Healthy isn’t A Size: My Thoughts on the Being Thin Doesn’t Make Me Happy Post

The last few days I’ve had a few discussions with people about health, size, & plus size fashion, plus size models in the media and several other topics which got me thinking about my point of view on it and then this morning I caught a clip on the Today Show about a woman who wrote about how Being Thin doesn’t make her happy, but being “fat” does. The article is beautifully written. I can see her point of view. And I agree, where she was when she said she was at her peak of “physical hotness” was NOT healthy. She said she was eating 1000 calories a day, sleeping around 3 hours, obsessively tracking food, and getting to the point where she lost her period. None of these habits are healthy at all. Yes, she was thin. and she was unhappy. but most of all she was unhealthy.

Healthy Isnt A Size

because healthy isn’t a size.

i’m with her up to this point. she was in an unhealthy place, physically and emotionally. she doesn’t go much into depth of her current exercise or eating habits other than saying she loves cake (who doesn’t?!) and we should be unaprolligetically fat and eat pizza and drink wine and not feel bad about it. I can’t judge her current health because again, healthy isn’t a size. I just don’t like that it seems she, and the media that helped this go viral, are promoting exchanging one extreme for another. she may be the healthiest she has ever been, but this particular post makes wanting to be healthy seem like a bad thing. And maybe this post will give some people the freedom they need to break out of the obsessive disordered eating. But it also doesn’t address how to still make your health a priority. She talks about having time for her family now. You can still exercise a moderate amount and have time for your family. Too many people, moms especially, already feel guilty for taking time out from their busy days to invest in their health. They don’t need another woman implying you can’t adequately take care of your family if you take 30 minutes to an hour a day to invest in themselves. I firmly believe you can’t adequately care for your family if you don’t take the time to adequately care for yourself.

You dont have to be thin or fat, just be you

no, you don’t have to be thin or fat to be happy or healthy… because healthy isn’t a size.

If you’ve been around for a while you know my story. I was fat. Hell, to modern standards I still am fat. At a size 14 I ride the line between plus size and “normal” sized clothing. I’m too big for a lot of average clothing and too small for most plus size clothing. In a world that thrives on being able to put everyone in a pretty little box… I’m a disappointment. I don’t fit in those labels. I don’t consider myself fat anymore, but I’m certainly not thin. But I’ll tell you what I am… I’m the strongest, fittest, and healthiest I’ve ever been. And yea, some people may look at me and think I’m fat. But they don’t know my story or the road I’ve walked to get here. Another reason why healthy isn’t just about your size. And losing weight isn’t just about eating less and moving more.

Fitness isn't about your weight and healthy isn't a size

i think that we need to move away from labeling people as thin or fat, judging people’s health by their side, and look to encourage people to find more balanced healthy habits. This includes learning to have a healthier mindset towards eating and exercise. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to be fat or thin. It’s not about punishing yourself. You shouldn’t be miserable. Does striving to live a healthy balanced life mean you’ll never eat cake again? Nope. I love cake. This week was my daughters birthday and I enjoyed a lot of cake. But do I do it all day every day? Nope. Find what works for you. Find what makes you happy. This lady ran 35 miles a week. Don’t like running? Try Zumba, walking, or CrossFit. Find something that keeps you moving AND makes you happy. It is possible, I’m proof.

You should take care of your body because you love it, not because you hate it. Because if you are only trying to change yourself because you hate yourself, the chances of you loving yourself once you reach your goal aren’t great. If you don’t love yourself now, what makes you think losing 10, 20. or 50 pounds going to do? Once you come to place where you truly love yourself you can’t help but want to take good care of the body you’ve been given.

Your Turn- What are your thoughts on health, size, & happiness?

Learning Balance, Finding a Healthy Relationship with Food, and Loving My Body

As you all know, I’m a big dreamer. I love to set big goals. For the longest time my main goals have been either weight loss or body image related. Lose XX number of pounds, fit in a size 12, be “normal” on the BMI Scale. Even though my goals have gone from get skinny to get healthy and from “weight 175” to “be strong” – It still all relates back to my personal body image. Almost everything I have done for the past 4+ years has somehow been related to these goals. Heck, I even turned it from a hobby into a full blow job! I guess what I’ve really been thinking about is where is that line? When do you go HAM on reaching a goal and when do you say ok I’m just going to be ok with where I’m at?

