Numbers do lie…


Let’s imagine for a moment, you lose that extra 5kg you’ve been dying to get rid of or you magically overnight wake up the weight you have always wanted to be that majestic number that always eludes you. These quests for such numbers bring with them a big promise because happiness can only be achieved when your body weighs that much or is able to fit into a certain size, here is the funny thing though, the numbers and sizes are lying to you. If your quest for health is all about a certain number then you are setting yourself up for a moment of happiness but certainly not a life of it. Perhaps ask a further question when obsessing over the numbers that you are, what does that actually mean? If for example Mrs Ex got down to her magical 60kg figure and was wearing size 10, what does that actually mean? What does your life look like there and what are you doing differently in that picture that you’re not doing in your current picture?

Often when we discuss this question with the individual they draw a blank to start with and then the discussion opens up. That figure has often meshed with some memory from a previous picture of health they once had perhaps back in high school or maybe it has been the number they were told by someone they SHOULD be. Whatever the fascination, the figure is lying to you, you don’t suddenly have everything together once you starve yourself down 5kg, your pursuit of the scale has become the latest focus point and the long list of the “i’m not good enough stories” and “I just need to…” script. The truth is when we break this down the number on the scale isn’t what people are chasing, they are telling themselves that by getting to this figure I will be able to (insert the story of your choice here): chase my kids around the park or wouldn’t be puffed after walking upstairs, these examples have nothing to do with what the scales say. Perhaps it’s these KPI’s we should be looking at in individual health.

One thing we do measure in health is quality of life, QOL for short is often referred to when talking about chronic illnesses such as diabetes. What if we looked at this in the wellness space, what if QOL outcomes became a measure of individual health, perhaps then we could empower rather than embarrass. 

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