“Girls are raised in a society where flattering clothing means clothing that makes you look skinnier. Where fat is an insult more often than a noun and not just a physical description but a reflection of personality. Where “you look healthy” is what you say when a girl gains weight, but “you look good” is what you say when a girl loses weight. Girls are raised in a society that teaches them it is their own responsibility to be as small as possible because they do not deserve to take up space.– Anonymous”
I’m not one for confrontation, but I feel sometimes we must not shy away from controversial issues. Today, I would like to address the subject of health.
I feel that today, the connotations of ‘happy’, ‘normal’ health are thigh gaps, size zero jeans and perfect, chiseled cheek bones. But I disagree. After all, what is normal? However, that is not to say that people who are naturally thin are unhealthy. That is not what I am saying at all.
The key word here is natural. What works for you, might not work for others, and vice versa. Yes, we can go on as many diets as we want, we can train hours a day, or on the other end of the scale, we can eat as much as we want to try to gain weight. But some people are naturally bigger than others, in the same way, some people are naturally thin.
I feel that people synonymously equate naturally thin people with eating disorders, in the same way that naturally big-boned people are unhealthy and obese.
This is a conversation we all should welcome. I believe the conversation should happen. We need to get of this vicious, self-deflating cycle we are all forced into believing.
I understand that a majority of people do equate a number to health. I, myself, as a teenager growing up have always told myself health is a number i.e. I had to weigh x amount, my waist has to be x inches etc. We’re surrounded by different articles, different programmes, different books, teaching us and encouraging us that health equates to a number on a scale. A specific number. And once we reach that number, we obtain all these magical things in life. Happiness & Health being the two amongst them.
However, this doesn’t lead to happy health. This crazy obsession. I know this first hand as I have fallen for this. For me, this meant skipping meals, and when I had to eat, I would pick at my meals. I would go to sleep early so I didn’t have to and was not tempted to eat. This meant becoming sick.
I was getting sick all the time, the opposite of healthy, because of the lack of nutrients I was getting. I was the definition of unhealthy.
So now I don’t agree. A number does not equate happy health. Instead, it is all about balance.
Lately, I’ve been inspired by the book, Soul Psychology, and looking not only at the outside of myself, but also the inside. I am encouraged to take care of my insides, which when I think about it, never seemed to ever cross my mind. I was so focused on the outside, I didn’t think about the damage I was doing to myself on the inside.
I am slowly teaching myself to good, fresh food – you know, the super foods, the healthy fats, the healthy carbs. I’ve tried very hard to cut out fizzy drinks as much as I can, and I’ve replaced it with water and green tea. That doesn’t mean to say I don’t have off days. I am a sucker for a pizza and I love a drink or two. But like I said, it’s all about balance, it’s all about moderation.
The saying ‘treat your body like a temple’ could not be any more relevant than it is to this subject.
Everybody is different. I’ll never be a 6ft supermodel, in the same way, some people will never have my height or my body shape. We should stop comparing ourselves to our family, our friends, the pop culture, and instead focus on ourselves.
The power to health and happiness is in our hands, and I hope you’re all inspired to think and talk about health.
PS. to all my fellow Chinese, Happy Chinese New Year!