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. I see some of the fittest people I know come into our CrossFit box. People who workout hard 5 days a week, eat strict meal plans most of the time, are the picture of health and fitness… and they still aren’t happy. They want abs like so and so, or a butt like Stacie Tovar (I mean, who doesn’t?! #strengthisbooty after all…) I’m guilty of the same thing from time to time. I am guilty of negating the progress I’ve made by focusing on the things I’d still like to change.

When I first started out on this journey I was morbidly obese. I needed the structure and discipline of adhering to a strict plan. I was motivated and had a lot of fat to lose. I had specific health related milestones I wanted to reach. I went from one side of the road to the other. I used to eat whatever I wanted, and that’s what got me to 50% body fat! I needed some intervention to turn that train around. And I did (for more about my journey check out my “Before & After” page)

Read how my health journey has helped me learn balance, find a healthy relationship with food, and love my body.

Even before my surgery, I started to realize I was happy with myself. The surgery was just the cherry on top of my body acceptance sundae. It just helped me to be able to see the body I had built underneath all that skin, and that body is beautiful. And when I realized that I was happy with my body, all size 14 and 200 pounds of it, instead of being happy I felt confused and slightly panicked. What am I supposed to do now? Where do I go from here?

After over 4 years, I was suddenly on the other side of the spectrum. I had gone from 50% body fat to 20%,  I went from not being able to do a proper air squat with my own body weight to being able to load up a barbell with my body weight and back squat it. Throughout the last few years I went through strict Paleo, Whole30, and spent the better part of the last year on detailed meal plans through a nutrition coach. It was a lot of restricting. Suddenly foods became “good” or “bad” and meals became either “on plan” or “off plan.”

Food isn't good or bad, it's just food. How I learned balance, found a healthy relationship with food, and started to love my body.

I had become one of those Diet Martyrs… “Oh, guess I”ll have to skip the Christmas cookies this year” or “Man, I wish I could eat that” or “I can’t believe I ate that!” followed by a big serving of guilt and shame. While I never thought I had a full blown eating disorder, I saw an article about Orthorexia and found myself nodding my head in response to the list of possible symptoms. I had some disordered thinking and unhealthy mindsets when it came to my relationship with food. I was in the mindset of I can’t have it because It’s not on my meal plan. I followed a specific meal plan, eating the same safe foods over and over again. I was afraid to stop counting calories, measuring portions to the ounce, or following a rigid meal plan. Because if I didn’t have a plan it meant I would gain back all the weight I’ve lost and suddenly be fat again *eye roll*

How losing weight became less about the number on the scale and more about how I felt about my body.

I guess what I’m saying is I am finally happy with my body. I feel a sense of peace with where I’m at right now. I’m healthy, I’m fit, and I’m happy. Society still tries to tell me I’m plus sized, so what. This plus sized girl rocked a bikini in Florida last month! I still have stretch marks and squishy areas. I know that if I want to take my body to the next level it would require more restricting and while I know I could do it, I’m not in a place where I’m willing to do what it would take. Could that change next month? Absolutely. For more about the cost of getting lean check out this article from Precision Nutrition.

 I’d like to challenge you to take a look at yourself and your goals. If you are restricting yourself or beating yourself up about your body or how you’re eating, why? What are your goals? If you have a hard deadline goal like doing a bikini competition, by all means eat according to your goals this holiday season. If you have serious health risks that are obesity related or a history of unhealthy binge eating than maybe you need to structure your eating a bit more. Whatever you do, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and in a healthy way. Super restrictive diets aren’t great for your mental health. Food isn’t something to fear. Take time to Learn balance, find a healthy relationship with food, and love your body.

You are worth it.

Do you struggle with Balance or a Healthy Relationship with food?
What are some things you can do today to love your body?