My mom weighs 225 and wears a size 24 and a 3X. I weigh 253 and wear a size 22 and a 2X. She's 5'5" and I'm 5'7". When I am 225, I wear between a size 18 and a size 16 (1X). I'd hate to see what she would be wearing at my size. But I digress. When I was 200 lbs, I wore a size 14 and was between a L and XL. I felt fabulous! I got lots of compliments. No one was wiser about what the scale read. Just me and my personal trainer, who was impressed by how my body was responding physically in measurement, and not by the scale. When I weighed in at 185, I was firmly in a size 12 with my eyes set on size 10. I was excited to even be possibly going down to a size 8. Something I had not seen since I was 30 (I'm 48 right now).
(Photo of me at 259 and at 200)
It just got me to thinking about how the medical field wants to label people as "obese" based on the scales, when in fact, there are many who are physically far from it, even if the scale says they are. Case in point. I have a friend who is an aerobics instructor. She is 6'2", weighs over 190 lbs, all muscle, and gorgeous! Guess what? Her doctor told her she was obese. Yes, obese. She is far from it! When I was 30, and wearing a size 8, physially fit, playing sandpit volleyball on a weekly basis, as well as in the gym daily, the doctor called me obese, because I weighed in at 165 lbs at 5'7".
Something is wrong with the medical world if they are relying on the scale and not on something more plausible and measurable as the physique. I know many who are not "obese" who are far from being physically fit. They are called "thin fat", whereas, I know more women (and men) who are "fit fat", yet don't look fat at all.
My first experience with being called "fat" when I wasn't was when I was 15. I weighed in at 120 lbs at 5'5", was an endurance swimmer on the high school swim team, ran everyday, and ate healthy. Because of my stature, I had been approached by a modeling agency and told to call them about opportunities. I was stoked, so I called. When they asked how much I weighed, I wasn't shy and told them "120". They then proceeded to tell me that I needed to lose weight. Excuse me? Unfortunately, at 15, those words stung, and it began a vicious cycle of anorexia and bulimia for 10 years. It didn't help when 3 years later, I was told during an armed services physical that weighing in at 145 and 5'7" was pushing the upper limit. Again, not an ounce of fat on me.
So, why does it seem that the medical profession wants to "fat shame" us, when there are going to be people who don't fit the BMI chart's "perfect" vision? I know for a fact, that at 145 (which is where the chart wants me) makes me look unhealthy. Yet, the doctors keep telling me that is where they want me.
How do we shake the medical community awake and get them to realize that they are part of the problem? How can we get them to help us find the medium of what really is healthy and quit telling people who are healthy that they are "obese"? Something needs to change, but I don't know how to do it, or where to go to make that change or difference. Maybe being more vocal in the doctor's offices would make more of a difference than outside.