In a bid to prevent body shaming and let everyone feel good with their body, this notion of being healthy at any size has become a thing. I do wholly agree we should be comfortable in our skin. I used to be a big girl as you probably know by now. And it would hurt when anyone made a rude comment about my size. Even though I agree health is possible at any size, my reason is not what many people say. However, the adverse health consequences of obesity are an established fact.
The idea most people spread is that as long as you feel healthy and your test results are good, your size isn’t a problem. They say as long as you exercise, sleep well and eat healthy you are healthy irrespective of your BMI. However, the definition of eating healthy is almost as many as the number of people on earth… lol. Most of what people call healthy eating is not backed by science. It is more of what they feel, what they hear, or what they grew up eating.
There are some obese people who seem to not have all the metabolic effects of obesity. They have normal cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They are referred to as healthy Obese. These people however are still at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They are also at increased risk of developing fatty liver disease and cardiovascular events and premature death. All these show that the idea of ‘healthy at any size’ or ‘healthy obesity’ also known as ‘fat but fit’ is a myth
Feelings Can Be Deceptive.
Judging your health based on how you feel may land you in trouble. We of course can’t completely discount our feelings, but we can’t make categorical decisions based on them.
Most chronic diseases would have been playing in the background for decades before symptoms begin to manifest. Diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc. take a long time to show symptoms. Our bodies have an incredible ability to keep protecting us and moving on even when all is not right. It keeps trying to heal, make-up, adjust to keep us going up until it can no longer do that. Then, it breaks down and then symptoms show up.
Test Results Don’t Tell The Full Story
During this period of body adjusting, even test results will be normal. So, the first time an abnormal test result is seen maybe like 10, 20, 30 years or more since the disease process started. In addition to this, most test values considered normal are not optimal. The range is wide in order to capture a lot of people. This would then reduce the number of people that would have to be placed on medications.
Also, many tests can only pick up the disease when it has reached a certain stage. Anything smaller than that won’t be picked up. So, your test result gives you an idea but doesn’t tell the whole story. As a result, you can’t rely completely on them.
Science Has Help Us
We know some factors that make us prone to certain illnesses. We can avoid them and reduce our risks of coming down with those illnesses. Then going for tests would be an adjunct.
For example, we know smoking increases the risk of lung cancer. But that lung cancer won’t happen the day you start smoking. It is not even likely to happen in 10 or 20 years after you started. However, the disease process may have started. As a result, having a negative lung cancer screening doesn’t mean you are healthy or cancer-free. It just may mean, your body is still compensating for the damage or the cancer is not big enough for detection.
We also know being overweight and obese increases the risk of a lot of chronic diseases and death. With obesity being associated with over 4million deaths globally annually. 40% of which are overweight. Please check out my post on 13 Reasons To Ditch The Fat And Lose Weight This Year. So, if you are overweight or obese, a good test result may not tell the whole story. Many things may be going wrong.
Science has also shown whole food plant-based diet is the best diet for health and overall well-being. Beneficial in preventing and reversing most chronic diseases and reducing all-cause mortality (death from all causes).
How Is It Then Possible To Be Healthy At Any Size?
Let’s take a look at 2 scenerios
2 people of the same height weighing 100kg and 85kg and are both obese. Let’s call the 100kg person Mrs. A and 85kg person Mrs. B. Mrs A decides to clean up her diet and starts a whole food plant-based diet. She even goes ahead to follow the plan in Best Way To Lose Weight Without Going Crazy.
1 month down the line, Mrs. A is now 95kg. Mrs. B is now 87kg eating the way she has been eating that made her obese. At this point, who do you think is healthier? Obviously, Mrs. A, even though she weighs more and her BMI is higher. Her body is way better nourished than Mrs. B. She is even healthier than she was when she was 95kg on her way up to 100kg.
2 people of the same height weighing 85kg and 65kg. Let’s call the 85kg person Mrs. E and 65kg person Mrs. F. Both eating unhealthy meals or not conscious of what they eat. Mrs. E is obese, Mrs. F has a normal BMI. You probably know that one person or two that eats anything but still maintains a slim figure. How we beef such people… lol.
Mrs. E decides to clean up her diet and starts a whole food plant-based diet. She even goes ahead to follow the plan in Best Way To Lose Weight Without Going Crazy. Mrs F continues to pay no attention to her diet and lifestyle. After all she is slim and has figure 8, right?
1month down the line, Mrs E is now 80kg. Mrs F is still 65kg. At this point, who do you think is healthier? Obviously, Mrs. E, even though she weighs more and her BMI is higher.
You can see from these analogies, it is possible to be obese and be healthier than someone with a lower BMI. However, the obese individual has taken up a healthy diet and lifestyle. A whole food plant-based diet. And on a healthy diet, the obese individual begins to lose weight gradually maintaining optimum health.
It is not eating carelessly and being obese and be claiming healthy at any size. Calling one’s self fat and fit. Let’s get real here and stop playing with words.
I know making a dramatic change to your diet may seem like a lot now. I get you, I’ve been there. That is why I made a post on small changes you can make today to start seeing results. To start moving you in the direction of health. Lose Weight With Minimal Effort – Make A Small Change. To a healthier and slimmer you.
Love you always.