I have been seeing so much on the interwebs lately where people are discussing judging or not judging a person’s level of healthiness by their weight/size. People arguing that fat people can be healthy and skinny people can be unhealthy and how we cannot measure health by appearances.
And I agree…
Errr, mostly. Definitely mostly.
But here’s the thing- if I told you I was healthy at 286 pounds, I was lying. And maybe I never told you that but I know I certainly told myself that.
And maybe that’s because I was in denial. Or maybe it’s because I actually thought it was true. I don’t know. But I know I certainly thought I was.
Why did I think such a thing, you ask…
Well, because I wasn’t on any medication, I didn’t have diabetes (or pre-diabetes), my blood pressure was great, my cholesterol was a bit high but not high enough to warrant medication (my doc told me to eat less eggs- lol) and not outside of the normal range, and because I really didn’t understand the state of my condition. Meaning, I had no idea I weighed 286 pounds. Honestly, I never weighed myself- I actually didn’t even own a scale. I rarely went to the doctor and if you asked me I probably would have thought my weight at least 50 pounds lighter. Which yes, that weight still would have made me morbidly obese but it put me closer to 200 lbs. than 300 lbs. and so I thought I was ok. I knew I was fat but I thought I was a pretty healthy fat person, and that was ok.
But the truth was it wasn’t ok. And I certainly wasn’t healthy.
Maybe I had good bloodwork but seriously, is that really the only measurement of health?
Nothing about my life screamed healthiness. I ate too much processed and junk foods and my portion sizes were huge. I had no control over my ability to regulate my diet. I basically ate with complete disregard to the effect it was having on my body. The body that struggled with walking. Something basic that most every human being should do at least somewhat easily- was hard for me. And it hurt. If I went for a walk or rode the recumbent bike (the only two things I could do when I decided to try and become active) I would have to ice every joint in my lower half afterwards. And honestly, I know I didn’t even realize how much it hurt, how much effort it took, and how hard simple things were until I lost weight. As the pounds came off and my lifestyle changed everyday things became easy. That is when it really dawned on me how sick I truly was.
And it wasn’t just activity that was hard. Life, overall everyday life, was hard. I was sick all the time. I caught every flu, cold, and stomach bug that went around. I was tired ALL THE TIME! My energy was zilch but again- until it got better I really didn’t know how bad it was. Just getting up and showered and out the door for work every day was a challenge. And when I got home, after sitting at a desk all day long, I had no energy to move and no motivation to even try. My sleep was shit, unrestful. And don’t even get me started on the mental toll being obese took on me- I could write a novel on this topic alone. Pretty much every part of my day was miserable- even if I had adapted to it enough that I didn’t even recognize it- it was bad.
I know that we shouldn’t be judging people period, and especially not from appearances. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to have ever looked at me before (or even now) and tell me something they thought they could deduce just by looking at me- because it could be wrong, but it is also wildly unnecessary. That being said, I know now that I was not a healthy fat person. And yes, at some point I did become an ‘I’m getting healthier’ fat person. But I know with 100% certainty that I was absolutely not healthy at 286 pounds. And I say this not to try and debate healthiness while being obese but to tell you this:
Three years ago I thought I was healthy, mostly because no doctor had yet to label me sick.
Today, I know better.
And it took getting to this point now to recognize just how sick I was.
And I honestly think I could have lived in denial for a very long time…
But the harsh reality was- it was inevitable, if I stayed the course, that one day a doctor would finally tell me otherwise.