Michelle Bridges provides this food for thought, for both guys and gals.
Picture this: a middle-aged husband and wife are sitting on a park bench when an attractive couple walks past. The girl is well dressed, slim and athletic, and her walking partner is tall and well built.
The middle-aged couple's gaze follows them as they saunter past; the man is busy checking out the pretty girl, while his wife is busy checking out... well, she’s checking out the girl too! She’s not gay – she’s just doing what so many of us girls do – judging her!
Don’t ask me why we do it, but we do!
In this century, many women are so conditioned by society to assess whether other women are thinner, fatter, taller, prettier or better dressed, and so often we do it without even realising it's happening!
Worryingly, at some level it seems to be a reflection of our entire society. However, us girls have been so wrapped up in the consistent social commentary about ourselves – body image, plus-size models, dieting, yada yada yada – that we’ve completely forgotten about the blokes!
Those holiday snaps of celebrity couples frolicking at the beach tend to focus on the physique of the woman, yet ignore the fact that her male partner may be 15 to 20kg overweight. Similarly, magazines revel in female celebrity weight fluctuations, but we rarely hear a word about the weight struggles faced on the other side of the gender fence (James Packer excluded; sorry James. I never read those things though, you know!).
The stats show that our men are losing the weight control battle quicker than us girls. A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that even though men are exercising more than women, they are becoming obese faster, and are consequently finding themselves over represented in diabetes and other obesity related illnesses.
Since 1995 obesity in men has escalated 6.3 per cent, to a staggering 23.4 per cent. That’s one in four men who are considered not overweight, but obese. This means they have a BMI (body Mass Index) of greater than 30, and to put that in context, think of four men that you know – friends, fathers, uncles, colleagues. Statistically, one of those four men is likely to be obese. Or worse still, one in four male school leavers!
So there's something in this for everyone to think about really – girls, stop judging others, and guys, start moving more! It’s a chastening thought; one worth ruminating about... on a park bench perhaps!
Your BMI (Body Mass Index) can be calculated by dividing your weight in kilos by your height (in metres squared), or you can use the BMI calculator on my website. Try it on yourself and others, and if someone needs to address a weight issue, tell them. Don’t be shy, just do it from a place of love. (BMI measurements may not be accurate for kids, heavily muscled men, Asian or indigenous people).