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Body Image or Health? what is the more important for you?

ferd_ttp5ferd_ttp5 Posts: 149Member Member Posts: 149Member Member
Seems most of people nowadays tend to look on your body image to determine if your healthy or na! Yah if your skinny then your healthy and if your fat/obese then your unhealthy prone to some certain diseases. So on that peoples nowaday equation what's best to be a fat that healthy inside? or a skinny unhealthy inside? Healthy out or in?
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Replies

  • jenilla1jenilla1 Posts: 6,860Member Member Posts: 6,860Member Member
    I like to be slim, fit and healthy, personally. Both are important to me, with health being the highest priority. But luckily, I don't have to choose from either of the scenarios you offered. I don't have to sacrifice my ideal body type in order to get good health, since my body always looks best when it's fit and healthy.

    When I carry excess weight, I'm not as healthy. My cholesterol and blood pressure shoot way up, regardless of exercise or the types of foods I'm eating. Some people can carry quite a bit of excess weight and still be in good health, but that's not the case for me. Too much body fat does bad things to my health. So the scenario of me being fat and healthy isn't realistic.

    I do think that one can be skinny and unhealthy - especially if you are severely underweight or suffering from an illness, but it's also totally realistic for someone to be skinny and healthy. I'm on the slim side and my last check-up showed that I'm in pretty awesome shape health-wise.

    When you ask "healthy out or in" I say they go together. Because when you are healthy on the inside, it generally shows on the outside. For example, an underweight, sickly person ISN'T healthy on the outside. They don't look healthy if they are emaciated, sick or weak. Same thing with someone who carries a bit of extra weight. If they really ARE healthy inside, it will show on the outside - they will be energetic, fully mobile, strong and capable. If they're sluggish, tired, in pain and unable to function normally, they AREN'T healthy inside.

    Long story short - it's best to be healthy inside and out. B)
  • JerSchmareJerSchmare Posts: 144Member, Premium Member Posts: 144Member, Premium Member
    Health first.
  • PackerjohnPackerjohn Posts: 3,126Member Member Posts: 3,126Member Member
    The thing that people always bring up when they're trying to push a HAES agenda is that normal weight people can be unhealthy too.

    The thing is though that while being of normal weight doesn't make one completely immune to all health problems, being overweight or obese does mean that there are problems. Suggesting otherwise is like saying that smoking and alcoholism are fine because you haven't got lung cancer and cirrhosis yet.

    Being fit means being normal weight which means having that nice body and body image.

    So much this. Health first and obesity or underweight does not promote health.
  • cozytimescozytimes Posts: 111Member, Premium Member Posts: 111Member, Premium Member
    health first. physical appearance will not always determine what's going on inside! although, i did discusss this topic with my teacher.

    his opinion was that weight does determine health. if you're overweight/obese, you're unhealthy and that's just the plain truth.
    he also talked about excessive fat, BMI, and how if you're eating healthy foods but you're still overweight/obese, you're not healthy.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 24,831Member Member Posts: 24,831Member Member
    It's better to be healthy, but being overweight and especially obese are risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing a health issue, so it's not one or the other.

    Just not being overweight isn't the only thing important for health -- I think fitness/exercise/activity is extremely important, as well as some other things (sleep, stress management, not overdoing caffeine -- I don't drink but would add not overdoing alcohol and of course not smoking, smoking), eating a reasonably nutritious diet, cultivating human relationships and various other lifestyle thing, etc.

    I think it's funny but human that people can be really obsessive about the importance of some factor due to health, but ignore others. I'm definitely in this category, and also will admit that while I do care about being healthy and think I do overall focus on it, I'm hypocritical (I am bad about both sleep and caffeine) and care about other things (what kind of exercise is fun, how I look) as a motivating factor more directly than health. (Health to me is hard to make a motivator unless you have a scare or have people around you with a scare -- for many of us increasingly common as we get older -- since it is so easy to take for granted or put off worrying about, especially when younger.)
  • crazyycatlady1crazyycatlady1 Posts: 292Member Member Posts: 292Member Member
    For me personally, overweight=unhealthy, because I now know that my weight is directly tied to my glucose number (high weight/high glucose number). Now that I'm thin I have normal glucose numbers and all my other blood work is great (total cholesterol is 143 etc), and all my other health markers are solidly in the normal range.

