You are a big person. There is no doubt about it. Your clothes say so, your mirror says so, and the occasional judgemental stares in your direction say so.
But what matters is how you feel, on the inside.
So, are you happy just the way you are?
Or do you find yourself trapped on a seesaw; a fierce, constant fight raging inside you between wanting to be slim and fit and accepting yourself as you are?
And with all the contradictory media messages regarding our appearance, less or more subtle, it has never been more complicated to untangle our own genuine feelings.
This blog post is a humble attempt to help you resolve the dilemma.
First thing’s first: Being overweight and health
What body shape most people consider being big, fat and overweight depends on the culture they belong to, their immediate environment and the media influence.
Opinions changed and evolved over the years. Nowadays, the stigma that surrounded overweight people loses its grip and society is more tolerant and accepting towards the chubbies.
And mostly, it’s a good thing.
Nevertheless, it is a dangerous path too. Because, although not written in stone, overweight people ARE at a greater risk of suffering heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, crumbling joints and other diseases.
It’s plain common sense.
Think about it.
Beyond any doubt, the rise and growth of body acceptance movements is wonderful.
Because nobody deserves to be treated poorly, stared at, discriminated, laughed at and ashamed for their appearance.
People can be disturbingly cruel to each other. Millions suffer from low-self esteem, and low self-confidence, because of that.
And that’s hurtful. And sad. No one should suffer like that.
And who is to say fat men and women can’t be crazy superb in yoga or dance like divas or do whatever they want to.
But, being fit and staying healthy is more challenging for them. And the fact that it’s better to be fit, eat healthily and not be overweight remains common sense.
To BMI or not to BMI
So, just in case you’re not sure, a standard tool to determine if you are overweight or not is the Body Mass Index. It calculates your weight and height and the score is the indicator of health risk probability.
Now, you cannot - not love the Internet because it’s so easy to find support and confirmation for almost any point imaginable. One of them being that BMI is a poor indicator of overall health. (Just so you know, you can have normal BMI but still too much fat in your body.)
But before you dismiss the: “Oh, no, I’m fat and I need to do something about it” remember, it IS an indicator.
If your BMI is 29, it doesn’t mean your heart attack is lurking around the corner, but it kind of signals that you’re a fatty.
It says that you’re carrying around excess fat, which burdens your bones and your joints. It means it’s more difficult to walk up the hill, run, ride a bicycle and exercise in general.
So if you’re trying to figure out whether losing weight is the battle you want to get into, make a thorough evaluation of your overall health your first step.
Love for yourself has to come first
Again, thank God for fat-acceptance and body image acceptance movements and that their spread throughout the Internet is massive.
Some people may still not find you sexy and attractive, but the number of those that will is on the rise.
More importantly, you’ll be the target of nasty looks, comments, and beliefs far less often.
Thanks to this awareness, you can now model or sing, dance or be a life-coach, while maintaining a healthy self-image and self-esteem, and investing less energy in proving yourself competent.
Plus, everything you can imagine becomes more accessible to the + size people.
Oh, but you can’t shake off your desire to be thin & slim.
Not to worry.
Health, diet and fitness industry got you all covered should you decide to follow the weight loss path.
All in all, you’re exposed to an overwhelm of opportunities and possibilities. And influence.
You can spend your money ANY way you choose and both industries target YOU.
If they’re selling fast food, they want you to be OK with being fat.
And if they’re selling low carb products and gym memberships, they need you to want to lose weight.
You are under the constant and merciless impact from both sides.
So, how do you break free from that mess?
The trick is that the wish to become thin (or not) has to be there for the right reasons. It must come from within you as opposed to the outside pressure. It has to be the natural and innate desire of your own being.
If you wish to become slim because that's the way your boyfriend (or girlfriend) likes it, you just might. But as soon as you relax and stop paying attention, you can easily slip back to your old habits.
Another good example of wanting to be thin for the wrong reasons is believing only good looking men and women can become successful.
Just as vital, you need to love yourself first , before you allow your desire to be thin (or not) to develop and nudge you to take action.
Nothing good can come out of hatred, right? And your body does so much for you. Not to love it is unfair. Despite that you may not like it at the moment.
And whether you like to hear this or not, when you love yourself it means you take good care of you.
Healthy nutrition intake and exercising is a crucial part of self-love.
However, doing so won’t automatically make you slender. Especially if you’re not vigilant about it.
Still, do it for a while. Practise self-love, self-acceptance and try figuring out how do you truly see yourself.
And then, when you shot off all the outside noise and mighty persuasions you find that you’re OK with your body shape… Cool.
You beat the system.
But if you’re still dreaming the slim dream, that’s OK too.
Now you know it’s your authentic desire. You escaped the vicious cycle. Got off the diabolic seesaw.
And you are now 100% ready to strengthen your intention to lose weight and align your appearance with the way you think yourself on the inside.