Sometimes the doctor telling you that you’re healthy is like getting a “D” on your final exam. Sure you passed the test, but barely. Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean that you’re healthy.
Similar can be true for some of the “average” or “normal” ranges out there and it can help to dig a little bit deeper. In the USA obesity prevalence has increased from 30.5% to 42.4% from 1999-2000 through 2017-2018. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.
Likewise, Malaysia is the most obese country in Southeast Asia with the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey showing that 50.1% of the adult population as overweight, 19.7% of these being obese.
Being an average weight in 2021 is a whole lot unhealthier than it was in the past!
We like to look at health as a continuum. It’s not a binary situation where either you’re sick or not sick. Our goal as coaches for ourselves and our community is to improve health. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t start at perfection and it doesn’t stop at passing doctor’s physical exam.
Trying to be perfect is the fastest way to achieve failure. Our markers for success aren’t perfection, just continued improvement. Focusing on being just a bit better today than yesterday moves mountains in the long term. This might mean starting the day with a walk, adding a piece of fruit into lunch, or opting for some water instead of juice.
Notice all of those examples are things that we can ADD to our daily healthy habits. Looking at what we can improve, what we can add, and how we can be better are the most reliable ways to achieve our goals.
In contrast the typically restrictive “diet” tends to promote failure as we’re focusing on what NOT to do. “I can’t eat donuts”, “I won’t have desert”, “I need to avoid fruit because it’s too sugary”, etc. The key here is that you’re focusing on the negative! Which means whenever you’re thinking about it you’re triggering your brain to want that item more.
When you practice this improvement mindset, satisfaction comes with progress. We don’t settle at getting our blood pressure into normal ranges or moving out of obesity on the BMI scale. Don’t get us wrong, we celebrate these milestones! Then we keep on improving. Not because we’re never happy, but because we’ve learned that it feels good to be healthy and we’re never happier than when we feel good.