The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Saturday, September 27, 2014

You're Fat

Shocking, yes, but isn't this what many of us tell ourselves every single day? I know so many people around me who've done it, I've noticed online forums where people do it, and I sure as hell have done it myself plenty of times. Isn't it worse though, that we've created a culture where society and media and the people around us tell us the same? That fat is wrong, it is somehow unclean and impure and must be completely stamped out. 

Eating disorders are a huge problem; not just with adolescent girls, but with grown men and women too. I remember when I was younger and had to do a presentation for LAMDA, my research took me to some sites with so called 'thin commandments'. I was appalled; most of these sites consisted of women encouraging each other to throw up after eating, or giving each other tips on how to turn themselves off food, how to associate food with the lowest scum imaginable to such a degree that the thought of eating would make them sick. 

Why would such (seemingly) rational people knowingly starve themselves? It wasn't going to make them any healthier! Sure, it would make them thinner, to the point of resembling humans supported atop toothpicks (Olive Oyl from Popeye comes to mind). But is that what was really important? 

Why don't we live in a society where instead of celebrating how thin we are, we celebrate how healthy we are? Thinness may occur as a side-effect of healthiness, but just by virtue of this fact, it would be a thing to celebrate. Instead of looking at ourselves in mirrors and lamenting the extra inches we carry, why don't we chide ourselves over the fact that many of us can't even touch our toes? (Side note... after years of being unable to do the same, I finally achieved this goal a week or two ago)!

If we somehow manage to shift our focus from losing fat obsessively to trying to be as healthy as we can, I think we'd all be so much happier. I've met plenty of 'fat' people who are beautiful, healthy, confident, happy, all while being much fitter than many of the 'thin' people I know! Many rugby and American football players I've encountered are hardly slim and trim, but they're healthy, and isn't that what's important? 

Instead of focusing on how big and fat others are, the next time you find yourself thinking like this, try shift your train of thought! 

"Yikes... Sheila sure looks like she could lose a few..." Nope. Try this instead. 

"Man, I haven't had a regular workout schedule for about six months, AND I eat fried foods everyday!! Sure, I'm a slim and trim model... but my arteries are probably really unattractive! Maybe I should ask Sheila for tips... she runs thrice a week. I wish I could be like her!"

Have a healthy day, won't you?

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Unknown said...

I was really shocked in 7th grade when I moved to Georgia and, in my PE class, I was able to reach the farthest past my toes than anyone in the class. And we all know how sporty I can be :P Isn't grabbing your toes so satisfying?

The Kenyan Nomad said...

So true Amber!

Frah Chaudhry said...

Interesting how we have become focussed on the skinny. It's the media out there that keeps sending these messages to young and old. Keep writing and sharing, Kenyan Nomad .

The Kenyan Nomad said...

That is absolutely true!! Thanks for your comment :)

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