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Can You Be Healthy at Every Size?

Women of different sizes and races modeling underwear vector illustration design

Can you really be healthy at every size? I have seen clients with extra weight come back with excellent bloodwork results for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and more while I have seen the opposite true for thosediligently watching their intake and weight.

While it is not necessary for a cookie-cutter fits all approach to meal planning and exercising, it is true that our heart is only about the size of our fist and it can only effectively beat a certain number of beats per minute. Plus, it is overwhelmingly true that you can be a large body and be eating all the right foods and this is vastly different than being large bodies person from eating donuts, fruit and coffee all day. “Healthy” embodies much more than weight, a statement with which I think we can all agree.

Health at Every Size (HAES) is an approach to public health that seeks to de-emphasise weight loss as a health goal, and reduce stigma towards people who are overweight or obese. It aims towards eating for well-being and not for weight control. This movement is a wonderful effort to promote sense of equality among the overweight and obese in a world where weight has been the focus of so many.

In my meetings I talk about your weight in much detail. I explain why the weight scale is only the beginning to revealing what really may be happening in your body. The weight scale says nothing about the amount of water, bone, fat or muscle mass you have therefore basing your health or your weight success only on this value may mislead you. You could be, for instance, 5’8″ tall and weight 139 lbs. as a woman and you may think you are looking rather slim if you are basing this solely on the weight scale, but your clothes may still not be fitting you quite nice and this has everything to do with your body composition. You can be 56% body fat at this weight and basically be lacking lean body mass needed to have a great shape. On the other hand, if you weigh 139 lbs. at this height and you have 20% body fat you are looking pretty athletic or lean in appearance. I find most people trying to lose weight have no problem losing weight at all! In fact, they have lost several hundred pounds over the course of their lifetimes! What they usually have is a problem of gaining weight very quickly and this lends to a problem at the cellular level where the body takes food and stores it instead of burning it for fuel.