There’s a movement in the world today that, truth be told, I’m not sure I’m OK with – size acceptance. There are plus size bloggers around the world preaching that we should all love our bodies as they are, and not force women into a “one-size-fits-all” box where we must all be a size 2 to be accepted or loved. That message, in its simplicity, is phenomenal. And as a size 14 myself (and someone who was once a size 22), I identify fully with those who believe it’s 100% alright to be a size 14, and that I don’t need to be 50 lbs lighter to be a valid person. The scary end of this debate, though, is women who are 100 lbs or more overweight preaching size acceptance. Should you be content with the body you have if that body isn’t a healthy one? And furthermore, how do we define that word? Healthy?
I bring this point up, knowing it may be controversial, but inspired by the story of Jess Weiner. Jess is a board member on the national board of Step Women’s Network, an organization whose board I serve on locally. I read her story after Step Up posted it some months ago from Glamour Magazine and was truly inspired by her candid discussion of her internal dialogue with the “size acceptance” movement.
For years, Jess says, she claimed you couldn’t judge a book by its cover, and she shouldn’t be judged for being overweight because weight did not equal health. This defense worked until Jess realized, she wasn’t as healthy as she thought – a realization I know all too well from own journey. Her phenomenally written testimony in Glamour is a testament to all the right words that should be said in the “size acceptance” community. Jess, like me, isn’t a size 2 even now. But she is healthy and happy. Read Jess Weiner’s story here at Glamour.com.
According to the BMI scale, I’m “borderline obese.” I do yoga twice a week, I spin at one of the more difficult spin studios in Chicago, I’ve run a 10 mile race at this weight, and I’m training for an 8K in 2 weeks and a half marathon in June. So who’s right? Is Jess’ attitude correct? Does health mean fitness and good blood pressure? Or do I really need a good BMI or to see a smaller number on the scale to be healthy?