Short answer: Yes.
Slightly Longer answer:
I’m a size 18/20. I’m 5’5″, 101 Kilos/15st. BMI wise, that puts me squarely in the ‘obese’ section. But here’s the thing:
I can run up several flights of stairs before being out of breath. I gym twice a week. I eat healthily. And making progress in these areas are more important to me than my BMI. My brother is a foot taller than me, weighs the same and his BMI says he is just a little overweight. He spends a lot of time in the gym too, as well as working at a desk like I do. And something he’s helped me realise is,
We carry fat. We’re not ‘fat’.
In 2014, Toodaloo Katie wrote a great blog on ‘Being the same size but different shapes.’ She explored how she’d hated wearing jeans or things like that because of her shape.
Now – we’ve got plus size models like Ashley Graham blazing the way with an incredible body and incredible positivity. And I’m so thankful because there have been times when I’ve felt worthless because of my size and shape.
When I was younger, and my mum hates me telling this story but at least we can rip of this band-aid early, I used to play rugby. Several times a week actually, I was a good little prop. Stocky, short, strong. But I was heavy. A heavy, heavy, size twelve. All boobs and hips and thighs and a strong core.
So one week I had a boy in my room that I liked, just hanging out. And my mum came in to tell me I had to get ready for rugby.
“No, it’s okay. I’m going to miss it today. Paul’s here.” aka “NAAAH LOOK AT HOW HOT HE IS! Don’t make me leave…”
But my mum missed the subtext – clearly – and turned to me and said “You really need to go. It’s fitness training and you weigh as much as I did when I was pregnant with you.”
Ten years later, and I still have that voice telling me ‘you really need to’. Need to lose weight, need to put on makeup, need to hide your body, your skin, your stretch marks. And I’m so much bigger now than I was then. The difference now is I have body positive people like Meghan Tonjes, Tonsablush, Rebel Wilson being fierce. To have body-positive people out there is so important because sometimes the stigma of being overweight is internalised and that needs repairing.
Yes, I’m overweight. No, I’m not going to stop going out and dressing how I like because you know what – I’m okay with it. And if you’re not, maybe that’s something you need to consider about yourself.