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I Used To Be Fat...

By Greta Harless, Publisher | Editor

I used to be fat. Around my college years, I was nearing 200 lbs and didn’t realize how unhealthy I was, because I was happy.

As I have researched and applied over the past decade what getting healthy looks like, the standard image of “Healthy” has taken a whole new look. Since the beginning of my journey, focus has been lost and success achieving a healthy lifestyle has dwindled, in fear of hurting others feelings.

I am all for teaching someone to have a good self image, but mental image and having a healthy body is not the same thing.

When you are more than 30lbs over weight, like I was, or reaching a body fat percentage of 40 (for females) and 25 (for males), you are considered obese. This has nothing to do with being beautiful or how a body “should or shouldn’t look,” but everything with having a body that is not at risk for major issues.

This mind set that you can be anything you want to justify your lifestyle is not reality.

So let's go over a few facts about keeping your weight under control that has nothing to do with the way you look.

1 Weight puts strain on you internal organs giving you a higher chance of:
Heart Disease
Respiratory Disorders
Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

2 Weight wears down your joints:
Joint diseases (arthritis)
Disc herniation
Spinal disorders
Back pain
Pseudotumor cerebri, a condition increasing the pressure in the brain and associated with confusion or disorientation, headache, and visual problems.

3 Weight can increase your risk of Cancer:
Cancer affects more than half a million lives per year in the United States alone. Obesity is believed to cause up to 90,000 cancer deaths each year. As body mass index (BMI) increases, so does your risk of cancer and death from cancer.
These cancers can include:
Endometrial cancer
Cervical cancer
Ovarian cancer
Postmenopausal breast cancer
Colorectal cancer
Esophageal cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Gallbladder cancer
Liver cancer
Kidney cancer
Thyroid cancer
Prostate cancer
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Multiple myeloma

Our society thinks changing the size of a model on a magazine and calling it “the new look of health” will be the cure. If anything, it gives another excuse to not change your lifestyle and puts you at greater risk for major health issues.

Let’s not forget, health is not about self image. You can struggle with feeling beautiful no matter what size you are, and you can love how you look no matter what size you are. It is about the quality and quantity of life that is jeopardized by confusing the two.

The health and the mental perspective of being comfortable in your own skin are two entirely different things.

I have struggled with weight and being healthy for the majority of my life. Like most, I thought being healthy and being happy with the way I looked were the same thing, but it isn’t. The truth is you can feel uncomfortable, or comfortable, in your skin no matter what size you are. I did not have a clue at how unhealthy I was, because I was happy and content. This is a battle most all of us face no matter if you are male or female. However, I wasn’t healthy.

I fear we are now going in an also dangerous direction by calling obesity “healthy.”



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