Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm perfect, but not

Juicy Stanthorpe Apples

Every morning I get up out of bed drawn by the scent of a freshly made cappuccino (I might not get up otherwise) have breakfast, lace up my walking shoes and do the usual circuit. These last few weeks, with each bouncing step I take, the smugness grows (exponentially faster if I jog). Thoughts along the lines of me being the champion of the universe and if everyone just started listening to MOI then most people on the planet would be eating healthy and in great shape. *SIGH* On my walks I usually write posts in my head (I just wish they would hurry up an invent a memory stick to capture those thoughts because by George they are brilliant, which usually declines once I actually write them down) and I keep thinking, what more can I say about health that I haven't already mentioned? I'm down to that boring bit where the revelations are few and far between and it's just a matter of doing same old, same old.

As the endorphins flow I begin to think I don't even need to lose weight anymore, it was the ten kilo's in my brain that were mostly weighing me down. Besides, I feel fantastic so I must look fantastic also - logical conclusion hey? Again I think, wouldn't the world be a healthy place if everyone was just like me! Ah yes and then the government steps in on the final straight home to relieve me of my smugness. On the bus stops on either side of the road they have put posters up for their 'how do you measure up campaign' and the women's one is on the side I usually walk on. Grimacing each day as I walk past I read 'most women with waists over 80cm are at risk of serious chronic disease'. Each day I am brought back down to earth (thankfully) about my juicy apple shaped body, which despite falling in the healthy BMI range is still at risk of chronic only 25.

So despite having fostered a relatively good body image these last few months I still have some work to do so the healthy inside matches the outside. I am curious about what this body with a waist under 80cm shall look like too - seeing as I've felt so positive I ditched the idea of an ideal body a while ago. I'm all about finding a healthy lifestyle I actually want to live and letting my body respond. I will acknowledge this shift in thinking has only been possible through improving my current body image - you know, those ten kilo's I lost mentally - before my ideal body was firmly etched on my brain!

Out of all the things that puzzle me on a regular basis, today's winner is: what does a healthy body look like then? The media tells us it's very slim but muscly or skinny and both of them airbrushed while Dove tells us it's real women. Yet my own government reminds me on a daily basis that I'm at an increased risk of disease because I have a nasty habit of storing excess Easter eggs around my belly. So the 'real women' tag applies to luscious pears but not so readily to ripe apples. Talk about conflicting messages!

What do you think? Do you consider someone outside of the 'healthy standards' as still being healthy? Do you think the other factors related to chronic disease are more important than the size of your waist? Does none of this really matter anyway because healthy living is no guarantee of escaping illness anyway so bring on the jelly belly?


  1. It's tough to decide what's 'healthy' and what's not. I think the standards are a bit off (esp. BMI) and you're right about different body types/shapes being more susceptible to not fitting the mold.

    But to me, someone who is not carrying too much excess fat (under 30% body fat) and who is fit and strong is healthy. Someone who is active and eats well (not restrictively) is healthy. Someone who's body is strong is healthy.

  2. I LOVE this post. That's such a great question; what DOES a healthy body look like? I think it depends on the body. That is to say, every person is different! I find the measurement thing really interesting. My wait to hip ratio, for example, is on the brink of the "danger zone"... but I know for a fact that I'm at an extremely healthy weight. It's just that my shape is like a boy so I don't have any hips! The supposed standards can be so misleading.

    "On my walks I usually write posts in my head (I just wish they would hurry up an invent a memory stick to capture those thoughts because by George they are brilliant, which usually declines once I actually write them down)": I feel exactly the same way.

    - Sagan

  3. Wow this is a tough questions. I totally do not buy into the thin as a twig= healthy mentality. Healthy is one that exercises eats right, most of the time, and is happy with who they are. I personally like a fit toned body over a thin un-muscular body any day. Of course, you do not want to be too overweight b/c I do believe this does cause more health complications. Bottom line, be as healthy and as happy as you can be..the rest will come naturally. This was a great post but tough. Keep walking and working that body and mind.

  4. Excellent points to ponder. I will never have the *ideal* body, whether it's judged by the media, by the public, or by physicians. No matter how hard I work, how healthy I eat, I will always have a thicker middle. As long as I know I'm doing my best, I consider myself to be successful. I kind of view others through the same lens, as much as I'm able when I don't know them. It's not the size or shape that matters as much as the effort.

  5. Gemfit - That sounds like a good definition.

    Sagan - Good point, variety in bodies is not well tolerated by the standards whichever side of the spectrum you fall on.

    Kristi - Healthy lifestyle is absolutely the key. I guess the standards try to quantify that.

    Cammy - I agree, it is about doing your best and you're right about viewing others through the same lens.



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