Sunday morning when my alarm went off at 5am, I questioned my decision to volunteer for a moment. Just long enough for me to grumble and shut off the alarm though. Once I was up and moving, I remembered why I set the alarm and just how important it was.
My local YMCA was hosting a 9 News Health Fair on Sunday morning, and had posted signs asking for volunteers of the non-medical variety. Having become so much more focused on my health over the past year, I was excited to jump in and help.
I received a call back from the Wellness Director at the Y, who assigned me to the BMI table. How perfect was that? If you’re not familiar with BMI, click on this link to read one of my previous posts about BMI.
My table had three other volunteers who were helping as well. We were capturing 3 different measurements: Height, Weight, and Waist Circumference. I volunteered to do Waist Circumference, and measured about 75 waists at the health fair. Seriously.
Interestingly, about 2/3 of the people we saw at our table were within a healthy range with normal BMI. When you compare that to national statistics, you’d expect that to be different even in a healthy state like Colorado. I know the secret as to why we tracked more healthy people than folks with higher than normal BMI.
People avoided our table!
Seriously, they wouldn’t make eye contact… and would look at the fair map and look away! The majority of people who came over to weigh and to be measured were folks that knew that they had lost weight this year, already knew their BMI, and the workout obsessed.
The people who needed to be stopping by the most… were walking away and avoiding us.
Now, to be honest: A year ago, I probably wouldn’t have stopped by either. I know that I wouldn’t be comfortable weighing with strangers and the idea of hearing once again that I was overweight wouldn’t have been appealing.
Having seen the other side of things… knowing what it’s like to be healthier and more fit, I’d really like to encourage anyone who is hesitant to be weighed and measured to at least find out your numbers. Knowing your numbers is important and knowing your risk can be eye opening.
The other thing I’ll mention is that your journey from obese to normal will not happen overnight. Setting incremental goals can help it seem less overwhelming and you can appreciate achieving each step in your journey. Don’t let the big picture discourage you. Take it a step at a time.
All in all, I’m excited to have had a chance to talk to so many people about waist measurements and BMI. I can’t even tell you how good it feels to know that I was able to help some people and to bring a positive light to the fair and a potentially scary assessment. I hope this is the first of many volunteer opportunities I find where I can give back and help others.
And… Maybe one day, I too will hit that normal BMI category!!!