Today I read an interesting article from The New York Times. The premise of the article is that there is nothing inherently wrong with being overweight. What is important is that we are in touch with our bodies and eat the healthy foods that make us feel great.
I have talked and thought about this a lot. I am fairly healthy. I know that there are things that I can do to feel better though, mostly have a better exercise habit, and eat more fruits and vegetables. There are things that stand in my way of meeting these goals, but I am working on it.
The article mentions that there is a genetic component of weight. Identical twins raised apart by parents with differing weight eating dissimilar diets weight close to the same. So why is there so much negative stigma attached to being overweight? I am not sure how it came about, but I know it had a huge affect on me!
I was a tiny child, thin, underweight by most people's standards. When I hit puberty I put on about 5-30 extra pounds (I bounced around in that range a lot.) In high school, I consistently weight 130 lbs. (at 5'2".) I was teased about my weight. My doctor told me I needed to watch what I ate. (Note, when he asked me what my favorite food was I said oranges, and he didn't know how to reply. He expected me to say some less acceptable food.) When I looked in the mirror, I thought I looked fine, but I knew there must be something terribly wrong with my appearance to lead to the teasing and even my doctor saying something. So I started dieting. Of course the rest is history. My self esteem got worse and worse.
Here I am truly overweight after 25 years of worrying about my weight.
I am no longer someone who worries about my weight. I am happier. I am healthier. Those are things that really matter. Oh! And I still think that I look just fine when I look in the mirror.