    Other people can be overweight and healthy, but that's not my reality so it's no longer an option for me.
  • TheRamblerTheRambler Posts: 381Member, Premium Member Posts: 381Member, Premium Member
    all health here. I have my annual physical next Friday and the only numbers I'm excited for are: blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and other blood levels. If the focus is health, the weight will follow suit (or so in my experience).
  • VeryKatieVeryKatie Posts: 4,855Member Member Posts: 4,855Member Member
    jenilla1 wrote: »
    I like to be slim, fit and healthy, personally. Both are important to me, with health being the highest priority. But luckily, I don't have to choose from either of the scenarios you offered. I don't have to sacrifice my ideal body type in order to get good health, since my body always looks best when it's fit and healthy.

    When I carry excess weight, I'm not as healthy. My cholesterol and blood pressure shoot way up, regardless of exercise or the types of foods I'm eating. Some people can carry quite a bit of excess weight and still be in good health, but that's not the case for me. Too much body fat does bad things to my health. So the scenario of me being fat and healthy isn't realistic.

    I do think that one can be skinny and unhealthy - especially if you are severely underweight or suffering from an illness, but it's also totally realistic for someone to be skinny and healthy. I'm on the slim side and my last check-up showed that I'm in pretty awesome shape health-wise.

    When you ask "healthy out or in" I say they go together. Because when you are healthy on the inside, it generally shows on the outside. For example, an underweight, sickly person ISN'T healthy on the outside. They don't look healthy if they are emaciated, sick or weak. Same thing with someone who carries a bit of extra weight. If they really ARE healthy inside, it will show on the outside - they will be energetic, fully mobile, strong and capable. If they're sluggish, tired, in pain and unable to function normally, they AREN'T healthy inside.

    Long story short - it's best to be healthy inside and out. B)

    Agreed
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 24,831Member Member Posts: 24,831Member Member
    Being fat is unhealthy. Being anorexic thin is unhealthy. But you can aso be normal weight and be unhealthy.

    Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper has one of the fittest bodies anywhere and yet he got a heart attack in February and had to quit eating his paleo diet which caused his high cholesterol. He said he's switched to a Mediterranean diet which is lower in red meat and saturated fats.

    So, diet is crucial in determining your health as verified by blood tests. But there's nothing good about being fat, even if your labs are good. Personally, it's not a question of either/or. I choose to have a great body that's in great health.

    I find it interesting that there's been no discussion about this on the boards (that I've seen at least), especially with the large group of paleo/low carb/keto followers here.

    Did he have high cholesterol before the heart attack? I don't really follow Bob Harper or BL, so don't know. I also wonder if it increased. I know some people's do with those diets, and some don't.

    My understanding is that whether sat fat affects your cholesterol (a somewhat separate issue from whether it is a health risk if consumed in excess, as it could well be even if it does not) is genetically determined and only true for a minority of people. It's true for my father (he controlled his cholesterol by reducing sat fat), but doesn't seem true for me -- my cholesterol numbers have always been good and improved from the already good numbers when I lost weight even though I increased meat and therefore sat fat somewhat when doing so. But then my sat fat never was terribly high and I eat lots of fiber, vegetables, fish (probably a good omega 3-6 ratio), all of which tend to be helpful.

