It is unfortunate that our society seems to value individuals who are lean and strong over those who are overweight. In the media, “heros” are typically depicted with a physique that appears to represent great physical prowess. On the other hand, overweight individuals are often cast or stereotyped as “jolly” or “sassy” characters who serve as comic relief but rarely, if ever, play the role of the hero. In addition, it seems that public ridicule of the overweight is still widely acceptable. For example, in the TV show “Lost”, the character Sawyer constantly made fun of the obese character, Hurly, with an endless string of weight-related nicknames including: Avalanche, Babar, Deep Dish, Hoss, International House of Pancakes, Jabba and JumboTron. Despite Hurleys protests, Sawyer continued his jests throughout the show, which corresponds with a recent study that showed that being obese attracts bullies.
At Dan’s Plan, we help people achieve their ideal weight, which is different than thinking that everyone should try to achieve an “ideal.” To us, your “ideal weight” is a the weight where you feel your best; you feel efficient and lean, but strong and hearty. This is a weight that is in, or close to, the normal classification for your height according to Body Mass Index (BMI) standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), which means you have your lowest incidence of body weight related health risks (e.g., diseases, disorders, co-morbid conditions, etc); in other words, you’re more likely to have less health issues than when compared to people who are underweight or overweight. However, weight doesn’t necessarily equal health but it is a useful health maker, it’s easy to measure, and many people care about it.
In our collective experience, we have worked directly with overweight individuals who are incredibly inspiring heroes and leaders. We don’t think that everyone who has a body weight above “normal” needs to lose weight. This is a personal decision for an individual and we want to help people achieve this goal, if they chose to pursue it.