What's in a BMI? It's short for Body Mass Index, a measure of the relationship between your weight and your height. And it just happens to be the 3rd in our series of 7 little hints that everyday life may be undermining your health: "Your Body Mass Index is above or below the normal range for your height."
We're not talking about a self esteem issue here. I sincerely hope you have accepted yourself as a worthwhile person regardless of your various physical characteristics -- height, weight, hair color, and so on. However unlike being a little taller or shorter than average, unlike being the single blonde in a sea of brunettes -- being above or significantly below the normal weight for your height can impact your vulnerability to disease.
Heart disease, some cancers, sleep disorders, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis have all been linked to maintaining too high a body mass. When you carry around those extra pounds, you stress your joints as well as your heart. Maintaining a regular exercise program becomes much more difficult. The hormonal make-up of your body changes (fat tissue leads to excess estrogen and also is linked with inflammation, a precursor to disease). Further, the lack of physical conditioning that often comes with overweight makes you a vulnerable mark for becoming the victim of violent crime -- you simply don't have what it takes to run away.
Despite the well-publicized effects of our nation's obesity epidemic, people sometimes overlook the obvious when the subject is very personal (i.e. when it's about them). Let's interject a little real-life story so you can get what I mean.