every day, eating the right foods and mentally and physically taking care of myself. During a brief doctor check my mentality changed due to 3 letters: BMI. My doctor informed me that my BMI indicated that I was overweight and wanted to talk about my fitness and nutrition plan. I'm not sure what she said afterwards because I was completely traumatized. A doctor has just told me that I am obese! I grew up in a household where I never focused on size or dress size, but based my health on how I felt physically and mentally. In my late twenties, these three little letters made me question my beliefs. For something like BMI to completely shake my confidence, I had to explore and understand the meaning behind it.
BMI or Body Mass Index is a method of estimating a person's body fat levels based on their height and weight. Muscle mass is heavier than fat, resulting in higher body weight and better BMI measurement. Highly trained athletes tend to fall into the Obese category because of their muscle mass. The next time I visited my gym, I used a cool technology called InBody that measures body composition against fat, lean body mass, minerals and body water. From this review, I found that my body fat percentage was 22%, which is fit and healthy for a woman. That gave me the idea: If, as a 27-year-old woman, my doctor's assessment of my BMI traumatized me, then this form of misinformation must harm the young girls and their prospects for their bodies. So, how do we bring body positivity and confidence to the forefront as we rely so heavily on advising medical professionals? Here are a few suggestions I'm living for:
5 Ways to Keep Your Health Goals Positive and in Check
1) Do not measure your success by numbers on a scale.
Listen to your body. How do you feel? Are you active and moving throughout the day? What are your energy levels? How is your diet? Often your body will tell you what it needs. You could be heavier on the scales and bigger in size, but in the best shape of your life. Do not let the numbers define you.
2) Test Your Body Composition Every few Months
Some fitness clubs offer this service for free, and sometimes it costs extra, but trust me, it's worth it. I keep a folder with all my results. If I'm consistent in my fitness and nutrition routine, I can see the changes in my body mass from test to test. If you are not sure how or where to perform these tests, contact a personal trainer in your gym. I'm proud to know my body composition, but at the same time I do not stress that.
3) Set a goal for yourself.
To make my fitness fun and interesting, I always have a goal on the horizon, big or small. Not only does it keep me busy, it also helps me to continue my workouts to achieve what I set out to do. If I want to walk 5 miles at the end of my day, I know I have to stick to my diet for the day and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the heat. Do you need some tips on goal setting? 5 ways to set goals and crush them
4) Use positive body attestations
I know, I know, that sounds silly. For so long, I have been criticizing areas of my body instead of praising myself for my achievements. If you get ready every day, give yourself a compliment. "Your skin looks beautiful." "You really worked your arms yesterday and it shows!" "Look at the peach you made – far away!" Try to be self-confident. I promise you will be fine.
5) Compliment to your colleagues.
Be it your mother, sister, colleague, or training buddy, share something positive with yourself that you notice. Recently, my co-worker told me that I look pretty and ask about my make-up and my skin care. It lit my morning and changed my view of the day. "Your lunch looks delicious and healthy – what did you do?" "What did you do for your workouts? You look great and I need to change my routine in the gym." Notice and praise the people around you. Positivity is contagious, and we all deserve to feel strong and confident in our skin.