Healthy at Any Size?

I’ve heard this a lot filtering through social media over the past couple of years. But can you really be healthy at any size?

When I was tipping 300 lbs, I was not healthy. I had a number of medical issues that impacted my quality of life and, if left unaddressed and untreated, would have shortened the length of it.

Having poor cholesterol, sleep apnea, and heart palpitations before you’re 30 is not an indication of good health. In my case, my weight was a determining factor in my poor health so if I review just my own case, the answer is no; you cannot necessarily be healthy at any size.

But the discussion needs to go deeper than that. What do people really mean when they say healthy? Does healthy equal slim? Does it mean muscular? Is it purely medicinal in nature, or maybe a state of mind? How about all of the above?

There’s a huge self-love movement radiating through social media right now and it’s picking up steam. You know why? Because liking who you are is awesome. It feels good; it is good. It’s well proven that feeling great about yourself helps you to project positive feelings onto others as well. And I think we can all agree that you can be happy at any size, right? But oftentimes a persons weight, which translates to their body image and their self confidence, causes a significant degree of unhappiness. Fears of judgment by others for being less than a set ideal can be an enormous blow to your confidence and can impact whether you really can be healthy at any size.

As someone who has lived on both ends of the ‘fat / skinny’ spectrum, here is what I perceive to be a few habits of people with good health:

• Eating a well balanced, whole food diet.
• Consuming protein rich foods that fuel your strength.
• Exercising your body for cardiovascular benefits.
• Socializing with friends and family.
• Having plenty of enjoyable.
• Practicing work / life balance.
• Laughing.
• Drinking lots of water.
• Taking a vacation (or stay-cation!).
• Giving yourself positive affirmations.
• The pursuit of happiness.
• Shaking your groove thing on a dance floor.
• Happy hour with your favorite people.
• Sleeping well.
• Treating yourself to something that makes you feel good.

None of these things translate to weight loss, unless you practice some of them in a way that would make your body shed weight, and that is entirely your choice to make. But my point is, good health comes from within. If your insides are sick, like mine were, and the reason for that is obesity, then I applaud you for taking on the monumental task of weight loss and the eventual good health that will evidently come with time. However, if you simply love the skin you’re in right now and have no serious medical need to lose weight regardless of your number, then why would you?

So, can you be healthy at any size? Maybe. But that depends on you.

Are you treating yourself and your body with the kindness and respect you’d give to others you care for?
Are you fueling yourself with hearty nutrition and getting in a little exercise every now and then?
Are you clinking glasses at a bar with your favorite people?
Are you laughing until your belly hurts?
Indulging in froyo late at night?
Dancing while you cook…..?

If so, congratulations, you are healthy at whatever size you are.

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