Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Health Update - Happiness

About a week ago, I watched an interview with a mom on the Today show.   She wrote a blog post about how she is much happier being fat and how she wanted to connect to real women.  As I listened to her and then subsequently read her post (found here), I was pulled in so many directions.  My initial thought, honestly, was that she was crazy.  If you look at her before picture in the bikini, she does look physically beautiful and the after picture is quite different.  I quickly dismissed that initial judgement though, and re-read the post from the perspective of someone who has been overweight most of her life (my own).  While I respect her opinion and understand that she may be happier at her current size, overall I do not agree with this for myself. 

It is absolutely possible to not be a size 4 and still be healthy, just as it’s very possible to be thin and also unhealthy.  While I hope everyone shares the aspiration to lead a healthy lifestyle, I realize that this looks different for each person and family.  What makes me happy, may not make my neighbor happy or even my best friend.  I think what truly bothered me about her post was her overuse of the word “fat.”  I personally believe she used this word to make a point and get more attention.  If you’ve ever been overweight, that word probably makes you squirm.  She was proving her comfort level with the idea by repeating it over and over. 

One interesting quote from her post was…

Happiness does not require thinness. Fatness does not presume sadness.”

This may be true, but for me personally, I am happier when I am at a healthier weight.  I have more energy, I feel better about myself and working out and eating well (with the occasional splurge) make me happy.  Once I get into the routine, I enjoy it.  I, of course, agree with this woman’s point that society pressures women to be thin and caters more to smaller sizes.  You have to be very strong mentally and emotionally (or have the ability to ignore the outside world) when you are overweight.  I can’t say I am at that point, but I am better than I used to be. 

I am rambling a bit, but this post struck such a nerve with me, I wanted to write about it.  I actually think this woman and I would get along well and it’s not that I disagree with her.  I just wish she would have written more about being fat, happy AND healthy.  Good for her for achieving happiness and figuring out what works for her.  The same doesn’t work for everyone, including me.  I will continue to strive to eat healthy, be active and put my health near the top of my priority list.  Doing that makes me happy and keeps me at my best for my family and friends.  Hopefully I can share some before and after photos one day that can inspire others too – though maybe not in the same way.

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