Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Healthy Fat

image source: Wikipedia

I'm thrilled to read Dr. Andrew Weil is finally jumping on the Health at Every Size® bandwagon.  I was just talking about this in my "Measuring Life" post the other day.  At the end of Dr. Weil's post he tells us the bad news: "only slightly less than one quarter of the obese participants were metabolically healthy."

I think Dr. Weil is implying that there's still some correlation to fat people being unhealthy since so many of us are not metabolically healthy, which he describes as "having normal levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and C-reactive protein."  To me, the fact that so few obese people have good numbers tells us that fat people are discouraged from participating in healthy activities.

While visiting my mom in Nebraska recently, we were discussing how exercise might help with blood circulation and improve the edema that gives her fits.  I asked her why she doesn't like to go for walks around her neighborhood.  What she said stunned me at first, and then I just felt sad.

"People will think, 'What's that fat old lady doing out there exercising?'"

To my mom, and I'm afraid to many others in the heavy-set crowd, health is an entitlement only thin people deserve.

But that way of thinking is unhealthy.  Fat people, thin people, short people, tall people, all people deserve health.  A fat person should not feel so embarrassed by her body that she's ashamed to move it in front of other people.

Thanks to Dr. Linda Bacon for starting the HAES® movement, and for people like Dr. Weil, opening our minds to the idea that health is achievable at all sizes.