This could be a false choice, according to The New York Times article “Better to Be Fat and Fit Than Skinny and Unfit“:
Often, a visit to the doctor’s office starts with a weigh-in. But is a person’s weight really a reliable indicator of overall health? Increasingly, medical research is showing that it isn’t. Despite concerns about an obesity epidemic, there is growing evidence that our obsession about weight as a primary measure of health may be misguided.
Last week a report in The Archives of Internal Medicine compared weight and cardiovascular risk factors among a representative sample of more than 5,400 adults. The data suggest that half of overweight people and one-third of obese people are “metabolically healthy.” That means that despite their excess pounds, many overweight and obese adults have healthy levels of “good” cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and other risks for heart disease.
This is certainly true of me. While I carry around some extra weight–and sometimes it feels like a lot more than it really is…the obsessive-compulsive in me being a poor judge–I have excellent check-ups and by all other standards I’m quite healthy.
But it’s also the perfectionist part of me that continues to be frustrated. I refuse to believe it’s just a matter of “mind over matter” or discipline or self-control or any of the other things. I’ve demonstrated all those attributes in virtually every aspect of my life–professionally, academically, financially, etc. Even in fitness–no one is going to tell me at 5:30 a.m. when I’m donning my exercise gear to go to the gym that I’m not disciplined.
Someone introduced me yesterday to a book called Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink, PhD.
For the last year or two I have been very interested in the area of “mindful eating.” It’s is also sometimes called the anti-diet movement, something that Weight Watchers has tried to leverage in their marketing slogan “Diets Don’t Work.”