    It's also quite possible to follow a paleo diet without sat fat being high, depending on what your protein/fat sources are, and probably the same with keto, although I haven't done it (and I think paleo is unscientific and cuts out healthy whole foods, so not promoting it one bit).
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 24,831Member Member Posts: 24,831Member Member
    TheRambler wrote: »
    all health here. I have my annual physical next Friday and the only numbers I'm excited for are: blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and other blood levels. If the focus is health, the weight will follow suit (or so in my experience).

    This is not true for me.

    First of all, even when I was fat my tests (including the things you mention) were fine. So focusing on those things would not have been useful. My weight itself was the risk factor.

    Second, I ate a pretty healthy diet (but for calories) when gaining weight, and yet I got fat, so the weight did not follow suit.

    Thus, IMO, it's reasonable to be specifically concerned with weight when trying to focus on health. Not only concerned with weight, but concerned with it, yes.
  • bizgirl26bizgirl26 Posts: 1,583Member Member Posts: 1,583Member Member
    Health first ... I know a lot of thin people that have health problems ( high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.. ) .Even my dad died at age 51 and he was thin . Of course I want to look good but what does that all mean without your health ?
  • heiliskrimsliheiliskrimsli Posts: 461Member, Premium Member Posts: 461Member, Premium Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    TheRambler wrote: »
    all health here. I have my annual physical next Friday and the only numbers I'm excited for are: blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and other blood levels. If the focus is health, the weight will follow suit (or so in my experience).

    This is not true for me.

    First of all, even when I was fat my tests (including the things you mention) were fine. So focusing on those things would not have been useful. My weight itself was the risk factor.

    This is what I meant about smoking and alcoholism. Not having an actual diagnosable problem yet doesn't make the situation a healthy one.
    Second, I ate a pretty healthy diet (but for calories) when gaining weight, and yet I got fat, so the weight did not follow suit.

    Thus, IMO, it's reasonable to be specifically concerned with weight when trying to focus on health. Not only concerned with weight, but concerned with it, yes.

    I think a healthy diet also means the right calorie intake to maintain a healthy weight, not just what types of foods. The nutritional value of the food is definitely a part of having a healthy diet. I just think that maintaining a proper level of calorie intake is an inseparable part of having a healthy diet.
  • heiliskrimsliheiliskrimsli Posts: 461Member, Premium Member Posts: 461Member, Premium Member
    bizgirl26 wrote: »
    Health first ... I know a lot of thin people that have health problems ( high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.. ) .Even my dad died at age 51 and he was thin . Of course I want to look good but what does that all mean without your health ?

    This is like saying smoking isn't a problem because there are non-smokers who get lung cancer.

    While it is true that there are thin people who get high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and who die young, that does not in any way indicate that being overweight or obese isn't a health problem.
  • crazyycatlady1crazyycatlady1 Posts: 292Member Member Posts: 292Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Being fat is unhealthy. Being anorexic thin is unhealthy. But you can aso be normal weight and be unhealthy.

    Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper has one of the fittest bodies anywhere and yet he got a heart attack in February and had to quit eating his paleo diet which caused his high cholesterol. He said he's switched to a Mediterranean diet which is lower in red meat and saturated fats.

    So, diet is crucial in determining your health as verified by blood tests. But there's nothing good about being fat, even if your labs are good. Personally, it's not a question of either/or. I choose to have a great body that's in great health.

    I find it interesting that there's been no discussion about this on the boards (that I've seen at least), especially with the large group of paleo/low carb/keto followers here.

    Did he have high cholesterol before the heart attack? I don't really follow Bob Harper or BL, so don't know. I also wonder if it increased. I know some people's do with those diets, and some don't.

    My understanding is that whether sat fat affects your cholesterol (a somewhat separate issue from whether it is a health risk if consumed in excess, as it could well be even if it does not) is genetically determined and only true for a minority of people. It's true for my father (he controlled his cholesterol by reducing sat fat), but doesn't seem true for me -- my cholesterol numbers have always been good and improved from the already good numbers when I lost weight even though I increased meat and therefore sat fat somewhat when doing so. But then my sat fat never was terribly high and I eat lots of fiber, vegetables, fish (probably a good omega 3-6 ratio), all of which tend to be helpful.

