Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Obese, but still healthy

Yeah, that pretty much sums me up. I read an article on Yahoo! News a few weeks ago (here) about a study researching whether it was still possible to be obese and healthy.

Needless to say, the research still leaves a lot of questions unanswered and nothing is really safe to assume yet.  But in the last year I've often sardonically joked that I must be genetically predisposed to being obese.  All my vitals are perfect, my blood work came back as a shining beacon radiating health.  I'm still fat though.  Quitting smoking actually killed most of my risk factors.  Given my age and current BMI my risk of health-related complications is still super low.

Frankly, vanity compels me far more than health risk factors do.  I'm relatively comfortable in my own skin, but dammit, I could be even more comfortable.  I certainly think I could breathe better at night and get better sleep.  Recent bouts with chronic pain have made sticking to a regimen difficult, but I'm learning how to deal with that one day at a time.

Living in a culture that demonizes and legislates against the growing number of fat people, it's an interesting concept to push that some people are generally healthier being fat than our existing model of so-called "health".  I look at shows I grew up with in the 80s and 90s and find that what passed as "hot" then generally has more meat on the bones than today's standards of bony waif-ness.  Even Megan Fox confessed her diet generally consists of coffee, cigarettes, and a regular vinegar "cleanse".  That's just gross, lacking in health, and likely to be masked in plastic surgeries and Photoshop editing down the road.  Assuming the rumors are true she's already gone that route.

I have to deal with the issue of projecting an image of health frequently with our son who has two vastly different households with dramatically different eating habits and takes on what comprises healthy eating/living.  One is hugely restrictive on food yet (seems like) little emphasis is placed on organized meal times or family-style meal plans.  The other is very permissive on food and places great emphasis on everyone sitting together and eating the same dinner.  Fortunately, he isn't all that picky and regularly tries new things; we never have lack of appetite issues although we have had problems with him declaring fullness when he didn't want to eat what we gave him (he would like the food, but want something else), but now that we're better aware of what he is doing, this hasn't been a problem for weeks.  I mostly worry about pressing the issue of clearing his plate (eating beyond his hunger).  We just encourage him to eat a little more of something, negotiating a couple bites for escaping from the dinner table (after helping with cleanup, of course!).

It's hard not projecting my own issues with food onto a child, but I think we're doing okay so far.  We try to give us all ample time to do some physical activities together and make sure our meals are relatively balanced.   I still worry about what our physical image projects about our health, true or not.

No comments: