There are two things you should know about me: I am fat and I am physically healthy.
Okay, so I’m not 100% physically healthy, but no one is. My ankle is still a bit dodgy after I fractured it last year. I wear glasses and have problems with my teeth. Minor stuff that gets fixed you know, like this thing in my heel called a bursa. I’m not 100% fat either for the record. My weight varies a lot, I’ve been overweight since I was about sixteen and I’ve never really shifted it. I’ve not been trying mind, I’m not really big on diets.
I am fat but I’m not unhealthy.
So my anxiety has ramped up a bit, and I’ve been getting new symptoms – chest pain to be specific. A post for another day. But the chest pain was freaking me out, more so than it probably should have as I was already panicking. My maternal grandparents both died young – before they were sixty even I think. Both heart-related. My Nanny Gwen smoked sixty fags a day and my granddad drank; so it’s not really surprising. But then my mother had two heart attacks a few years ago – before she turned sixty and she doesn’t drink or smoke really; it all started to make me worry. I’m 34 and I have this kid now and I don’t want to die randomly before he’s even thirty years old.
And none of this was helping my anxiety.
So I went to the doctors.
We talked for a bit and I told him what had been going on. The new anxiety symptoms, the chest pain and so on. So as well as making sure I had been referred to mental health services (another post for another day), he also ordered a load of blood tests and an ECG.
Do you know what they found?
I’m not diabetic, my cholesterol is fine, my heart is fine. I am fine. But a little anaemic. Which isn’t related to my weight. I’ve been anaemic before, on and off. It’s a result of heavy periods and my diet (I don’t eat a lot of meat). Now I’ve got iron tablets that will right itself and after a little while, I’ll have some more blood tests to see if it’s helped and to make sure that it’s not something else.
I can already feel it helping and it’s unlikely to be anything serious. There are no other symptoms.
There is nothing else wrong with me.
I get coughs and colds because I work in a pharmacy, my ankle took some time to heal because it’s hard to heal something you have to walk on and my heavy periods are genetic. I had them long before I put the weight on. Worse actually for a while too. Being fat doesn’t affect any of these things, being fat doesn’t actually affect my health much at all.
Here’s what being fat affects:
- The size of the clothes I wear.
- How people perceive me.
It doesn’t affect how fit I am, it’s really more the other way around. It doesn’t affect how I walk or talk. Doesn’t affect the way my mind works. Doesn’t affect the work I do – I can and will run up and down the stairs as many times as I need to. At least now that my ankle doesn’t hurt.
It doesn’t affect the things that are a problem in my life. Like my mental health. My anxiety isn’t related to my weight. Nor my depression. And my weight isn’t related to mental health actually. The two are separate issues that intersect on occasion but not often.
Doesn’t affect my soul.
We’re Not All The Same
In the same way that not all skinny people are healthy; not all fat people are unhealthy. And just because I’m healthy doesn’t mean that the next fat person you meet will be healthy. This does not mean you should be healthy either. It’s not always possible, not everyone can be healthy. It’s just the way the world works, our bodies work. Some people have illnesses and conditions that they’ll live with all their lives. Some of these will cause obesity, rather than the other way around.
Unless one day we develop the cure for everything most of the population are going to be average. Healthy enough.
There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with being unhealthy either. Some people just are. It’s a state of physical existence but not the state of someone’s mind. Having an unhealthy mind and soul is much worse. And much e harder to improve. Good food and exercise aren’t going to make you a good person.
I am just one person but a fat healthy one.