Let’s just say it – sometimes we get obsessed. Especially when it comes to weight loss.
When I get obsessed, I try to spend that focused attention on something worthwhile, and the scale is NOT IT.
If you have struggled with weight management, this measuring stick can become your enemy right quick. Trips to the scale become a merry-go-round of excitement and disappointment that really doesn’t reflect your shape or your health.
Then what is worth measuring?
Using better judgment
Your number of total weight pounds is much less than you think.
We grew up on height-weight charts. The number created by dividing height into weight, called your Body Mass Index (BMI), is touted as the golden measure.
We know scientifically those awful BMI height-weight charts are inaccurate.
You see them alive and well in your doctor’s office and right there when you are filling out your insurance questionnaires. You may be thinking, then why do we still use them? Those stats are hard to let go because they’ve been around for so long. Do I smell a habit?
Here’s the thing, modern medicine policy change is significantly slow. It is a big wheel to turn to make and implement standards. What say we go outside that scope and take a look at a more accurate scale…?
If you want to have a tracking tool, here is a much better measuring stick. Focus on detecting your body’s density.
That doesn’t mean we can’t still get obsessed with the “number”, that’s another hurdle and another topic. Right now, let’s just talk tools for measure.
Here’s the key…
Height-weight charts do not take into account what you’re made of.
At the bottom of the height-weight chart on The Center of Disease Control (CDC) website, it says
Note: at an individual level, BMI can be used as a screening tool but is not diagnostic of the body fatness or the health of an individual.
The secret to accurately tracking the health benefits of weight management is BODY COMPOSITION, how much muscle in relation to how much fat.
There are several ways to measure this, some are very high tech. What I am giving you here is an easy DIY test you can use at home to track your progress. I am officially inviting you to discard your bathroom scale altogether.
First, look at why body composition is more important than the sum of your weight on a scale.
DENSE IS GOOD
Muscle tissue is denser and heavier than fat.
Just like cholesterol, it’s the same issue; the total number is not as important as the ratio of ingredients. It’s the breakdown of what cholesterol is made of that matters. The more dense it is, the better it serves you.
If you weight 160 pounds at 5’4″, your BMI indicates you are overweight. It does not indicate whether you have a lovely hourglass shape or not. You stand over the scale thinking, “I’m fat!” Well, maybe not.
If you are not dense enough, your health could be suffering. Fat cells fill and your strength and ability to detoxify decreases. Your scale weight could even go down as you lose muscle mass and enter into a disease state.
See how this scale number is not our best tool?
The benefits of muscles
When you have strong muscles your metabolism runs faster, you eliminate toxins more efficiently, you easily regulate blood sugar and hormones and your bones have the right amount of spring.
What this looks like:
- not having knees and ankles hurt
- feeling clear headed and energized
- a healthy appetite
- fewer migraines and less PMS
- prevention of osteoporosis, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses
Clarity of thought
In Chinese Medicine, muscles are the reflection of your “Earth Qi”. This is your fuel for day-to-day energy resources. Your thinking mind and your digestion are two big components of this energy.
Excess body fat is qualified as a type of dampness or bog that clouds and slows this function, while your flesh “tone” is a sign of how clearly you process energy and your thoughts.
Clarity, efficiency and capability are the hallmark of strong Earth Qi and a good body composition is a positive outward sign you have it.
For us to measure our progress towards this goal of being healthy, let’s use a new tool.
Enter the Waist-to-Hip Ratio Test
A strong indication of body composition and health.
Here’s how: all you’ll need is a measuring tape, the kind used at the tailors.
ONE – Measure your waist at the narrowest point
TWO – Measure your hips at your widest point
RESULT – We want the hip equal to or greater than the waist
Optional extra step: divide hip measurement into the waist to get one number
Waist ÷ Hip = WHR (fancy code for waist-to hip-ratio)
What this tells us…
Your hip measurement is really indicating that you have butt muscle. Being able to shake your bootie is a good thing! It also sets the standard proportion for your frame.
Your abdomen measurement is viewed in relation to your hips. If it is even or less than the girth of your hips, you’re doing great! It indicates your metabolism is working well and your body composition is on track.
Your abdomen is surrounded by a special kind of fat called WAT-fat. It accumulates around your vital organs in times of stress. A slow metabolism is considered a time of stress and it is reversible.
We are judging the relative density of your buttock muscles to the presence of dangerous WAT-fat, which lacks density.
If you measured your waist by itself, it wouldn’t tell you anything. Disregard that measuring stick too.
Waist wider than hips = WHR greater than 1
I say good, because now you know! Read on, I have many tips to helping you access the strength trapped inside you.
Equal waist and hip = WHR is 1
Apply a little attention to your discipline to hone your strength.
Waist narrower than hips = WHR less than 1
This is an easy state to maintain, you can now focus on using your strength wisely.[bctt tweet=”Height-weight charts do not take into account what you’re MADE of.” username=”JuliaThieBeWell”]
What to do next…
Now you have a new health measuring stick and your results.
If you would like to improve your hip to waist ratio and your metabolism, there are actions you can take. The trick is to apply your energy to the right pressure point to make the most change with the least effort.
Weighing yourself every day creates a roller coaster of reward and punishment without true benefit. It is the same when choosing which actions you’ll make to create the changes you want.
Use your time and energy in the most effective way.
Improving health can be as simple as a small change performed consistently.
Let’s prevent serious health problems by learning the principles of natural medicine. Please read on and stay connected. I have a treasure trove to share!
My ultimate wish for you is the simple, healthy, great feeling of living well. Getting to that state and maintaining it with ease and wisdom is a benefit of implementing these practices.
Join me over in my closed Facebook Group, Wellness Warriors, and let me know what questions you have. I’m here for you!
The New Health Manifesto: 10 secrets to activate your fountain of youth (Download here)
Detailed direction on how to measure your waist and hips, click here.