Fuck what you heard, plus-size girls CAN lead perfectly healthy lifestyles
Where are you getting this info from?
There's an insane misconception, basically since the dawn of time, that it's impossible for fat girls to live healthy lifestyles. But to the gung-ho fat shamers reading this, I can tell you firsthand: you've been mislead.
Now I can’t speak for every curvy girl out there, but I can say with conviction that most of us have completely normal and (dare I say it?) "good" eating habits. Personally, I have both healthy days and Fat Albert days in which I say “Hey, Hey, Hey” to those extra slices of pizza.
And I know you do that too, regardless of how your body looks. It's perfectly acceptable! But what's not acceptable is thinking that someone must inherently be on death's door because of their size.
I’ve been a fat girl my whole life, but I’ve never been one to sit on my ass stuffing my face all day. I've participated in virtually every sport under the sun, and have parents who've always insisted on the importance of balancing out a less-than-perfect snack with plenty of veggies and cardio.
I spent years dribbling a basketball against girls skinnier than I am. And despite my size, I was the center position in the game. In warmer months, I was the shortstop in softball, chasing and tackling other thinner girls using my size to drag them to the ground and get them out of the game. On top of that, I improved my backhand and kicked ass like Serena in tennis.
And at the end of every match or game, I'd treat myself to a salad from Cosi because it was that damn good.
We should know by now that trying to judge someone's internal health by their external features is fucking futile. How many skinny girls do you know who suck down pasta, pizza, and fried chicken because fast metabolisms allow for those foods not to immediately show up on a long, lean body? But people aren't trashing them for her dietary choices. It's almost as if society…hates fat girls…? Hmm….
Assumptions like these can actually ruin lives
Obesity isn't always directly associated with genetics — but our environment plays a huge role in our physical makeup, and sometimes, it's something we can't help. Everyone knows that calorie-dense foods are cheaper, and virtually everything prepackaged is loaded with chemicals and fat.
Cars, kitchen appliances and other inventions have made it so that the daily exercise people used to get has been eliminated, making it harder to stay slim with the tiny exercises we're unaware of doing in the first damn place. Shit, your Alexa speaker can now connect to your washing machine, thermostat or dishwasher so you don't physically even have to walk to your devices.
"In my experience, lots of people have very fixed opinions that obesity is caused by laziness and a lack of self-restraint," says Professor Jøran Hjelmesæth, one of Norway’s leading experts on fatness at the Morbid Obesity Centre at Vestfold County Hospital.
"[Fat-shamers] ‘know’ that by simply eating less and exercising more is all that’s needed, and are glad to talk about how they manage it themselves," he says. But that's just not a reality for some people!
Studies have shown the ways in which our bodies react cause any weight gain or weight loss
The formula that weight = (calories in) – (calories out) is what has allowed people to discriminate against bigger people, but it's not that simple.
Assuming that fatness or slimness is easy to achieve, we turn the weight issue into one of morality and self-restraint — thus endorsing fat-shaming. However, actual science shows obesity has little to do with self restraint.
"Nearly no one is alike in their responses to food and exercise," says Professor Bård Kulseng at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.
In Kulseng's research, he compared participants of various sizes who received identical amounts of physical activity. They completed exercises that should have burned 500 calories, five days a week over the duration of three months. While food portions were controlled for all participants in the study, the weight results immensely varied.
“Some people enjoyed a huge benefit. They lost as much as 15 kilos (≈33≈ pounds). Most participants lost at least some weight. But others actually gained," Kulseng says.
Being fat but fit is still absolutely possible
There are several studies that show obese and overweight people can still function in the gym, despite the fat-shaming headlines you see on the daily.
This study, done in 2011, found "a large segment of the overweight and obese population is not at increased risk for premature death." Additionally, this study from 2015 showed “only those individuals that were inactive were at a significantly increased risk for all-cause mortality independent of overweight/obesity status.”
Fat discrimination can fuck your money up too, and it's utter bullshit
This type of discrimination goes beyond childish food-shaming on who's eating fruit snacks for breakfast. This misconception affects people’s income, and especially women. According to moneyish.com, only 15 percent of hiring managers would even consider consider hiring an overweight woman:
Jobs site Fairygodboss recently carried out a survey of 500 hiring professionals, who were shown a picture of an overweight woman and asked if they’d consider employing her. Only 15.6% of them said that they would. Plus, one in five hiring personnel characterized the woman as “lazy,” and slightly more — 21% — called her “unprofessional.”
Many called her lazy and unprofessional despite not even knowing her or her qualifications for the job. It was literally just a photograph.
There are several plus-size influencers who actually workout, and dedicate their lives to healthy living
Like Jessamyn Stanley, a graceful plus-size yoga teacher and body positive activist.
She found herself depressed after gaining weight, but her yoga practice helped her deal with self-loathing and shame. Her goal is to show people that yoga is a life-saving practice and that diverse body types can be represented as practitioners.
This is Tabria Majors, and she's strong as hell
In nearly all of her Instagram stories, Tabria Majors films quick workout vids to work out her body.
She's been a plus-size model for years. Literally just go to F21's plus-size section online and you'll see her everywhere on the site. In the post above she talks about hiking 10,000 ft up Machu Picchu. How unhealthy is that? Yeah, that's what I thought!
Next time you hang out with your plus-size pal, don’t assume they want to take the elevator instead of the stairs. Maybe get to know the women shopping in the plus-size section at the trendy stores before passing judgement on why they're shopping plus. Maybe even offer them to workout alongside your daily morning jog.
If us fat chicks want it enough, we'll do what it takes to keep up on our own — no complaints.
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