Monday, January 11, 2010

NBC looks at the myth that "fat = unhealthy"

"Healthy and Fit Can Come in Many Sizes"
NBC looks at the myth that "fat = unhealthy"

By Jessica O'Brien, Beauty Editor

After watching this video, and hearing the assumption that is presented about the heavier woman, I see this is a great example of what I go through some times as a plus size woman. After moving from Massachusetts to South Carolina with my husband in fall 2008, I was rejected by two different insurance companies because of my weight. I begged and pleaded for them to let me appeal. I told them to do the research to see my weight loss results over the past three years, and to look at things like my fitness abilities and how phenomenal my physicals look on paper as a measure of my health and risk. I have great cholesterol (including great triglycerides and HDL), great BP, great resting pulse, etc... Even at my highest weight of 350ish, I had great numbers. I'm not saying everyone at that weight reads so healthy, but for me, that's how it was.

Yes, I need to lose more weight for my future health, but wouldn't taking overweight people on to insurance company and providing incentives to help foster healthy habits be a more positive approach vs. giving me one less chance to have proper health coverage? I did finally find a company to cover me on an individual plan in October '08, but, basically, the coverage sucks. To boot, I pay a $75 per month "surcharge" because of my BMI. I need to weight under 216 for 6 consecutive months to get the charge dropped. Yes, it is easy to just say that I should lose the weight. And, some day, hopefully this year, maybe next, I will be below that weight.

My point is that I am not going to hit a crash diet to get to that weight, and I am very happy that I *am* as healthy as I am today. I do not need a number on the scale to define my self worth.

This video also brings up a term called "Normal Weight Obesity" which I think is important for people to hear about. Thin doesn't always equal healthy, and overweight doesn't always equal unhealthy. Health is not just the "absence of disease". Like the doctor discusses at the end, it's really not a "get out of jail free card" for people to just go and gain weight, but a wake up call to our society that fitting into a size 2 does not guarantee a clean bill of health. Yes, there are people who may naturally be a size 2, but most women are not. Like I mentioned on the SKORCH Face Book page about one of the Dove videos that speak to "fabricating beauty" via Photoshop, families need to reinforce to our young ladies that bodies come in different sizes and shapes, and I'll be damned if my future daughters don't have anything else in their life than a positive self image!

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