How do you interpret what is good enough when it comes to your personal health?
If someone were to tell you that something you are acquiring is good enough, do you settle for that? Or do you expect a perfect good or service?
What if you were at a restaurant and your food was cold, are you going to settle for the waitress telling you it is good enough? I would guess most of us will not accept good enough from others, so why do we stop at good enough with ourselves when it comes to our health and fitness?
Settling for “good enough” is most often settling for less than something could be. When we settle for good enough, we are settling for mediocrity. I am sure most of us do not like to think of ourselves as being mediocre. However, a mediocre mind settles for less than what can be.
Health over Appearance!
I probably have your attention now with this topic. We often get feedback from articles such as this where readers inform us that one does not need to be thin to be beautiful and healthy. Unfortunately for many of these folks, they have bought into the “Fat Acceptance” movement, often referred to in some circles as “Self Lovely”.
To address the first point – no you do not have to be fit and trim to be a beautiful person. You can be morbidly obese and be beautiful. Taking this point even further, you do not have to even be pretty nor handsome to be a beautiful individual with many wonderful characteristics. I am going to love and respect others no matter their size or appearance. This article is all about your health.
The Truth often Hurts.
Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. Obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. (1)
Those words above are not mine, they are from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US. Obesity is a serious health concern to all citizens of a country, not to just those who are struggling with a very real mental and physical problem. Therefore, settling for good enough when it comes to our weight and fitness is not “good enough”.
Obesity and its associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the US health care system, including direct and indirect costs. Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services. Indirect costs relate to sickness and death and include lost productivity. Productivity measures include employees being absent from work for obesity-related health reasons, decreased productivity while at work, and premature death and disability.
National Estimated Costs of Obesity
Obesity-related medical care costs in the United States, in 2008 dollars, were an estimated $147 billion. Annual nationwide productivity costs of obesity-related absenteeism range between $3.38 billion ($79 per obese individual) and $6.38 billion ($132 per individual with obesity).
In addition, obesity has implications for armed forces recruitment. Nationwide, 71% of people between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service; obesity disqualifies 31% of them from serving if they so choose. (1) (2) (3)
Some of you may remember in the old spiritual, “Dem Bones,” where each body part is linked to the next one in line: the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone, the knee bone is connected to the leg bone, and so on. A healthy weight sets the stage for bones, muscles, brain, heart, and others to play their parts smoothly and efficiently for many years. When we allow ourselves to settle for a “good enough” weight, we are taking a gamble on being able to keep our bodies functioning at an optimal level. When one system ails us, others will soon follow when we settle for good enough.
Excessive body weight, especially obesity, diminishes almost every aspect of our health. Obesity affects everything from reproductive and respiratory function to memory and mood. Excessive body fat increases our risk of several debilitating, and deadly diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. It does this through a variety of pathways, some as straightforward as the mechanical stress of carrying extra pounds and some involving complex changes in hormones and metabolism.
Obesity decreases the quality and length of life, and increases individual, national, and global healthcare costs which only keeps rising year to year.
Is your health really good enough?
Or would you like it to be better in order to live a life with more quality years?
If you were to visit your doctor with concerns for weight related ailments, are you willing to settle for good enough, or do you expect only the best from them? Give yourself the best of self care and never just settle for good enough when it comes to your health and fitness my friends.
(2) Finkelstein EA1, Trogdon JG, Cohen JW, Dietz W. Annual medical spending attributable to obesity: payer-and service-specific estimates. Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 Sep-Oct;28(5):w822-31. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.5.w822.
(3)Trogdon JG, Finkelstein EA, Hylands T, Dellea PS, Kamal-Bahl. Indirect costs of obesity: a review of the current literature. Obes Rev.2008;9(5):489–500.