Should I Lose Weight?

Should I Lose Weight? 

How many times have you asked yourself this question? At De Las Mías, we would like you to rephrase the question and ask yourself, “Should I be taking better care of myself?” If you haven’t already done so, read my story, Avoiding the Thin Trap: A Letter From De Las Mías Founder. This is a personal story about how being raised to be “Sobre todo delgada,” can leave you feeling bad about yourself with the extra bonus of an eating disorder.

How Did We Get Here?

Maybe your doctor has told you that you need to lose a few pounds to get you out of the danger zone.  (Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Some Cancers) Maybe you already have prediabetes. Maybe your mom and abuela already have diabetes and you don’t want it. Maybe your boyfriend makes comments about another woman’s hot body and she weighs 30 pounds less than you do. Maybe your jeans are too tight and it doesn’t feel good. Maybe you want to look like J. Lo Maybe you looked at your BMI.

Moving on to a Healthier and More Natural Weight

There are many reasons, and some of them are good reasons, why it’s important to get to a healthier and more natural weight, but labeling yourself, comparing your body to others’, and going on some crazy deprivation diet is not going to get you there. That’s one of the reasons why we are abandoning the use of BMI as a measure of healthy weight.

Abandoning the BMI

Traditionally, the BMI was developed as one way of assessing if someone needed to lose weight. It has been used as a way to help assess if people are in the “healthy weight” category for over 100 years.   The Body Mass Index is simply a number based on your weight and height.  So for over 100 years, the general premise of the BMI has been that the higher your BMI is the more fat you have in your body. But as time has gone by, scientists have realized that the BMI does not actually measure the percentage of fat, muscle or bone in your body. A recent article, Is B.M.I. a Scam? – The New York Times does a great job at explaining how the BMI has been used in the past and how it can be helpful, or harmful.  For example, it states that BMI measures are sometimes useful in researching weight health.  And in fact, we used BMI measures in our own NIH funded research, in looking at data related to weight health and building healthy habits. Through our journey to help Latinas lead healthier lives, we have come to recognize how distressing and not helpful BMI labels can be, and we have decided not to use the BMI as a tool to assess if women are at a healthy weight. At De Las Mías we believe that if we foster self-love and practice self-care we will arrive at a healthier, more balanced life. We believe that eventually this will lead to a healthier more natural weight for our unique and beautiful bodies. We encourage you to take better care of yourself and build up healthy habits over time because this is the surest way to arrive at a healthier place. We are validated by more and more research that demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach. Happily we are not alone.  We love the work of Dr. Linda Bacon, author of Health at Any Size.  Her groundbreaking work in the field of weight health is very closely aligned with ours.  Dr. Bacon and her colleagues have conducted several well-designed research projects that come to this same conclusion: If you want to reach a healthy and natural weight, your best bet is to focus on self-acceptance and self-care. Dr. Bacon’s work, like the work of De Las Mías is to get you out of the “weight-loss mentality” and into the “embrace the health and happiness mentality.”  (1)

With that philosophy in mind, we developed the De Las Mías Tools for Healthy Living

We invite you to explore the De Las Mías App for great tools for healthy living.  One of the recommended tools for healthy eating is the De Las Mías Eating Plan.

What is a Healthy Eating Plan?

Whenever you want to get something done, and you want it to last, you need a plan. Eating healthfully and taking care of yourself is no exception.  That is why our Mera Mera Nutritionist, Malena Perdomo has developed a great 9-Step Healthy Eating Plan for Better Nutrition for you to consider. As Latinas, we know that good food doesn’t just feed your body, it feeds your soul. We have a great library of healthy Mexican, New Mexican, and Southwestern dishes from Madrina Lori’s test kitchen. Lori and Malena are our dynamic duo—we call them Las Madrinas en La Cocina! You are going to love preparing and enjoying these delicious, nutritious, and culture-affirming foods.

The De Las Mías Healthy Lifestyle Checklist –

We have developed a great healthy lifestyle checklist you can use on our free App.  This easy-to-use checklist helps you monitor your healthy lifestyle goals. We find that if you make a habit of using the De Las Mías Healthy Lifestyle Checklist, you will be well on your way to leading a healthier and more balanced life. In time, you will arrive at a healthy and natural weight for you.

What about physical activity?

Yes! Find a physical activity that you love and move your body at least 30 minutes every day.  This is in keeping with the NIH recommendation to do moderate to vigorous activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Moderate means: Walking, cycling less than 10 miles per hour, gardening (such as raking, digging, or trimming shrubs), dancing, water aerobics or playing in the park with your kids or grandkids. Vigorous means: Running or jogging, walking fast, cycling fast, heavy yard work (such as chopping wood or shoveling snow), swimming laps or playing a sport like basketball or fútbol. At De Las Mías, we want you to LOVE YOUR BODY! Move it! Dance it! Walk it. Bike it. Run it. Grow a garden with it. Please it. Be proud of it. Stop comparing it. Move it as much as you can, at least five days a week for 30 minutes a day and give yourself a big ¡Eso! Move your body in a way that affirms the love you have for yourself and your desire to be healthy and strong. The De Las Mías journey to a healthy life is a fun, and affirming way for Latinas ¡Unidas for a Healthy Life! The De Las Mías app is free and ready for download in the Google Play Store. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @delasmiaslife.   Ref:  Bacon, Linda. Healthy at Any Size:  The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. BenBella Books, Inc.  Dallas, Texas. 2008 Callahan, Alice. Is BMI a Scam?

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