    It's also quite possible to follow a paleo diet without sat fat being high, depending on what your protein/fat sources are, and probably the same with keto, although I haven't done it (and I think paleo is unscientific and cuts out healthy whole foods, so not promoting it one bit).

    From what I've read-he's actually a former vegan who made the switch to a more paleo type diet (and was promoting it as the 'healthy' way to eat/lose weight). He's now on a Mediterranean plan post-heart attack. He has a family history of heart problems, so I wonder if going the paleo route exasperated that?

    eta: it looks like his mom had a heart attack at age 70, and Bob is 51 years old, so while it's in the family, he had his heart attack quite a bit sooner than his mom.
    edited April 21
  • bizgirl26bizgirl26 Posts: 1,583Member Member Posts: 1,583Member Member
    bizgirl26 wrote: »
    Health first ... I know a lot of thin people that have health problems ( high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.. ) .Even my dad died at age 51 and he was thin . Of course I want to look good but what does that all mean without your health ?

    This is like saying smoking isn't a problem because there are non-smokers who get lung cancer.

    While it is true that there are thin people who get high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and who die young, that does not in any way indicate that being overweight or obese isn't a health problem.

    That isn't what I meant . I know being obese or overweight is a huge health problem , I just meant that being skinny doesn't guarantee that you don't have any problems.
  • mccord62803mccord62803 Posts: 165Member Member Posts: 165Member Member
    If I'm being completely honest, at this very moment, I'm doing this more for body image than health. I know that health is the most important thing but currently it's an afterthought since I haven't had any weight related health problems (yet).
    When I think about the health side of things, of course I want to be healthier and live a longer healthy life and I know that losing weight (in a healthy way) will help me accomplish that...but looking better is still my main motivation right this minute.

    I also want my husband to lose weight but purely for health reasons. He is 6'3 and 350 lbs but he has had normal test results... So he likes to brag about that. I feel like it's going to go bad suddenly and I want him to prevent that from happening. His parents are both diabetic and his mom has had several strokes recently. His sister has recently become diabetic also.
    We had a bit of an emergency last night because his mom was apparently eating Easter candy all day and started stuttering and acting confused. Ugh. After it was under control, I told my husband that I needed him to start taking his health seriously because I don't want to deal with this stuff with him. We have 3 young children.
  • Traveler120Traveler120 Posts: 684Member Member Posts: 684Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Being fat is unhealthy. Being anorexic thin is unhealthy. But you can aso be normal weight and be unhealthy.

    Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper has one of the fittest bodies anywhere and yet he got a heart attack in February and had to quit eating his paleo diet which caused his high cholesterol. He said he's switched to a Mediterranean diet which is lower in red meat and saturated fats.

    So, diet is crucial in determining your health as verified by blood tests. But there's nothing good about being fat, even if your labs are good. Personally, it's not a question of either/or. I choose to have a great body that's in great health.

    I find it interesting that there's been no discussion about this on the boards (that I've seen at least), especially with the large group of paleo/low carb/keto followers here.

    Did he have high cholesterol before the heart attack? I don't really follow Bob Harper or BL, so don't know. I also wonder if it increased. I know some people's do with those diets, and some don't.

    My understanding is that whether sat fat affects your cholesterol (a somewhat separate issue from whether it is a health risk if consumed in excess, as it could well be even if it does not) is genetically determined and only true for a minority of people. It's true for my father (he controlled his cholesterol by reducing sat fat), but doesn't seem true for me -- my cholesterol numbers have always been good and improved from the already good numbers when I lost weight even though I increased meat and therefore sat fat somewhat when doing so. But then my sat fat never was terribly high and I eat lots of fiber, vegetables, fish (probably a good omega 3-6 ratio), all of which tend to be helpful.

