Why Big ISN’T Beautiful
I love the new body acceptance movement taking over mainstream media because I totally stand behind the idea of loving and accepting yourself and others unconditionally without judgement. That’s how we should treat ourselves and each other. But I think there’s one thing being swept under the rug when the topic comes up, and that is that being overweight is not okay. We’re all aware that overweight and obesity are dangerous states of being, yet we keep going on and on about how “big is beautiful.” There’s a difference between feeling beautiful inside and suggesting that a fatal condition is beautiful. There’s nothing beautiful about high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease, which is still the number one cause of death in women.
Being overweight is not okay because it always indicates a problem. There is no such thing as being healthy physically and/or mentally and being overweight. Sometimes the problem is hypothyroidism, other times it can be lifestyle choices like avoiding exercise and eating out at unhealthy restaurants too often. For women, emotional stress is a popular cause of excess weight gain and inability to lose weight, so we can read and write all the articles we want about how big is beautiful and curves are in (curves, in this case, as a euphemism for fat), but the emotional problems and the poor lifestyle choices won’t go away no matter how many affirmations are said. There’s nothing beautiful about turning to food in order to mend emotional pain, or being so out of touch with your body’s natural hunger signals that it’s a challenge to recognize when you’re full.
So while I’m 100% behind the self-love mantra, I also believe in not denying that there is a problem and addressing said problem instead of putting it in a fancy dress and saying it’s okay. Does that mean an overweight person needs to feel shame or be shamed? Never. But they do need to identify the root cause of the problem and dedicate time and energy to resolving it. I think the time spent pinning things on Pinterest that glamorize fat would be better spent making a healthy meal or going for a jog.
While we’re at it, we should also probably do away with bringing up extremes as counterpoints. Phrases like, “I refuse to starve myself to be a size 2″ and “I’d rather have curves than look like a twig” are nonsensical. Who says anyone has to starve themselves to be healthy? Who says eating smaller portions means starving yourself? Who says everyone has to be a size 2, and who says women who are a size 2 starve themselves to be that size? Since when does being thin mean being a twig? The conclusions we jump to when the topic of fat loss comes up are absurdly extreme. No one is promoting anorexia or rib removal here.
It’s awesome that women nowadays are emphasizing body acceptance and loving themselves at any size, but there is a fine line. Embracing and loving yourself doesn’t mean mistreating or coddling yourself. If your body fat is over 25%, you’re in the danger zone and you have to take measures to get yourself healthy. That is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself and those who love you. The way to do it isn’t starving yourself or going on yet another diet, or even killing yourself at the gym. There is a much easier, healthier way to lose excess fat, tone up and stay that way for life. If you’d like to learn more about it, call or email me, and we can get you started on achieving a beautiful body inside and out.