Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where's My Healthy?

      I was nannying the other day when I had a little girl asked me why I was fat.
     "I'm not fat," I answered. "I'm just bigger than your mommy and daddy."(Her mom and dad are triathletes and ultra-marathon runners. Hard to compete...)
     "Yeah, but bigger is fatter," she answered.
     Right then is when I saw it: the truth of our generation and those that are coming after us. Bigger is fatter. At least, that's what we're told. I'm at a perfectly healthy weight for my height, though certainly not on the model-skinny side. And yet, to this 5-year-old, I looked fat.
     Her question didn't hurt my feelings, didn't upset me or make me angry. Rather, it made me worried. How do we correct this distorted image? In a society where millions are dangerously overweight, we have been taught to praise the skinnier, smaller people. But in that praise, we're forgetting about the normal people. We forget about the people who are healthy, who eat right and exercise, but are never going to grace the covers of Vogue or Marie Claire. We ignore these people who fall somewhere in between skinny and fat, despite the fact that they make up most of our population. They are real-sized. I am real-sized.
     Skinny doesn't mean healthy. Though many people think of them as one in the same, they are not. I am not skinny because I enjoy a piece of birthday cake at a party and I relish in sleeping in a few times a week instead of hitting the gym before work. In this routine, I have found happiness. Yet, magazines and television urge the public with diet pills and magic workout programs that you can't be happy until you're skinny. But you know what? I feel pretty damn happy, big butt and all.

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