Today I thought I would add an interesting new term to your vocabulary. It is “the fat gap”. I originally saw it in Time magazine and then I searched out the original article in the Telegraph. Can you guess what it means?
It refers to the blurred public perception of the obesity epidemic, specifically what constitutes obesity vs. a healthy weight. People can no longer judge on their own if they are overweight because most people around them are overweight also. Since being overweight or obese has become so prevalent in society, it is becoming the new norm. This new norm distorts how people see themselves.
Here are the facts. Slimming World commissioned a study in the UK and polled 2100 adults. They found that less than 10% believed that their weight would fall into the classification of obese. Using their actual measurements, researchers found that about 25% would be classified as obese.
This means people are losing touch with reality. How scary is that? We have resigned ourselves, as a society, to the fact that heavy is okay. While I am completely all for loving our bodies and respecting them for all the great things they can do, I am not for accepting killing yourself slowly for the sake of empowerment.
The really scary thing is if we don’t do something about it now it’s only going to get worse. Based on current data here is an interesting projection from the National Institute of Health. In the next few decades average life expectancies will drop by 5 years. Because we are choosing to go with the flow the next generation will not be expected to live as long as the current one.
So what do you do? Take a good hard look at yourself and those you love and be honest. Using factual data from your doctor, nurse or health club professional make an honest assessment of your weight and fitness. If the numbers say you are overweight, obese, or unhealthy take ownership of your situation and form a plan of action.
I believe also you speak the truth to yourself and others. Ask yourself honestly what is most important in your life. Then ask yourself does your health or fitness level impede your ability to take care of or do those things that matter most to you? If the answer is yes, then you need to start making some changes.
When you make those changes you need to be honest, clear and firm with those around you. Let them know this is not a diet, this is the way you are going to lead your life from now on because you need to be healthy to have the quality of life you desire. You don’t have to preach, but you need to share why and how you are making changes.
One by one, we can change this trend. We can start to close the fat gap by living our own lives in health with honesty.