What is it? It kind of sounds like an oxymoron. The concept of healthy vanity is taking a healthy interest in what you look like including fat distribution, skin health, hair quality, posture and overall everything you see in the mirror. This all to ensure maximal health and vitalilty. This is a concept and way of maximizing your human self. Men and woman should be lean, have great muscle tone (that you can see), vibrant skin and hair, and a bright face and eyes.
I grew up in the Midwest and putting a high interest in what you look like was considered vain. It took me a long time to break this and realize the better I look on the outside, the better my health is on the inside. No one looks good on the outside and has a healthy interior. To have healthy looking skin, with no wrinkles and an even skin tone takes proper hormone balance, sufficient intake of fat soluble nutrients, Vitamin D and a healthy functioning gut for starters. Healthy skin is a physical sign your health is moving in the right direction. Why shouldn't you be a little vain?
I have started coining the term 'healthy vanity'. This term is to help bring people to the understanding is it OK to think about what they look like and strive to look great. I have had patients come into my office crying because they had a close friend get on their case for trying to lose some weight, improve energy and overall feel better. This is negative body shaming. Simply because an overweight person feels a leaner person shouldn't strive to be better is a problem.
We have become far to complacent with obesity. Obesity is a clinical disease. It is a major health problem, and will kill you faster. An obese person's brain is 15 years older than the age matched healthy weighted person. The risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes are much higher. This concept of healthy vanity needs to be embraced.
Healthy vanity would allow people to objectively look at themselves and see excess fat for what it is. A hormonal imbalance. This hormonal imbalance can be driven by toxins, stress, bad sleep, terrible eating habits, etc. Let me be clear, hormonal imbalances are driven by lifestyle. You either have an optimized hormone lifestyle or a deficient toxic hormone lifestyle.
Where we place fat on our body is hormone regulated. That's right. Hormones dictate body fat distribution. So in essence, you can simply look at a person and see hormonal imbalance and ultimately create a lifestyle plan to optimize and balance the hormones.
Today is the day to take control. It is time to become a little VAIN! Your doctor should be assessing your body fat, fluid distribution, body fat distribution along with all the other health parameters. One of my life goals is to pioneer full comprehensive body composition assessments as part of the norm in healthcare.