This post was very much sparked by the awful LUSH Instagram post. If you haven’t seen it, or the outrage around it – they decided to fat shame. They have since apologised but I don’t think weight is something they should ever have tried to talk about, whatever. Overall, though, it got me thinking.
Which type of health do I focus on? My mental health or my physical health? Both?
I think the tweet that stood out to me most was
‘Why did fat people feel attacked? as a “thin” person I didnt think “fat” I thought obese and unwell’
and from LUSH’s actual post
‘70% of deaths and morbidity are largely lifestyle related and preventable’
I’ll deal with the comment first. I’m obese. How does this automatically make me unwell?! I’m not. I’m not in hospital, I don’t need to go to the doctor… I’m not unwell but I’m also not healthy. The health problems I have, I had when I was a healthy BMI and still have now I’m obese. So I wouldn’t consider myself to be healthy but I won’t be healthy at ANY weight. I don’t have that luxury AND millions of people have it worse than me. If I want to bawl at the constant “as long as you’re healthy” when I never will be, then consider how anyone who has a serious lifelong health condition must feel.
My problem with the quote from LUSH is that death isn’t preventable right now. Not to put a downer on your day but you will die of something. Yes, your lifestyle plays into that and essentially helps decide at what age you die but wtf? DEATH ISN’T PREVENTABLE LUSH.
Which leads me back to what I really want to talk about. Health isn’t just about size or just about physical health. Which type of health do I focus on? My mental health, my physical health, both? Or is there a balance? I currently feel like I can’t have both but can I?
I have continuous acid reflux, which means ideally I need to be a healthy BMI because being overweight makes it worse. Since I hit 15 stone, the drugs I take to stop the acid reflux really don’t work as well – so I’m having to take gaviscon regularly. I also can’t eat certain foods and most alcohol gives me acid reflux for days. Being overweight is also making my knees and back hurt constantly and I’m pretty sure that long term the extra pressure will cause damage. So to improve my physical health, I really need to lose weight.
Yet, eating makes me happy, trying to eat less makes me sad. I’m not the kind of person who can lose weight/maintain a healthy BMI without calorie counting and weighing myself. When I’m hungry I’ll eat and if I’m not paying attention I’ll happily consume 3000 calories a day without realising. I also comfort eat, I use food to improve my mood – I know that’s less than ideal but it works. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want, makes me really happy.
There’s also how I currently feel about my body. For the first time in my life I genuinely feel so comfortable and happy in my body. Other people might not like how I look but I don’t care. The parts I’ve never liked are still the same, I had a double chin and keratosis pilaris when I was a size 8. So I’m a size 18 now, so what? I feel confident, I feel great. My mental health is just fine with me being obese.
So I don’t really know what to do. Do I work towards better physical health and risk damaging my mental health in the process? Do I just continue on and focus on my mental health? Is there some medium point where I could have good mental and physical health, maybe where I’m overweight but not obese?
I’m currently trying to work towards that middle ground. What do you think? Is there an answer? There’s so many questions in this post I feel slightly ridiculous but I’d love to know your opinions!
xo Fleur xo