Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Being Healthy & Being Overweight - They're Not Mutually Exclusive

It's absolutely no secret that I'm a larger woman.  Plus-sized, overweight, plump, fluffy, "more to love", chubby... fat.  It's that last one that seems to sting the most.

Isn't it funny how some words or phrases in our language hurt more than others?  It's usually because the ones that hurt most are the words that are hurled at us as insults or intentional slurs with the greatest regularity.  Somehow, being called "fat" is enough to send some people into an abyss of hysterics and eating disorders.  Being called "overweight" isn't exactly a glowing compliment, but it just feels less offensive.  Am I right?

When I tried online dating many years ago, I was called all kinds of awful words to describe an overweight woman once these guys found out I weighed more than 150 lbs.  It was awful and I'm still surprised that I tried again (which is how I met Hubs!).  I can understand why so many women vow to never use online dating sites again.  Women have also said things like this too, usually to be catty.  All of that shit's got to stop.

As one who has owned a mirror throughout her entire life, I know what I look like.  I can state factually that I am a larger woman, overweight, or whatever else, since I'm a realist.  I'm not being mean to myself by calling out that I'm heavier than my 125 lb friend who insists on telling me how fat she is all the time.  (Which I find insulting in it's own right.)  I'll call a spade a spade, and there's no use in my pretending that I don't know that I'm plus-sized.

I've fought being overweight since I was 6 years old, and have had varying degrees of success in this fight.  In 2007, I set out on a journey to lose weight and lost nearly 100 lbs using Weight Watchers.  By 2012, I had gained half of it back.  By 2014, I had gained all of it back.  Then, I had a baby and added some weight to that number that still hasn't come off 5 months after giving birth.

So, I'm heavier than I've ever been at this very moment.  And you know what?  I don't really care.

I don't hate myself for being overweight.

I don't look in the mirror and think that I look grotesque, disgusting, or ugly.

I truly believe that I'm beautiful on the inside and out.

Anyone who doesn't see that is a fucktard.  (Pardon my French.)

I care about my desire to improve my overall health, and losing weight is a part of my plan for Balance this year.  But losing weight isn't the end-all, be-all.  Good health is what's important to me.  Right now, I'm healthy, but I need to get healthier.  Improved stamina, strength, flexibility, and agility are things I know will be important in helping my little girl grow up.

It's also important to me that my daughter has a mom who is loving, confident, happy, comfortable in her own skin, and promotes health over a fear of being "fat".  A parent's words about the importance of weight and health will shape a child's perceptions of themselves and others for many years, so setting a good example from the start is critical.

A person can be over a doctor's recommended weight but still healthy.  My physician has agreed with this and affirmed my commitment to health rather than a number on the scale, which felt great.  Having a doctor who gets it is worth its weight in gold!

You don't have to be skinny to be healthy.  Skinny people are not necessarily healthy.  While your odds of good health may increase when you weigh less, being overweight and being healthy are not mutually exclusive.  You can be both!

Most of us would concur that losing weight is incredibly difficult.  It's frustrating to work hard all week and not see a change on the scale, or for your clothes to not fit any differently.  You have to make the commitment every day and be accountable, which is the hardest part of all.  I'm certain that I'll continue to work on losing weight throughout my life, but striking a good balance now will be the most important step I can take.

In the meantime, I'm loving every square inch of myself, inside and out, and getting to work on improving my lifestyle.

1 comment:

Micah said...

I love this post so much. So honest. And yet it's very clear how much you love yourself (which is a HUGE thing so many people are lacking). You are beautiful! And you are setting a great example for your daughter by believing that and loving yourself.

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I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

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