A year ago I would have laughed at any comparison between myself and cable-news-mega-star Bill O’Reilly. He’s 6’ 4”. I’m 5’ 6”. He’s a Yank. I’m all Dixie. He calls himself a Patriot…and calls me a “Fascist.” (Rumor is we both claim to be Independent…)
But whether you agree with his every utterance or recoil, there’s one thing we all can admire about Bill O’Reilly: The guy keeps himself in shape. Recently, he told me his waistline is the same size as in college. Now that’s more than just something to boast about at Homecoming. Study after study tells us that our waist size is a key indicator of our health. Check yours: Your waist size should be no greater than HALF your height.
Think Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome may affect up to 75 million Americans. Big Pharma estimates the market could grow as big as $18 Billion annually according to WIRED magazine. Metabolic Syndrome is the confluence of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, low HDL (good cholesterol) and major mid-section girth. These are key factors linked to type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, among other life-threatening maladies.
Most Americans don’t consider their college weight to be a lifetime benchmark, but it is. Studies show that gaining merely 10-20 pounds once you’re fully-grown materially increases your chances of premature death. Again, 10-20 pounds. How many of us pat ourselves on the back for having gained only that much since our twenties?
The facts are stark. Once you’re full-grown, your clothes should go out of style, not out of size. Most of us should be able to show up to themed parties dressed in all our ruffled high school prom or wedding regalia. But in a nation where the majority is overweight, few could.
Annually, I invite all women to gather with their girlfriends, pull their wedding gowns from storage, and put them back on. The big laughs should come from the dated styles, not busted zippers.
And for the Wedding Gown Challenge, the wedding gown is symbolic of a time in a woman’s life when she’s entered into adulthood at a healthy weight, and intends to maintain that weight for a lifetime. Your wedding ceremony may have been Catholic, Cosmic or Common Law. You may have donned puffy whites or a scuba suit. The Wedding Gown Challenge message is to maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime. And that’s true too for whomever wore the tux.
Friday, August 3, 2007, gather your friends. Grab your prom dress, dinner jacket or wedding gown, and make sure they still fit. If you have none of the above, take the tape measurer to your belly. Like Bill O’Reilly, make sure it’s the same size as when you were twenty.
Who’s on the A-list for belly boasting? And whom are we missing?
Dr. Mehmet Oz
David Lee Roth