As seen on Plus Model Mag
I’m proof that you can be big AND healthy.
A few months ago, I went to the doctor’s office for a physical examination. After the nurse recorded my weight and vitals, she told me that she was impressed because I was “healthy”.
Then she asked me: “Can you tell your secret?”
I replied, “What secret?” to which she asked, “How are you that heavy and healthy?”
At the time, I was 324 pounds and I have to admit that her question offended me. But it was not a surprise.
After the doctor conducted the physical exam, he handed me a sheet of paper and told me that I should see a nutritionist. As I left the office, I glanced at the sheet to see that the doctor had written on it that I was “morbidly obese.”
Sound familiar? We have all been led to believe that being healthy is only associated with a certain size and lean physique. If you’re overweight, you can’t possibly be healthy. However, I am proof that that belief is wrong.
I have never been a small man. It isn’t in my genetics. That doctor’s visit is something that has stayed on my mind and made me question a few things. Is the medical world basing their diagnoses solely on stereotypes? What does “healthy” look like? Just because I am a man of size, I am automatically viewed as unhealthy? There are many athletes that weigh more than me. Are they getting calls from the doctor that they are near death because of their weight?
I was curious as to how a woman might feel in this same situation so I spoke with my blogger friend and sometimes workout partner Sarah of Sarah Taylor’s Journey to get her thoughts on this topic of being healthy regardless of size. This is what she had to say:
I’ve always been plus – I came out of the womb at almost 10 pounds and almost 2 feet long and yet I have always been active. I’ve played sports most guys play – Football, Basketball, Ruby, Volleyball, running, etc. But for some reason, it shocks people that I can move the way I do and can keep up at the gym. I recently started working out at a new gym that offers Bootcamp style classes and on my first day, I got lots of looks that read “What’s this big girl doing in here?”. As I met new trainers each day, they would approach me to correct me and my form, and as they approached me they would back away, realizing that I have amazing form and can keep up. Why is it when people look at a plus size woman, do they think she can’t be fit? Does that mean I can’t be active, healthy and fit if I’ve got a little more meat on my bones than the size 2 working out next to me? Please …. let me out squat you!
There has to be a new standard that needs to be set. You cannot diagnose someone’s health by just looking at them. Both men and women of size are healthy and we do work out! No, I don’t want a six pack, but as long as I am healthy, I will be fine.
We don’t need your “encouragement”. I certainly don’t need to hear, “Go, big man”, as if it’s a major thing for me to be working out at my size. I don’t approach a smaller person and say “Keep going little fella!” We are all capable and our size does not indicate that we are unhealthy. It’s time to shatter stereotypes and move forward.
Featured Model/Blogger : Sarah Taylor
Photography by: Marc Watley