WHY HEALTHY DOES NOT MEAN SKINNY

 WHY HEALTHY DOES NOT MEAN SKINNY

‘In our modern day life, the word ‘healthy’ has become synonymous with the word ‘skinny’. Today, we bust this myth and say how all of us – both the thin and the fat ones – need to get healthier as a habit.’
We’ve all committed this sin. Without even thinking, almost as a reflex action, if we see one skinny person and one overweight person walking up to us at a bus stop or on the road, we assume that the skinny one is healthier.
Don’t we?
Don’t lie. We do.
This is problematic, because it is as possible to be unhealthy while being skinny as it is while being fat. First of all, there is this huge social stigma with being fat. It starts with primary school. Next time, when you find yourself tasked with picking up your four-year-old nephew or niece from school, just notice how the fat kids get picked on.
When it starts at the level, is there any surprise that those emotions persist through to adulthood? Yes, in our adult polite society, we all act as if being fat is no big deal, but only when it is someone else being fat. I have a friend who had always been vocal about the issue (‘What’s wrong with being fat?’), which I admire her for, but then suddenly when she gained a couple of pounds as a result of a chocolate cake binge at a birthday party, she threw a hissy fit and refused to eat anything for days.
So let’s be honest. We all want to be think because a) we look good. We dress it up for others as ‘being healthy’ because we don’t want to admit that our obsession with our weight has more to do with vanity than it does with health.
Am I saying that health has got nothing to do with being fat? No, not at all. It’s just that you can be fat and be healthy. And you can be skinny and unhealthy.
And I’m not even talking of anorexics here. Even in the general population this is true. Even in my own friends circle this is true.
Because when we say ‘health’, what do we mean? We generally mean the strength of our hearts. What is the point if you’re just the right dress size for your height and gender, when taking your dog out for a walk leaves you short of breath? What is the point if you cannot run up the stairs and down without panting? And if you can actually do those things but you cannot fit into size zero, does it really matter?
So to all of you who are skinny, don’t gloat just yet. Test your fitness and heart strength levels before you assume that you’re automatically healthier than your fatter counterparts. And those of you who are looking to lose weight, don’t let the vanity brigade get to you. Apart from the fact that true beauty has got nothing to do with your dress size, there is also the tiny detail that it is health that matters.
And you can get healthy doing fun, creative things like swimming, which gets you out of a sweaty gym, pumps up your heart rate like crazy, and brings out the child in you and encourages you to play with water. What’s not to like?
Don’t buy into the ‘skinny is healthy’ concept. It isn’t. It hasn’t ever been. Only healthy is healthy. Everything else is commentary.

Sunny Pathak

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