Weighty issues

It’s well publicized that, as a culture, we Americans obsess over our weight. This obsession is never so on display as it is at this time of the year. We’re all feeling disappointed in ourselves because we’ve overindulged during the holidays. It’s also a few days before the new year, so resolutions abound.

Sure, statistics show that most Americans can stand to lose some weight; obesity rates are at an all-time high. I’m all for getting unhealthy people up off the couch–the benefits of a healthier society are obvious and also boundless. What disappoints me, though, is that even the healthiest of people get caught up in the unhealthy pressure to be thin.

I was running with my friends the other day and all of us were bemoaning holiday weight gain. Now let me tell you, this is a group of TINY women. My friends all look fantastic and admittedly, none of us probably goes bigger than a size 4. And yet, here we all were, unhappy with our current appearance.

What’s up with that? Why is it that our society can even make a group of very healthy, very fit women feel they could stand to make improvements to their appearances? I find it all very frustrating, yet I’ll admit, I’m just as guilty. My November marathon photo proofs just arrived in the mail and my first thought was “Did I really look that thin just six weeks ago?”

As a society, we need to somehow find that healthy, happy medium–a place where the majority aren’t overweight and where those who are healthy can leave it at that with no desire for something different. I don’t have the solution, that’s for sure, but I’d love to hear some suggestions!

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  1. southofthecliff says

    I agree. I think weight is a poor health indicator. If I put on my pessimist hat, I'd argue that it seems like people use a pseudo concern for health as an excuse to be rude to heavy people.

    As far as fitness goes, I know I've raced past a good number of lithe runners who probably had a "better" BMI than me. I've also been totally smoked by jiggly clydesdales who painted their entire body blue (marathons bring out the creative types).