    It's also quite possible to follow a paleo diet without sat fat being high, depending on what your protein/fat sources are, and probably the same with keto, although I haven't done it (and I think paleo is unscientific and cuts out healthy whole foods, so not promoting it one bit).

    From what I've read-he's actually a former vegan who made the switch to a more paleo type diet (and was promoting it as the 'healthy' way to eat/lose weight). He's now on a Mediterranean plan post-heart attack. He has a family history of heart problems, so I wonder if going the paleo route exasperated that?

    eta: it looks like his mom had a heart attack at age 70, and Bob is 51 years old, so while it's in the family, he had his heart attack quite a bit sooner than his mom.

    Yeah, and increased risk is usually classified as when a 1st degree male relative gets a heart attack before 55 or 1st degree female relative before 65. So considering his mum had hers later, it appears that his diet played a huge role. You'd think he'd have paid more attention to his cholesterol. And when he did a 1-2 yr vegan stint back in 2010, he said his cholesterol dropped 100 points. He started doing paleo since then and on his post-heart attack interview on Today show, he said his cholesterol was in the high range. And usually that's driven by LDL cholesterol.

    That shows he's always had a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol and should have paid attention to his diet. Instead, he went paleo since then, and last year on a Rachel Ray show, he was promoting bulletproof coffee (with butter and coconut oil), as a 'preworkout'. That's pure saturated fat! So yeah, his paleo diet, which is by definition high in saturated fat, high in meat, low in carbs, may very well have done him in. I have a similar tendency and my cholesterol shoots up when my diet is high in saturated fat and meat and went down to normal when I quit paleo and started eating more starches than meats and fatty foods. I'm glad he's on the mend though.

    Many on paleo have a tendency to disregard and flat out dismiss the cholesterol & heart disease link (it's common on paleo forums like Mark's Daily Apple, when SOME people report increased LDL after switching to paleo, they're told LDL is irrelevant and doctors and Amer. Heart Assn are clueless!). I hope in the future after Bob fully recovers, he'll educate people about what he's learned about the impact of diet based on his experience.
    edited April 21
  • GottaBurnEmAllGottaBurnEmAll Posts: 3,393Member Member Posts: 3,393Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    It's better to be healthy, but being overweight and especially obese are risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing a health issue, so it's not one or the other.

    Just not being overweight isn't the only thing important for health -- I think fitness/exercise/activity is extremely important, as well as some other things (sleep, stress management, not overdoing caffeine -- I don't drink but would add not overdoing alcohol and of course not smoking, smoking), eating a reasonably nutritious diet, cultivating human relationships and various other lifestyle thing, etc.

    I think it's funny but human that people can be really obsessive about the importance of some factor due to health, but ignore others. I'm definitely in this category, and also will admit that while I do care about being healthy and think I do overall focus on it, I'm hypocritical (I am bad about both sleep and caffeine) and care about other things (what kind of exercise is fun, how I look) as a motivating factor more directly than health. (Health to me is hard to make a motivator unless you have a scare or have people around you with a scare -- for many of us increasingly common as we get older -- since it is so easy to take for granted or put off worrying about, especially when younger.)

    All of this. Though unlike lemurcat, I'm pretty persnickety when it comes to sleep and caffeine management since I have to be to manage my migraines (there's that health issue again). I'm not always the best when it comes to managing stress, though.

    I agree with the overall thrust of this post, however. "Health" is about more than just an overweight/normal weight dichotomy.

    I'd like to add that "health" is a moving target and the damage done by being overweight doesn't always show up at any given moment. Perfect bloodwork doesn't always tell the whole story. Heart disease can take a while to develop. So can joint damage.
  • STLBADGIRLSTLBADGIRL Posts: 1,144Member Member Posts: 1,144Member Member
    From my observation, people tend to think if you are slim or a healthy physical size than you are healthy inside and if you are obese the assumption is that you are unhealthy.
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